How to Start Competing In BBQ

You have perfecting your BBQ skills for years. It started as an interest, then grew into a hobby, and now your friends are requesting you “do up” some ribs, pork butt and a brisket for their daughter’s wedding. So you decide … why not try some competitions and see how good you really are?

To help you out, here are few tips to help you through the competition process. Before you begin, maybe try judging a few competitions. Contests won’t let you judge unless you are certified, but don’t worry, you  can usually get certified by attending a one day class.

To become a competition BBQ judge, go to a BBQ network web site of your choice (see list below) and sign-up for their judging class. Judging will allow you to see what other people are turning in, what judges expect, and get you really familiar with all the rules.

Now for the Competition! First, find an event. Check out you local BBQ Network and search for events. KCBS (Kansas City Barbecue Society), is the largest but IBCA (International Barbeque Cookers Association), FBA (Florida BBQ Association) and MBN (Memphis BBQ Network) are also very popular. You may want to start at the “backyard” or “patio” section if the competition offers it.

Second, submit your application.

Third, make sure you read and understand the rules and the judging criteria. Every competition is different.

Fourth, start planning. It takes more planning than you might expect and it’s always a good idea to do a few practice runs. Try to do all of your meat trimmings at home (this is allowed in most sanctioned contests). Trimming your meat beforehand saves you valuable time plus you can concentrate more on your cooking. Be sure to make a supply list. It is very easy to over pack or forget something.

As for flavors, don’t deviate a lot from what you normally do. Keep things simple and aim for that perfect cook.

Finally, have a great time and enjoy yourself. It’s in the judge’s hands once you get everything turned in on time.

Certified BBQ Judge Training Class Resources

Canadian Southern BBQ Association
http://www.csbbqa.com/judge-courses.html>

Caribbean BBQ Association
http://www.bbqpr.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=117&Itemid=57

Florida BBQ Association
http://www.flbbq.org/judgeapp.htm

Georgia BBQ Association
http://www.bbqga.org/about/join-the-gba/

Kansas City Barbeque Society
http://www.kcbs.us/classes.php

Memphis Barbecue Network
http://www.mbnbbq.com/list_classes.php?typeId=3

North Carolina Barbecue Society
http://www.ncbbqsociety.com/recipes_class1.html

Pacific Northwest BBQ Association
http://pnwba.com/

Southern BBQ Network
http://sbbqn.com/judging/

South Carolina Barbecue Association
http://scbarbeque.com/certified-judges/

St Louis BBQ Society
http://www.stlouisbbqsociety.com/#!calendar/vstc4=judging-overview


BBQ Associations by State

Alabama
Alabama BBQ Association
http://www.bamabbqtrail.com

Alaska
Alaska BBQ Association
http://www.alaskabbq.org

Arizona
AZBarbeque
http://www.azbarbeque.com

California
California BBQ Association
http://www.cbbqa.com

Colorado
Rocky Mountain BBQ Association
http://www.rmbbqa.com/index.php

Florida
Florida BBQ Association
http://www.flbbq.org/main.htm
Florida Panhandle BBQ Society
http://www.flapanhandlebbq.com

Georgia
Georgia Barbecue Association
http://www.bbqga.com

Iowa
Iowa BBQ Society
http://www.iabbq.org

Kansas
Kansas City Barbeque Society
http://www.kcbs.us

Louisiana
Louisiana BBQ Cookers Association
http://www.labbq.org

Minnesota
Minnesota BBQ Society
http://www.mnbbqsociety.com/mnbbqsociety/

Missouri
St. Louis Barbecue Society
http://www.stlouisbbqsociety.com

Nebraska
Greater Omaha BBQ Society (GOBS)
http://www.gobs.org

North Carolina
North Carolina Barbecue Society
http://www.ncbbqsociety.com

South Carolina
South Carolina Barbeque association
http://www.scbarbeque.com

Texas
Lonestar Barbecue Society
http://www.lonestarbarbecue.com
Texas Gulf Coast BBQ Cookers Association
http://www.tgcbca.org

Utah
Utah BBQ Organization
http://www.utahbbq.org


Regional

New England Barbecue Society
http://www.nebs.org/

Mid Atlantic
http://www.mabbqa.com/index.html

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