The decisions and interpretations of these rules and regulations are at the sole discretion of the judging supervisors at the contest. The judges’ decisions are final.

The allowable turn in times will be five minutes before to five minutes after the posted times – no exceptions. A late turn in will receive a 1 for all three criteria below. The official turn in times are:

  • Chicken Turn in – noon
  • Beans Turn In – 12:30
  • Ribs Turn In – 1:00
  • Brisket Turn In – 1:30

This competition is a double blind event. Entries will be submitted in a numbered container provided by the judging supervisors. The number must be on top of the container at turn in. The container will be re-numbered by the judging supervisors before being presented to the judges.

Rules for Judges:

  • Judging will be done by teams of six, all of which are at least 18 years of age.
  • Only judges, contest representatives and necessary support staff are allowed in judging area during the judging process.
  • No other activities are permitted in the judging area during the judging process.
  • Judges must not fraternize with the cooking teams or enter their cooking sites until after the conclusion of the judging.
  • Judges must not sit at the same table as their spouse or significant other, or any other relative.
  • Judges may not cut, slice, or shake apart to separate pieces.
  • No utensils should be used in the judging, except for spoons provided by the judging supervisors for the beans category and knives in case the judges wish to cut the rib meat.

Rules for Competitors:

  • The container shall not be marked in any way so as to make the container unique or identifiable.
  • This is a non-garnish event. Lettuce leaves, toothpicks, skewers, foreign material, and/or stuffing are prohibitedMarked entries or containers with any of the above listed material will receive a 1 in all criteria from all judges.
  • If used, sauce should be applied directly to the meat and not be pooled in the container. No side sauce containers will be permitted in the turn in container. Sauce violations shall receive a score of 1 on Appearance.
  • Each contestant must submit at least 6 portions of food in the approved and provided containers. Brisket may be submitted chopped, pulled, sliced, or diced as the team sees fit, as long as there is enough for 6 judges. Ribs shall be submitted bone-in. Chicken may be presented as to the cooks choice, bone-in, boneless, skin on or skin off, again, as long as there is enough for 6 judges.  If there is not enough food for each judge to sample, the shorted judge(s) will score a 1 on all criteria, and the rest of the judges will give an Appearance score of a 1.

 Scoring for Food Items

Each turn in box will be shown to all judges at the table by the Table Captain. Each judge will score the entry on its appearance. The turn in box is then passed around the table and a sample of each item is taken by each judge and put on their judging mat in the assigned spot (the number from the box shall be written onto the appropriate space on the mat by each judge). Once all judges have a sample from the turn-in box, each judge will score the sample on taste and texture before moving on to the next entry.

Judging Criteria for Food Categories:

  1. Appearance (10%): How appealing does the entry look in regards to how the category is defined?
  2. Taste (45%): How does the entry taste with respect to the how the  category is defined?
  3. Texture/ Tenderness (45%):  Evaluating the meat’s texture and tenderness to reflect tender, chewy, tough, moist, dry, mushy, etc.

All items shall be judged on their own merit and shall be evaluated as to how well the team has represented the contest category.

  • The scoring system is from 9 to 2, all whole numbers between two and nine may be used to score an entry. 9 excellent, 8 very good, 7 above average, 6 average, 5 below average, 4 poor, 3 bad, and 2 inedible.
  •  A score of one (1) is a disqualification and requires approval by the Judging Supervisors for disqualification:
  • All judges will give a one (1) in Appearance for unapproved garnish, pooled sauce or less than 6 samples of meat.
  • All judges will give a one (1) in all criteria for sculptured meat, a suspiciously marked turn-in container, foreign object in the container other than the optional aluminum foil, or incorrect item.
  • All judges not receiving a sample will give a one (1) in all criteria.

The low score will be thrown out. Results will be tallied. A tie will be broken by the computer, as follows: the scores will be compared for the highest cumulative scores in taste, then tenderness, then appearance. If still tied, the low scores (which were thrown out) will be compared, and the higher of the low scores will break the tie. If still tied, then a coin toss will be used.

Total points per entry will determine the champion within each food category.

Grand Champion  
In order to be named Grand Champion, a team must compete in all categories. The total points for all categories (both food and non-food) will be used to determine the Grand Champion. Food categories will comprise 80% of the total score, while non-food items will comprise 20% of the total score.