How do barbecue comps work?

We still don’t know actually, Barry from the pub does though.

Barbecue comps are an amazing experience, sleep deprivation, high beer intake, practical jokes and best of all great food.

But how do they work?

Each team has to submit a number of boxes we call turn ins these must contain at minimum 6 pieces for the judges to taste and score. The turn ins are usually handed in 45-60mins apart which means while your handing in your last box, your prepping your next one.

The usual turn ins are:

  • Chicken
  • Pork
  • Pork ribs
  • Brisket or beef
  • Lamb

Turn in boxes can only be filled with parsley or kale, no sauce can touch the lid and you cannot mark the box in anyway. These rules are set so judges have no idea who did what on the day. Sneaking a cheeky pineapple under the meat is ok as well.

When a box arrives at the judging tent the it is marked off with a random number and taken into the tent to a random table. The head judge presents the box to the table and scoring begins.

Judges score on appearance, texture and taste from 1-10 (10 highest) and the scores are then multiplied across the line and summed per judge. Totally available points available is 360.

  • Appearance no multiplier
  • Texture x 2
  • Taste x 3

As you can see texture and taste are the real kickers, your flavours need to be as inoffensive as possible. To much chilli and you split the table, to fruity and same thing can happen.

We have 10s and then the last judge gives you 5s and ruins your score card, nothing is more painful to see after cooking for 24 hrs.

After all the boxes have been counted, the top 10 is announced for each category and a reserve grand champion and grand champion is announced. The massive trophies are awarded and the bragging rights are handed over to the next comp.