'Uncle Joe's' in Ina wins national BBQ sauce title - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

'Uncle Joe's' in Ina wins national BBQ sauce title

INA, IL (KFVS) -

A restaurant in Ina Illinois recently brought home the title ‘Grand Champion Sauce in Illinois’ in a national Competition.

Joe Wilkerson and his uncle; Joe Wilkerson started the restaurant in 2012.

Uncle Joe develops most of the restaurant’s sauces, while his nephew handles the business side.

“I was in college, and was planning to go into engineering.” Said Joe on Friday. “After a while though, I saw my uncle rocking and rolling with the sauces, so I said hey, let’s give this a shot and make some barbecue!”

The sauces are now in more than 400 stores in a handful of states across the country, and their ‘Triple X’ hot sauce was named the Grand Champion Sauce at the Illinois Barbecue Association’s national barbecue competition.

“It’s been fun.” Uncle Joe reminisced on Friday. “My nephew would come into my house some days and smell this funky odor in the air and I just kept experimenting… and I found out the key is you just go back to what you really like."

“I plan on taking this as far as we can go” Joe said “You know, the sky’s the limit as far as I’m concerned.”

Each of the five varieties were originally concocted in 17 gallon batches in Uncle Joe’s own home.

The sauce is now mass produced, but at least one of their brews is still made from wine grown in the Shawnee hills.

Uncle Joe’s has also been recognized by members of the Illinois House of Representatives.

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