The questions to true BBQr’s would be:  Why not?  It doesn’t matter if you own a backyard smoker, or a huge, gigantic smoker you tow behind your RV, or have one like Papa’s Smokehouse BBQ…a Backwoods Smoker made by Mike McGowan from Shreveport, LA.  BBQr’s come from all walks of life, some have regular day jobs and it’s a hobby and some, like us, who sell BBQ for a living and jump at the chance to get into a competition as well.

It’s the chance for us to meet some really, great people.  Those people are called “Cook Teams”.  They come from near and far and set up their EZ Ups, their banners, pull out their smokers and unload their supplies.  There is a lot of camaraderie between the cook teams…some good, healthy competition full of each team’s “secret this” & “secret that”.

BBQ Competitions should be sanctioned by a national or state sanctioning body for a wide range of reasons.  The best reason is that there are defined rules to follow, and the prize money is guaranteed, lending credibility to the promoter of the event. 

The categories are Chicken, Ribs, Pork and Brisket.  They evaluate in three different criteria: taste, appearance and texture.  Their rules require the “boxes” be garnished, and the particular category has to have a certain amount of portions placed in the box. 

The categories have to be turned in at specific times, within 30 minutes of each other, with a 5 minute window before and after the stated turn-in time.  Late turn-ins are DQ’d (disqualified).  If the wrong garnish is used, it will be DQ’d. If the box doesn't contain the required number of meat portions it will be DQ'd.  Knowing the rules is critical.

Bragging rights is important. In fact, that’s what it’s all about.  It’s all about that and more, including making great friends and lasting relationships.  Some of us can’t wait until the next contest as competing becomes really addicting. 

So, if you see us out on the road, selling BBQ and we’re running around in a blur…yep, we’re probably in a competition!


We are members of the CBBQA California Barbeque Association and the KCBS Kansas City Barbeque Society.

Each sanctioning body has their own rules to follow.  KCBS sanctions all types of competitions across the U.S., with the mission to promote Barbeque as America’s cuisine.  It is the largest society of barbeque enthusiasts in the world, with over 8,500 members, and sanction nearly 300 events in 44 states.

KCBS provides the most respected form of judging and scoring in the world of BBQ.  Their representatives provide each contest with certified BBQ judges who have been trained in how to judge world-class barbeque, using a “blind judging” process that is fair and void of personal knowledge of teams being judged.