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View Full Version : What are the top 10 to 15 BBQ competitions?


bearnakedbbq
07-30-2011, 12:02 AM
Being in Alaska we are limited on competitions. I would be interested in attending one or two events in the lower 48, but since I am a newbie I am unsure what events would be the good ones to attend.

I am currently thinking about this one in Sept. http://skeweredapple.com/

What are some of the bigger events to attend?

As a bonus, if there are two major events on back-to-back weekends that are somewhat close to one another I would prefer it. It would be like attending two events for the price of one.

Thanks

Troy

huminie
07-30-2011, 01:45 AM
If you have a KCBS GC under your belt, then I would suggest the American Royal. Invitational on Saturday and the Open on Sunday.

One to consider would be the KCBS double header at the end of the year in SoCal. One contest has turn ins on News Year's Eve day and the other on New Year's Day. Likely the first two contests of the KCBS year. Will be held at Knott's Berry Farm and should have 40+ teams at both. I am sure leaving Alaska for SoCal would be appealing at the end of Dec/early Jan. Check the CBBQA board for details.

TooSaucedToPork
07-30-2011, 07:22 AM
Being in Alaska we are limited on competitions. I would be interested in attending one or two events in the lower 48, but since I am a newbie I am unsure what events would be the good ones to attend.

I am currently thinking about this one in Sept. http://skeweredapple.com/

What are some of the bigger events to attend?

As a bonus, if there are two major events on back-to-back weekends that are somewhat close to one another I would prefer it. It would be like attending two events for the price of one.

Thanks

Troy


Just my opinion of the biggest festivals.

American Royal BBQ Contest - Missouri - Kansas City - october

National Capital Barbecue Battle - D.C. - june

Memphis in May World Championship BBQ Cooking Contest - Tennessee - Memphis - May

Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue - Tennessee - Lynchburg - october

Texas Rodeo - Texas - Houston - february

Best of the West Nugget Rib Cook-off - Nevada - Sparks - september

Lexington BBQ Festival - North Carolina - october

-Neil-

redneck cooker
07-30-2011, 08:11 AM
Remember, the Houston rodeo, is NOT sanctioned...and is not open to anyone....Ive been a head cook there for 9 yrs for a corporate team....you must OWN a spot to cook,The waiting list is over 5 yrs.. or the free entries for a couple of other comps...

Tritonman
07-30-2011, 08:58 AM
Remember, the Houston rodeo, is NOT sanctioned...and is not open to anyone....Ive been a head cook there for 9 yrs for a corporate team....you must OWN a spot to cook,The waiting list is over 5 yrs.. or the free entries for a couple of other comps...

HSLR BBQ Cookoff is pretty exclusive. :thumb:

Funtimebbq
07-30-2011, 09:14 AM
If this is a driving trip and you want to stay (relatively) close to home, the one in WA you cited and the following week in Langley BC would be excellent choices. Everyone I've met in the northwest have been very friendly and helpful.

Benny

TooSaucedToPork
07-30-2011, 09:31 AM
Remember, the Houston rodeo, is NOT sanctioned...and is not open to anyone....Ive been a head cook there for 9 yrs for a corporate team....you must OWN a spot to cook,The waiting list is over 5 yrs.. or the free entries for a couple of other comps...

he did say he wanted to attend, not participate

bearnakedbbq
07-30-2011, 10:18 AM
he did say he wanted to attend, not participate


No I want to compete!!!!!!!!

troy

WineMaster
07-30-2011, 10:26 AM
Remember, the Houston rodeo, is NOT sanctioned...and is not open to anyone....Ive been a head cook there for 9 yrs for a corporate team....you must OWN a spot to cook,The waiting list is over 5 yrs.. or the free entries for a couple of other comps...


What temp do you shoot for with head.

Sauced!
07-30-2011, 10:40 AM
Lexington NC BBQ Festival is not a contest. Its a festival only. They had their first contest in Lexington this past April. They are planning on having again next year. Its called the BBQ Capital Cookoff, a KCBS sanctioned event.

5-0 BBQ
07-30-2011, 10:50 AM
Pork in the Park in Salisbury, MD claims to be the largest KCBS event on the East Coast

Tritonman
07-30-2011, 10:55 AM
What temp do you shoot for with head.

Usually just cook 2-3 hours, but we find the ones from MN are usually pretty empty, so not near as long. :boxing:

WineMaster
07-30-2011, 10:56 AM
Sweet!!

AZScott
07-30-2011, 12:26 PM
In the SW the Smoke On the Water event in Vegas was great and I'm sure it will be even better next year. I am sure it will be 100+ teams from all over the US and there is 125k in prize money. I would put that one on your list.

TooSaucedToPork
07-30-2011, 02:28 PM
Hehe, sorry man, I thought you were talkin about spectating...

Biggest two that you can enter without a GC on the circuit are:

The American Royal Open 400+ teams
Memphis in May 260+ teams

motoeric
07-30-2011, 03:00 PM
Maybe not the largest, but certainly the favorite Brethren event is the Battle of the BBQ Brethren on LI.

It's next weekend, c'mon down!

Eric

Sledneck
07-30-2011, 06:06 PM
New Holland Summerfest in PA

Big Ace
07-30-2011, 07:35 PM
As a bonus, if there are two major events on back-to-back weekends that are somewhat close to one another I would prefer it. It would be like attending two events for the price of one.

Troy

This may be the "bonus" you are looking for, 2 events in 2 days!

http://fit2gobbqevents.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Knotts_Flyer1.pdf

Slamdunkpro
07-31-2011, 09:23 AM
If you want to do the East Coast;

April:
Pork in the park in Salisbury, MD is the largest event on the east cost with over 100 teams.

June
Swintastic BBQ Festival in Fredrick, MD has over 50 teams and the next weekend is the DC BBQ battle. You could do the trifecta and cook the Big Apple BBQ festival with us the week before if you're really nuts.

August:
Bel Air BBQ bash & New Holland PA are two of the larger East Coast events. You've got a week in between to kill, but you could do Cumberland or (if it comes back next year) Dover.

Capn Kev
07-31-2011, 09:42 AM
Not sure they're in the top 10-15, but they are certainly the biggest ones here in the Rocky Mountain region.

Colorado BBQ Challenge - Frisco, CO - usually around 70 teams
BBQ at the Summit - Dillon, CO - usually around 70 teams

Both contests are challenging, especially for stick burners, because you're cooking at 9,000+ feet. O2 levels aren't as high up there :-P

Smokin' Gnome BBQ
07-31-2011, 10:09 AM
New Holland Summerfest in PA


why does this one stand out for you?

Muzzlebrake
07-31-2011, 10:27 AM
There is something very special about competing in Lake Placid NY on the Olympic Speed Skating oval on the 4th of July. Dmitry roll's out the red carpet

Red Valley BBQ
07-31-2011, 11:01 AM
why does this one stand out for you?

I would have to ask the same thing. I don't know about this year, but in previous years there was a waiting list to get into New Holland, other than that I don't know much about that comp. I haven't heard anything good or bad about it.

My two cents for the top 15 comps:
Pork in the Park - Salisbury, MD
Roc City Ribfest - Rochester, NY

They may not be the biggest competitions, but they are VERY team friendly events. That is what our team looks for in a competition.

smalls65
07-31-2011, 12:25 PM
I'm from NC so in my area it would by Blue Ridge BBQ Festival in Tryon. NC and Hog Happenin in Shelby, NC...a new contest that is growing really fast and I'd love to see it in about ten years would be the Eastern NC BBQ Throw-Down in Rocky Mount NC!!!!

Smokin' Gnome BBQ
07-31-2011, 12:51 PM
I would have to ask the same thing. I don't know about this year, but in previous years there was a waiting list to get into New Holland, other than that I don't know much about that comp. I haven't heard anything good or bad about it.

My two cents for the top 15 comps:
Pork in the Park - Salisbury, MD
Roc City Ribfest - Rochester, NY

They may not be the biggest competitions, but they are VERY team friendly events. That is what our team looks for in a competition.

New Holland is very well run. The organizers and competitors are top notch. I enjoy seeing friends (some of which seem kinda like family). A few of us get together and have an after "gathering". I dont want to hyjack this thread but have always wondered what makes a comp " special".

nukenight
07-31-2011, 02:33 PM
Try the Hammond Blues and BBQ in Hammond, LA in March each year. It's difficult to get in, but it is one of the best contests anywhere. I'd also try and cook a contest in Texas to see how you rate in brisket.

bearnakedbbq
07-31-2011, 04:23 PM
. I dont want to hyjack this thread but have always wondered what makes a comp " special".

Good question. Coming down from Alaska my priorities are a little off. My goal would to be find two competitions or a competition and cooking class on back-to-back weekends. Bottom line is the $$$$...

Hopefully I find several of these events to choose from. My next priority would be to insure I can find a grill or two. Then items like tents, tables, etc…. I will use this site to beg and borrow. I will try and use the barter system for these items. Alaskan salmon, moose etc...

I want to compete against the best! Granted I am new to this but I am very confident and am interested in competing against the best teams. I will be only doing this one or twice a year. To me, taking 5th place against the best is better than taking 1st in some lesser event.

When I leave the wonderful state of Alaska (2014), you will see a lot more of me. I have the BBQ bug and can’t wait to hit two or three events a month. Until then, I have to be picky on the events I comedown for.

Hope all this makes sense and a big thanks to those of you that have already responded to my question.

Troy
Bear Naked BBQ
Palmer Alaska

Plowboy
07-31-2011, 04:33 PM
3rd largest BBQ contest in the country would be...??? Anyone know? Usually 190 teams. A long time semi-famous contest thanks to Kingsford.

American Royal would be first and MIM would be second. GAB used to be 3rd, but hasn't for the last couple of years.

jbrink01
07-31-2011, 05:24 PM
Gab...?

Rookie'48
07-31-2011, 05:30 PM
On the list of top comps to cook at one that I would NOT recomend is North Kansas City. Overflowing outhouses, noisey, cheap generators, quiet time not enforced, just not a fun time :mad2:.

ZILLA
07-31-2011, 06:20 PM
The San Antonio Rodeo BBQ is at 265 as of last year. I suppose that would make #2.

Sledneck
07-31-2011, 07:05 PM
why does this one stand out for you?

New Holland is very well run. The organizers and competitors are top notch. I enjoy seeing friends (some of which seem kinda like family). A few of us get together and have an after "gathering". I dont want to hyjack this thread but have always wondered what makes a comp " special".

I would have to ask the same thing. I don't know about this year, but in previous years there was a waiting list to get into New Holland, other than that I don't know much about that comp. I haven't heard anything good or bad about it.

My two cents for the top 15 comps:
Pork in the Park - Salisbury, MD
Roc City Ribfest - Rochester, NY

They may not be the biggest competitions, but they are VERY team friendly events. That is what our team looks for in a competition.
Here's my take on why new holland is so great.

The setting. We are scattered thru a really nice park. Not in laid rows like cattle at the typical contest. Has more the feel of a campout, family reunion. Once your in your in when you get a spot , the same location/ spot every year as long as you keep reregistering . Its located in the middle if amish country. When I'm looking out from my sitevwhen prepping my meat every so often a horse and buggy go by. The motels are literally onsite. Across street is an Olympic sized swimming people that the teams haveFREE access to all weekend including the day after event. This might be more personal to me but sat nightnafter awards instead of rushing home we go a few of us and our families have a tradition to go out to dinner.the laughs from this group are endless and priceless. We stay the next day and hit the amish buffet and then th pool and go home. Probably slot more that I haven't mentioned including a team pot luck sat nite etc. 72 teams is the limit their is a waiting list to get in, how many contests can say that?

Rub
07-31-2011, 07:27 PM
The ones I've been and cooked at that I like, in no particular order, are: Dillard GA, Smokin' on the Suwannee in Live Oak FL, Smoke on the Water in Winter Haven FL, Best of the Best in Jasper GA, Tryon NC, Felda FL (RIP), Harpoon in VT, American Royal in MO, Newnan GA, Plant City Pig Jam FL, of course the Jack but it's tuff to get in, Greenwood SC, Barnesville GA...

Plowboy
07-31-2011, 08:16 PM
Gab...?

3rd largest BBQ contest in the country would be...??? Anyone know? Usually 190 teams. A long time semi-famous contest thanks to Kingsford.

American Royal would be first and MIM would be second. GAB used to be 3rd, but hasn't for the last couple of years.

GAB hasn't been over 200 teams in three years. This year was only 80 teams. Answer is Great Lenexa BBQ Battle.

Are there any KCBS contests over 200 teams other than the Royal?

MilitantSquatter
07-31-2011, 08:22 PM
Here's my take on why new holland is so great.

The setting. We are scattered thru a really nice park. Not in laid rows like cattle at the typical contest. Has more the feel of a campout, family reunion. Once your in your in when you get a spot , the same location/ spot every year as long as you keep reregistering . Its located in the middle if amish country. When I'm looking out from my sitevwhen prepping my meat every so often a horse and buggy go by. The motels are literally onsite. Across street is an Olympic sized swimming people that the teams haveFREE access to all weekend including the day after event. This might be more personal to me but sat nightnafter awards instead of rushing home we go a few of us and our families have a tradition to go out to dinner.the laughs from this group are endless and priceless. We stay the next day and hit the amish buffet and then th pool and go home. Probably slot more that I haven't mentioned including a team pot luck sat nite etc. 72 teams is the limit their is a waiting list to get in, how many contests can say that?


Don't forget the handmade ice cream

Candy Sue
07-31-2011, 09:07 PM
My bucket list includes the contest in Washington, DC, the chili cookoff in Terlingua (but probably not to cook), the contest in Sedona, AZ if it happens next year, Harpoon in VT, going back to Traders Village and a contest in the PNWBA area and a FBA event. My favorites are Dillard, GA, Hammond, LA, Pass Christian, MS (2009 only, one year wonder), Pesacola, FL, the American Royal and I really enjoyed Tecumseh, OK (cookies, cinnamon rolls and really friendly folks), Delight, AR -- I guess I haven't been to a bad contest in a while! Contest I'm most looking forward to this year -- Amelia Island, FL.

Plowboy
07-31-2011, 09:10 PM
My bucket list includes the contest in Washington, DC, the chili cookoff in Terlingua (but probably not to cook), the contest in Sedona, AZ if it happens next year, Harpoon in VT, going back to Traders Village and a contest in the PNWBA area and a FBA event. My favorites are Dillard, GA, Hammond, LA, Pass Christian, MS (2009 only, one year wonder), Pesacola, FL, the American Royal and I really enjoyed Tecumseh, OK (cookies, cinnamon rolls and really friendly folks), Delight, AR -- I guess I haven't been to a bad contest in a while! Contest I'm most looking forward to this year -- Amelia Island, FL.

That's a great list, Candy. :thumb: Canada would be cool, too.

Sledneck
07-31-2011, 09:19 PM
Don't forget the handmade ice cream

So mant great things about new holland I almost forgot about the bet part.

They also give out the best quality t shirt of any event .

CivilWarBBQ
07-31-2011, 09:47 PM
Dillard is arguably Georgia's most prestigious KCBS contest, but it is historically difficult to get into because many more teams want in than the venue has space for. It has become easier since they leased another field last year, but nonetheless I would advise anyone who is interested in cooking OR judging at Dillard to phone the organizers first and check on availability.

It took us four years to gain a spot at Dillard, and I wouldn't give it up for three times the entry fee. Dillard is not a contest where you can just drop a check in the mail and assume you are in.

Scottie
07-31-2011, 10:58 PM
There is something very special about competing in Lake Placid NY on the Olympic Speed Skating oval on the 4th of July. Dmitry roll's out the red carpet


This is at the top of our list... Plus, you get to drink Russian vodka if you know who the guy is that is carrying the backpack... :becky:

DawgPhan
08-01-2011, 08:01 AM
Dillard, GA which is this weekend. More than a few trailers are already loaded for this one.

My list of non-invitational, though still tough to get in contests:
Harpoon, VT
The Big Pig Jig in Vienna, GA
Greenwood, SC

Ask your self why are you driving all that way to a bbq contest? Some of these "biggest" contests are going to have you in a parking lot with 200 other teams, most of which are going to be there to get as drunk and loud as possible for 2 days. Or you could attend a contest with 50-60 of the most dedicated serious competition bbq cooks in the country in a picture perfect location and enjoy the fellowship of those select few who have the same love of BBQ that you do.

WineMaster
08-01-2011, 08:43 AM
"biggest" contests are going to have you in a parking lot with 200 other teams, most of which are going to be there to get as drunk and loud as possible for 2 days. Or you could attend a contest with 50-60 of the most dedicated serious competition bbq cooks in the country in a picture perfect location and enjoy the fellowship of those select few who have the same love of BBQ that you do.[/QUOTE]

Dont see why it always gets explained like this. Is drinking that bad at BBQ events?

Someone needs to organize the 1st annual Blue Hair BBQ.
Instead of the pot luck, the teams could have a Filet of Fish Friday. You know, nice and soft for the dentures. and the Saturday Gentlemans Jack toast could be replaced by a Metamucil Shot to chase down a Lipitor.

DawgPhan
08-01-2011, 08:56 AM
Team Metamucil will be there.

Muzzlebrake
08-01-2011, 05:02 PM
My list of non-invitational, though still tough to get in contests:
Harpoon, VT
The Big Pig Jig in Vienna, GA
Greenwood, SC

You can make the argument that with the current application process Harpoon is an invitational. Its sure is getting a lot of love here on this thread. I've never been, and talking to people last weekend, I may have missed the heyday. Some of the people I was talking to said it was kind of a down year there, which is too bad, it sure is loved by many teams here in NEBSland.

I'll be in Rhode Island with the low SAT crowd next year....:becky:

Plowboy
08-01-2011, 06:41 PM
You can make the argument that with the current application process Harpoon is an invitational. Its sure is getting a lot of love here on this thread. I've never been, and talking to people last weekend, I may have missed the heyday. Some of the people I was talking to said it was kind of a down year there, which is too bad, it sure is loved by many teams here in NEBSland.

I'll be in Rhode Island with the low SAT crowd next year....:becky:

Hitting P-Town again? :drama:


I gotta get a NEBS contest on my schedule soon. Much BBQ love in the North East!!!

JD McGee
08-01-2011, 10:25 PM
Troy...The Skewered Apple is our largest PNWBA event at $37,000 in prize money and will probably draw 50-60 teams. You WILL be competing amongst the very best in the Pacific Northwest. If you are looking to compete against the best in the country may I suggest the American Royal, Memphis In May, The Great American (GAB), or even Las Vegas (The Orleans Casino). :becky:

Scottie
08-01-2011, 11:00 PM
I'll be in Rhode Island with the low SAT crowd next year....:becky:



See you there!

ique
08-04-2011, 08:54 AM
My bucket list includes...

Contests I'd like to cook... Dillard, GA, Hammond, LA, New Holland, PA... love to cook in CO/AZ sometime and that Indio, CA venue looked awesome but not sure if there is still a comp happening there.

Muzzlebrake
08-04-2011, 09:13 AM
Hitting P-Town again? :drama:

Plowboy has such a different meaning there!