As temperatures rise, so does the drum smoker for longtime barbecue competitor Corrie Sponseller, who owns S&S BBQ Competition and Catering.

Sponseller, who regularly takes part in barbecue competitions with her husband, said that when it comes to barbecue, she prefers the flavor of smoked ribs, brisket and chicken.

“I really like the taste of smoked meats. I don’t put anything on there unless I absolutely have to,” she said.

When she does use sauce, she said many prefer a sweeter flavor profile for her barbecue.

“When we serve barbecue to the public, we usually use a sweet sauce on ribs and brisket,” she said.

She said there’s also a variety of spices that can be used for rubs for smoked or grilled barbecue.

“There are a lot of different flavor profiles when it comes to barbecue. You can use sweet, salty or even hot spices for rubs on your meat, depending on what you like,” Sponseller said.

When barbecuing this summer, there are important safety tips to follow with grills and smokers. It’s important to keep your hair back when dealing with fire, especially if it is longer.

“When it was windy, I singed my hair once when I was trying to take meat off the grill. That’s why it’s important to keep your hair back when barbecuing and to keep a good distance from your grill or smoke,” Sponseller said.

Wearing gloves is another good safety tip.

“Wearing gloves is easier because it keeps the mess off of you but also you don’t want to burn yourself when you’re handling hot meats,” Sponseller said.

Abby Trapp can be reached


Follow on Twitter at @NPNowTrapp.