Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

BBQ My Way

April 4, 2012

BBQ: Judging barbecue isn't kids play


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How so? The lettuce that is used as the bedding is positioned so that when the lid is opened, it falls into a preplanned arrangement making the entry look like a mini float that you might see in a parade. It's pretty


Use the wrong type of lettuce and you are an automatically disqualified.

The entries are numbered so the judges do not know the identity of the entry. The entry is passed around by the judging foreman, and each judge takes a serving. Entries have an exact number

of servings, matching the number of judges at the table.

Ribs are to be cleanly separated. If you as the

judge pick up a rib and another rib is attached, you cannot pull it apart. Why is that a serious blunder

for the team? Well, that means one of the judges will not get a rib, so they cannot judge the entry, meaning the team has lost points and the chance at winning.

Yep, this is serious business, especially after you have been up all night tending to your barbecue.

Personally, I can't wait. Make plans now to compete, or at the very least add this event to your schedule now. Here are a couple of websites you may want to peruse. For the Jeffersonville festival,

go to

To see the full KCBS barbecue competition schedule, go to to find a festival near you.


Dave Lobeck is a barbecue chef from Sellersburg, Ind., who writes a column for CNHI News Service. Visit his website at

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