My first BBQ judging

smokin in the park

I got back last night from judging at the Smokin’ In The Park BBQ Championship. It was my first time judging and I had a blast. It was well worth the 6 hour commute to and from the Viejas Outlets in Alpine. There was great weather, great BBQ and a beer garden… what more could a BBQ judge want? The event was well organized with much props going out to the California BBQ Association for doing it.

Judging was only half the fun, mingling with fellow BBQ fanatics is the other. Everyone was sharing stories. It seems that judging is the gateway to competing. Many competitors also judge… it offers them familiarity with what judges are looking for. I did happen to run into people that I had met when I took my judging class in August. There were a few that were there to judge their first BBQ competition as well.

Chicken, ribs, pork and brisket were the four categories that we were judging. The BBQ teams could enter any or all categories, but to win grand champion they would have to score well in all four. You really must try to attend one of these events just to see the BBQ rigs. I will keep you posted of when the next event will be and if there will be any judging classes coming up. I know that I must be sounding like a BBQ geek right now, so I will stop.

smokin in the park
Some teams use the WSM along with their larger pits

smokin in the park
This team had a few pits and a grill in the back.

smokin in the park
This is a serious BBQ pit.

smokin in the park
A BBQ trailer

smokin in the park
BBQ samples were being sold to raise funds for a children’s charity.

10 thoughts on “My first BBQ judging”

  1. I posted the pictures that we took at this event on the azbbqa website:
    http://www.azbbqa.net/index.php?option=com_gallery2&Itemid=50&g2_view=core.ShowItem&g2_itemId=261

    Viejas is a great venue, but I have to say that I was a bit dissapointed with the entries at my judging table (I judged too!). Some were just bad, but also many of the presentations were plain old sloppy!

    Congrats to Arlie & Gene (of course), but a BIG Kudos to Ed (Change Smokers) for his great showing, and Vic (Asleep at the Grill) for his “come from behind” reserve championship!

    Reply
  2. No problem, it was my pleasure. Congratulations on your chicken and rib trophies! I really can’t wait to judge the next competition and get my wife out there too. I will definitely stop by your booth next time.

    Reply
  3. BBQ Junkie..thanks for coming out and judging…as a competitor I am always thankful that people will give up there weekends to hang out with us cooks and eat some “free” bbq. Glad I ran across you blog..stop on by our booth at the next contest and say hey…

    Reply
  4. The BBQ was great. After a round of judging we were allowed to discuss our thoughts. For the most part there was always a consensus on which entrys were the best.
    There are teams that compete, and win, with just the Webber Smokey Mountain smoker which isn’t terribly expensive (less than $200) compared to the other rigs out there which run into the tens of thousands of dollars.

    Reply
  5. How was the BBQ? Are there clear distinctions between the winners and the non winners? The creativity that goes into the equipment is amazing. Does it really make a difference or just contribute to the stories and attention seeking?

    Reply

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