How To Judge Competition BBQ

As a backyard BBQ cook, a competitor on the KCBS circuit and a Certified BBQ Judge, believe me when I say I eat a LOT of BBQ! Since taking the judges class, I have become more aware of the different factors that make some BBQ better than others. I have successfully used this info to do quite well for myself on the competition BBQ circuit, and am sure this info will help you to produce better 'que.

When scoring BBQ under the KCBS rules, the scale goes from 2 to 9. Every entry is considered to be a 6 before you look at it or taste it, and you go from there. The three categories considered are texture, taste and tenderness. There are 6 judges per table, and each turn in box must contain at least 6 individual portions to prevent disqualification.


The entry can be disqualified if 1) the individual servings are not completely separated, 2) less than 6 servings are turned in, 3) sauce has "pooled" in the bottom of the turn in box or 4) an unapproved garnish is used. Judging bbq is a serious matter, a lot of money and time has been spent by the competitors, and the judges understand the implications of their scoring. There is little banter and no peeking allowed at other judge's scorecards.

How To Judge Competition BBQ

The KCBS, like most of the bbq societies uses a double blind system. The contestant is given boxes at the cooks meeting that have only a number on them. At turn in, the number is changed before the box is judged. This is done to prevent any judge from knowing whose box he is judging, and it works quite well. I have never heard of any allegations of cheating by a bbq judge.

There are 6 judges and a table captain at each table. The table captain runs the show, examining each box before it is presented to the judges for any possible disqualifications. The table captain (TC) gets the boxes, six at a time, from the turn in station and brings them to the table.

The TC clearly announces the team number of each box for the judges to record, usually saying it to every judge as the box is held in front of them as well. The judges look into the box held before them and with in 5 seconds write down the score for appearance. There are no erasers on the pencils and once the score is written there is no changing it. The TC will check each scorecard for possible changes. Smoking is not allowed, nor is any alcohol consumption. Free bottled water is brought to the table by the TC if a judge's starts to run out. Crackers are also provided.

When the TC holds the box before the judges, all water bottles are on their sides allowing the box to be held right up to them. The arrangement of the judges is in a "C" pattern on the table (one at each end, 4 along one side). After all six boxes are presented, one at a time is given to the judge on the end to take a portion and pass around. The TC will alternate which direction the boxes go so as to not leave one judge always getting the last piece in a box.

When the boxes are passed from judge to judge, each takes a sample and places it on a designated part of a paper placemat they have recorded the team # onto. The judges wait until all have 6 pieces on the placemat before beginning. If the portions run out, it is a disqualification.

The judges will then rate the individual entries for taste and tenderness, often tucking their scorecard under the placemat after writing them down. No one speaks until all six judges have handed their scorecards to the TC. Most tables will discuss the entries, and depending on the level of experience, it can get quite in depth.

The entries have been checked for violations by 7 people, dissected with their eyes, pulled apart with their fingers under close scrutiny, and tasted with world class taste buds. If you turn in something below par, they will know it right away.

How To Judge Competition BBQ

Mike Gerardy KCBS competition cooKCBS Certified BBQ Judge

The Canning How-To on Barbeque Sauce

These canning how-to tips came out of necessity. You see, I've been making my own barbeque sauce since I was a kid, but it caused conflict in my household.

I loved using the sauce as a grilling marinade so I'd make gallons of my "New York Attitude" Barbeque Sauce and portion it into used plastic Wonton Soup containers. The shear number of containers would fill my Mom's refrigerator.


I had to find a better way to preserve my sauce without taking up the whole fridge. "People have been preserving food for generations," I thought to myself. "They didn't have refrigerators or Chinese take-out containers, how did they do it?"

The Canning How-To on Barbeque Sauce

At the time, I probably had to go to the library and look through the encyclopedias. That seems laughable now, but even as a child, I knew there was a better way waiting for me. I found it with a 125 year old device, the two-part lid canning jar.

The inventors of these jars are really the creators of every canning how to instructions from that day forth. The idea is simple. Their jars consist of a flat lid with a rubber washer to seal the jar. A band fits over the lid, securing it to the jar but also allowing air to escape.

Under boiling water, air leaves the jar between the two parts of the lid. When it's cooled, it creates a vacuum, sealing the jar in an anaerobic environment. This not only preserves the sauce, but keeps it safe from bacterial growth as well.

Hot water canning is meant for highly acidic products like tomato sauce, marinades, and perfect for my barbeque sauce. At sea level, water boils at 212F or 100C. This is certainly hot enough to let the two piece lid do its job, and the acid content of the sauce will keep it safe.

The Precise Canning How To Steps:

  1. Inspect all jars, lids, and bands for defects.
  2. Wash all jars, lids, bands, and any other equipment that will come in contact with the sauce.
  3. Place a round cake cooling rack in the bottom of a very large stock pot and fill with water.
  4. Bring the water to a full, rolling boil.
  5. Place the empty jars in the boiling water to sanitize them.
  6. In a small saucepan or bowl, remove some boiling water and place the flat lids in the hot water.
  7. Prepare your barbeque sauce and keep it very hot.
  8. Remove the jars from the water bath, one at a time, and fill with barbeque sauce
  9. Be sure to leave 1-2 inches of "head room" between the sauce and the lid.
  10. Wipe the rim clean of any spilled sauce
  11. Stir the jarred sauce with a wooden stick to drive out excess air
  12. Remove the flat lid from the warm water and place it on top of the jar.
  13. Secure the lid with a band and hand-tighten only.
  14. Place the filled jar, standing up, into the boiling water canner.
  15. Wait 15 minutes and remove the jar to cool.

(Add 5 minutes for every 3000 feet above sea level)

As the barbeque sauce cools, you'll hear the vacuum created as the jar lids are sucked toward the interior of the jar. Soft "ping", "ping", a symphony of suction is created and the jars are now safe for storage. Any jar lid that still yields to pressure when pressed with a finger has not sealed correctly. It should be refrigerated and not stored at room temperature.

The canning how to instructions are different for low acid products, because there's greater risk of bacterial growth. Items like vegetables or protein-based soups must be canned in a high-pressure canner because the boiling water bath does not get hot enough to assure the safety of the food.

As a child, I simply wanted to preserve refrigerator space. What I discovered is a process that's been around for more than a century. Home canning saves money, preserves fresh ingredients, and is a fun and easy hobby when you know the canning how to steps.

See the entire Canning How To video here.

The Canning How-To on Barbeque Sauce

Chef Todd Mohr's passion for cooking with fresh ingredients has improved the health and well being of thousands all over the world. His FREE video seminar, How To Cook Fresh, reveals the top 3 mistakes everyone makes when choosing fresh ingredients.

For Moist Boneless Chicken Breast

Chicken breasts are usually always served dry and tasteless but for moist boneless chicken breast there is something you may want to try. There are many ways to help retain the moisture when cooking chicken breasts. You are always going to want to cook your chicken breasts slow. Cooking your chicken too fast will dry out the chicken quickly. Dry chicken usually means tough and flavorless chicken. Here below you are going to see one of the recipes that is my favorite and is well known to hold in moisture and it's very delicious.

You are going to need the following.

\"How To BBQ\"

2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (make sure they are evenly cut and evenly thick)
salt and pepper
handful of herbs
1/4 cup of flour
1 tablespoon of butter
olive oil

For Moist Boneless Chicken Breast

For moist boneless chicken breast you are going to start off by getting a large mixing bowl and mix together a half of a tablespoon of salt and just a dash of pepper in with your flour. If you are going to use herbs (which is best for flavor) then you are going to chop your herbs up very fine. Mix your herbs in with all your flour mixture. The next thing you are going to do is bread each side of the chicken lightly in flour mixture.

You are going to place the boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a large pan that has a lid. Next you need to heat over medium-high with your butter and some olive oil. You are going to quickly sear both sides until slightly golden. Be careful not to do this for long because you don't want to cook the inside much at all. To get the best results for moist boneless chicken breast you are going to cover your pan with a lid and reduce the heat to low. Cook for about twelve minutes without opening the lid. It is important not to open the lid so no moisture is let out. Remove your pan from the heat and let it stand for another ten minutes still covered. Uncover and serve while still hot. This recipe will have you wanting more moist chicken breasts. You will easily be able to recognize the difference between cooked to long chicken and chicken made just right. Get your taste bud's ready for moist boneless chicken breast you have yet to experience.

For Moist Boneless Chicken Breast

I have searched out the top cookbook collections and recipes available online today. If you follow the Squidoo link you well see some excellent programs. []