A Sanctioned Barbecue Contest is a gathering of cook teams that are preparing specific categories of meat, to be submitted for judging at an assigned time, and to be judged by persons certified by the sanctioning body to use a predetermined set of criteria to rank the product presented to them.
Or in plain English, a bunch of folks who get together, pay some money, cook some food, and hope the judges like it so they can win back the money they’ve spent to do this in the first place.
Sounds a little weird? Well, it is; but it’s weird in a really fun way. A sanctioned barbecue contest has its moments of absolute panic, intensive concentration, and calculated deliberations, but it also has a party atmosphere that will take you back to frat house keggers and weekend family barbecues. Despite the seriousness of the hours between ten in the morning and two o’clock in the afternoon, when the cooks are loading their turn-in boxes and praying to the gods of smoke, rub, and sauce, most sanctioned barbecue contests are more fun than a family reunion.
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