Virginia BBQ Pirates
Competition Barbeque Team

What is Competition BBQ?

Competition BBQ is a sporting event where teams come together with one goal in mind - prepare the best barbeque in the world (or at least the best according to 6 judges.) The teams can be as small as one person or include several people. The cookers range from small inexpensive "bullet" smokers like Brinkmans (ECB) to huge smokers costing several thousands of dollars. A bigger cooker doesn't mean a better product. Remember, "It's not the size of your smoker; It's the taste of your meat!" One advantage of a bigger smoker is the ability to cook more meat. This allows you more to choose from when turn in time rolls around.

There are several barbeque organizations who sanction competition BBQ each with their own rules. The two most familiar are Memphis in May and the Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS). We have chosen to compete in KCBS events.

In each event there can be just a few teams to several hundred and each sanctioning body has it's own rules.

Kansas City BBQ Society Rules in a Nut Shell

There are four categories:

Pork Ribs
Pork (Butt, picnic or shoulder)
Beef Brisket

Meat must be cooked on site with wood, wood pellets or charcoal – no gas or electric and the meat cannot be pre seasoned.

Each turn in is judged for appearance, tenderness / texture and taste. The turn in containers are assigned a number so the judges do not know whose meat they get. You turn in enough for six judges and each judge judges each entry on it’s own merits not by comparing it to the other entries.

Entries are scored from 2 to 9 and the scores are multiplied by the following factors:

Appearance 0.5714
Tenderness / Texture 1.1428
Taste 2.2858

The lowest judge’s score is thrown out and the total of the remaining judges is your score in that category. The sum of the scores in all categories determines the Grand Champion.

There are more rules but these are the basics to give you an idea of what goes on. The trick is finding that magic mix of sweetness and spice along with perfectly prepared barbeque presented in a way that makes the judges mouths water with anticipation.

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