Native Memphians look to break world BBQ record with 48-hour grilling

Published: Dec. 17, 2021 at 10:26 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Drive down Poplar Avenue near the University of Memphis this weekend, and you will probably smell the aroma of BBQ on the grill wafting through the air.

Make that multiple grills. A group of young men is attempting to break a Guinness World Record for cooking BBQ.

When they found out that guys from Italy hold the current record for longest team BBQ, they knew right away they had to bring that title home to Memphis, where BBQ is king.

Professional sous chef Addison Forsdick and accountant Robert Hammons started manning two grills and two smokers at 8 a.m. Friday.

“You see a record that’s attainable like that and you think, why not? We can be record holders,” said Forsdick.

“They called me and told me they got accepted to compete in the Guinness Book of World Records, and I said I’m in,” Hammons said.

They’re trying to beat a world record of 40 hours and 53 seconds. Their goal is to grill and grind for 48 hours.

“And so with our job, we have to be grilling the entire time,” said Forsdick. “We can’t switch jobs. So, you have to be grilling the entire time. And you need to have two meats on each grill or two items on each grill at all times.”

Forsdick and Rob Stukenborg came up with the plan.

“We just chuckled,” said Stukenborg. “We were like, yeah, we can stay awake for 40 hours. I mean, we’ve done that before, it just didn’t include smoking meat.”

Sponsors like Johnsonville helped make this mission possible. The team will smoke an incredible amount of food over two days.

“Forty slabs of ribs and 36 pounds of chuck roast,” Stukenborg said while reading a long list. “One hundred pounds of ground beef, 22 pounds of chicken quarters, and 21 whole ducks. We also have 25 pounds of pork tenderloin, 40 pounds of pork belly, and more than 100 pounds of pork butt, along with 55 pounds of tri-tip and more than 500 bratwursts.”

It turns out, staying awake is not the only challenge when trying to set a BBQ cooking world record.

“Just finding storage for the meat,” said Stukenborg. “We’ve been throwing bratwursts in every nook and cranny of every cooler and fridge and freezer.”

While teammates work in the kitchen, prepping all that meat, another teammate records their progress on the grills in a notebook. They’re also live-streaming the whole event so the Guinness folks can watch.

“No one can do it better than us,” Hammons said confidently nine hours into the grilling. “We can easily beat the record. I’m feeling good about this.”

“Yeah, you gotta bring it home,” said Forsdick. “The record belongs home.”

This bastion of Bluff City BBQ buddies shows no signs of slowing down and even hinted at taking their global domination skills to Memphis in May’s BBQ cooking championship.

“We have the grit and heart to put it together,” said Stukenborg, “And if you have a team at Memphis in May, we’re going to be world record holders soon and we’d be a great addition to your team.”

Guinness rules allow a five-minute break every hour. Those breaks can be accrued. So, after nine straight hours, for example, they can take 45 minutes to rest up.

The team said much of the food that is being prepared will be donated to the Salvation Army.

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