View Full Version : Big 4 Competitions

3 Rivers BBQ
03-22-2010, 09:18 AM
Been kicking around the thought of making a BBQ Bucket List. What I am talking about is a personal BBQ Competition list that I want to compete in before I retire or pass away, which ever comes first. Boy, talk about a fantastic book ideal. Anywho...tell what 4 competitions you think are ones you would list as "must do" and why. For anyone who creates this book, please just list me as a small part of the acknowledgement.:thumb:

03-22-2010, 10:45 AM
You might enjoy reading the article on the 'big 4' in the current issue of Smoke Signals, the BBQ Brethren magazine.



03-22-2010, 11:33 AM
If you end up with HLSR on your list I would recommend you choose another Texas event for a more realistic contest. There are many large tough cooks here in Texas to choose from if you want to test your Texas mettle. Just sayin....

03-22-2010, 02:06 PM
That's interesting.

What makes HLSR unrealistic? Just the size and scope?


03-22-2010, 02:35 PM
Eric, HLSR is on a waiting list and the spots are very expensive. I want to say they start at $1000. No prize money either...

03-22-2010, 03:18 PM
My top 4 are ,in no particular order Jack Daniels-Lynchburg,Tn
American Royal-Kansas City,Mo
National BBQ Festival_Douglas,Ga.
Smoke On The Water-Little Rock,Ark

03-22-2010, 03:35 PM
That's interesting.

What makes HLSR unrealistic? Just the size and scope?


Unrealistic is a poor choice of words even though it is for the above reasons. I should have said it's a poor choice as a bucket list comp even though it's a big event. It's not a normal comp. No sanctioning, you only turn in one meat, all entries are judged against all others. There is no cross section of testing skill on different meats. Folks want to win so they can jump to the Jack. As a comp Houston blows. Try one of the larger IBCA or TGC events like Traders Village, The West Texas Shoot out, West VFD, Hold Em & Hit Em, San Antonio Rodeo....there are others.

03-22-2010, 04:27 PM
Jack, AR Invitational but you need to be invited so you can't just go.

4 normal contests in no particular order
USA BBQ Championship (little Rock)
Shannon IL - this is the last year
Salisbury MD
U.P. Hog Wild - MI

03-22-2010, 05:52 PM
this is the last year they are having the shannon competition?

03-22-2010, 06:09 PM
this is the last year they are having the shannon competition?

If I understand correctly Mike and Theresa Lake run the contest and they are rumored to be retiring in the south.There doesnt appear to be any one waiting in the wings to take over for them. Another contest I would like to get to.

03-22-2010, 09:06 PM
I would guess that three of them, in no particular order would be below:

American Royal Invite/Open combination - Largest comp in the world?
Memphis in May - Largest non KCBS comp in the world?
Jack Daniels - Most exclussive comp in the world and unsanctioned?

For the fourth, I'm not sure. I would not put NLR in the same boat with the above three. It was pretty big and fun, but its fairly young and just not the same experience as MIM or The Jack (I've yet to make it to the Royal, but from what I hear and see on Pitmasters....). Looking at KCBS, maybe DC, or GAB? Looking outside of KCBS, maybe one of the Texas or ICBA comps? Maybe a Pacific or NEBS comp?

Any one think that all of the above three shouldn't be on the bucket list, presuming you qualify and get invites?


03-22-2010, 09:11 PM
Being new to doing more than just one comp a year, I would like to sometime do the following comps.
The Jack

3 Rivers BBQ
03-22-2010, 11:17 PM
Seems like the three on everyones list is MIM, Jack and AR. The Houston looks like more of an entertaining competition than a cookoff. My goal is to do 4 cookoffs this year, with my first one in about three weeks. Thanks for everyones input.