View Full Version : Beginnings of BBq competitions?

04-17-2012, 03:51 PM
Hello, all, my daughter is doing a small report on competition BBQ (no idea where she gets these ideas?)

Anyway, anyone got any links or info on how and when us ID10T's started competing?

I am sure it goes back to caveman days...

I saw a small blurb on amazing ribs site, but apparently we are looking for more information..

Any help is greatly appreciated..


Red Valley BBQ
04-17-2012, 04:22 PM
Give this a read.


04-17-2012, 04:31 PM
Getting a sanctioned event starts with the money. Having the prize money in the bank gets the ball rolling for an event. Otherwise you get people riled up and spinning wheels without commitment or money in the bank. Roll it into a fundraiser and it's easier to do.

04-17-2012, 07:38 PM
I have a reference to a chef who won an award for his BBQ sauce in the 1500s. So, it goes back quite a while. Also, the first BBQ "associations" in America were started in VA not KC.

But, the KCBS site does have some good info on how the KCBS was started.

04-17-2012, 07:46 PM
There are some great books on the history of BBQ. Bar- b - cue the history of an American institution by Robert Moss and Holy Smoke a history of North Carolina BBQ (can't recall author). Both great reads for BBQ fans, may be more info than your daughter needs. I got both from my local library.

04-17-2012, 08:07 PM
I second the Robert Moss book and he has a pretty good blog too -


Lake Dogs
04-17-2012, 08:30 PM
Couple of google searches, etc. and you can find guys that have been participating and winning BBQ contests in 1950's or earlier, pre-dating KCBS and most other sanctioning bodies by a year or two...

04-18-2012, 06:20 AM
thanks all, great info.


04-18-2012, 07:14 AM
This was the very first International BBQ Contest.

The first Memphis In May International Barbecue Cooking Contest was held in a parking lot by the Orpheum Theater at Main and Beale on May 6, 1978. The entry fee was $12. There were 25 contestants who took part in the first Memphis In May International Barbecue Cooking Contest, Bessie Louise Cathey won the $500 first prize, Lee Waterbury won the $250 second prize, and Third place and $150 went to Mrs. Johnnie Whitaker. While they were cooking, an estimated 5,000 people wandered through the area.

Cool timeline of pictures.