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2011 Official Rules, Regulations and Judging Procedures

The following rules, regulations and judging procedures will be used at all KCBS Sanctioned Contests effective January 1, 2012

The Kansas City Barbeque Society
11514 Hickman Mills Drive
Kansas City, MO 64134
Phone: 816-765-5891 or 1-800-963-KCBS
Fax: 816-765-5860

CREED Rules are designed to be fair and equal to all cookers. Integrity of the Contestants, Judges, KCBS Contest Representatives, and Organizers is essential.

KCBS 2012 Rules and Regulations

1) The decision and interpretations of the KCBS Rules and Regulations are at the discretion of the KCBS Contest Representatives at the contest. Their decisions and interpretations are final to the extent consistent with the rules.

2) Each team shall consist of a chief cook and as many assistants as the chief cook deems necessary. A team shall not compete in more than one contest under the same team name, on the same date. Chief cooks and/or assistant cooks may only cook for their designated team at the contest they are attending.

3) Each team will be assigned a cooking space. Pits, cookers, props, trailers, motor homes, vehicles, tents or any other equipment (including generators) shall not exceed the boundaries of the team’s assigned cooking space. All seasoning and cooking of product shall be done within the assigned cooking space. Teams shall not share an assigned cooking space or cooking device.

4) Contestants shall provide all needed equipment, supplies and electricity, except as arranged for in advance. Contestants must adhere to all electrical, fire and other codes. A fire extinguisher shall be near all cooking devices.

5) It is the responsibility of the contestant to see that the team’s assigned cooking space is clean and orderly following the contest. All fires must be put out, pits filled (if allowed by contest organizer), and all equipment removed from site. It is imperative that clean‐up be thorough. Any team’s assigned cooking space left in disarray or with loose trash, other than at trash containers, may disqualify the team from future participation at KCBS sanctioned events.

6) Fires shall be of wood, wood pellets or charcoal. Gas and electric heat sources shall not be permitted for cooking or holding. Propane or electric is permitted as fire starters, provided that the competition meat is not in/on the cooking device. Electrical accessories such as spits, augers, or forced draft are permitted. No open pits or holes are permitted, except at the election of the contest organizer. Fires shall not be built on the ground.

7) All competition meats shall be inspected by the Official Meat Inspector during the times established by the contest organizer but not prior to the day before judging. Once the competition meat has been inspected, it shall not leave the contest site. Cooking shall not begin until the competition meat has been inspected by the Official Meat Inspector. All competition meat shall start out raw. No pre‐seasoned meat is allowed other than manufacturer enhanced or injected products, as shown on label EXCLUDING but not limited to: teriyaki, lemon pepper or butter injected. When the contest organizer supplies the meat, the contestant is not required to enter only that meat. Competition meat not meeting these qualifications shall be disqualified; given a one (1) in all criteria by all six judges.

8) Parboiling and/or deep‐frying competition meat is not allowed.

9) Meat shall not be sculptured, branded or presented in a way to make it identifiable. Rosettes of meat slices are not allowed. Violations of this rule will be scored a one (1) on all criteria by all six judges.

10) The Four KCBS Meat Categories:
CHICKEN: Chicken includes Cornish Game Hen and Kosher Chicken.
PORK RIBS: Ribs shall include the bone
. Country style ribs are prohibited.
PORK: Pork is defined as Boston Butt, Picnic and/or Whole Shoulder, weighing a minimum of five (5) pounds. Pork shall be cooked whole (bone in or bone out) and shall not be separated during the cooking process. At no time shall the meat once separated be returned to a cooker.
BEEF BRISKET: May be whole brisket, flat, or point. Corned beef is not allowed.

11) Judging typically starts at Noon on Saturday. The four (4) KCBS categories will be judged in the following order:

  • PORK RIBS 12:30 pm
  • PORK 1:00 pm
  • BEEF BRISKET 1:30 pm

Times may vary at any contest. Turn‐in times will be confirmed at the Cooks Meeting. An entry will be judged only at the time established by the contest organizer. The allowable turn-in time will be five (5) minutes before to five minutes after the posted time with no tolerance. A late turn-in will receive a 1 (one) in all criteria.

12) Garnish is optional. If used, it is limited to chopped, sliced, shredded or whole leaves of fresh green lettuce, curly parsley, flat leaf parsley and/or cilantro. Kale, endive, red tipped lettuce, lettuce cores and other vegetation are prohibited. Improper garnish shall receive a score of one (1) on Appearance.

13) Sauce is optional. If used, it shall be applied directly to the meat and not be pooled or puddled in the container. No side sauce containers will be permitted in the turn‐in container. Chunky sauce will be allowed. Chunks are to be no larger than a fine dice, approximately 1/8 inch cubed. Sauce violations shall receive a score of one (1) on Appearance.

14) Entries will be submitted in an approved KCBS numbered container, provided by the contest organizer. The number must be on top of the container at turn‐in.

15) The container shall not be marked in any way so as to make the container unique or identifiable. Aluminum foil, toothpicks, skewers, foreign material, and/or stuffing are prohibited in the container. Marked entries or containers with the above listed material will receive a one (1) in all criteria from all Judges.

16) Each contestant must submit at least six (6) portions of meat in an approved container. Chicken, pork and brisket may be submitted chopped, pulled, sliced, or diced as the cook sees fit, as long as there is enough for six (6) judges. Ribs shall be turned in bone‐in. Judges may not cut, slice, or shake apart to separate pieces. If there is not enough meat for each judge to sample, the shorted judge(s) will score a one (1) on all criteria, and the judges having samples will change the Appearance score to one(1).

17) The following cleanliness and safety rules will apply:

a. No use of any tobacco products while handling meat.

 b. Cleanliness of the cook, assistant cooks, cooking device(s) and the team’s assigned cooking space is required.

 c. Shirt and shoes are required to be worn.

 d. Sanitizing of work area should be implemented with the use of a bleach/water rinse (one cap/gallon of water). Each contestant will provide a separate container for washing, rinsing and sanitizing of utensils.

 e. First aid is not required to be provided by the contest, except at the election of the contest organizer.

 f. Prior to cooking, meat must be maintained at 40° F or less.

 g. After cooking, all meat:

 Must be held at 140° F or above OR Cooked meat shall be cooled as follows: Within 2 hours from 140° F to 70° F and Within 4 hours from 70° F to 41° F or less

 h. Meat that is cooked, properly cooled, and later reheated for hot holding and serving shall be reheated so that all parts  of the food reach a temperature of at least 165° F for a minimum of 15 seconds.

18) There will be no refund of entry fees for any reason, except at the election of the contest organizer.

19) Showmanship and cooking are separate entities and will be judged as such. Specific information will be provided a contest organizer if there is to be a showmanship award.


CAUSES FOR DISQUALIFICATION & EVICTION of a team, its members and/or guests:

 A cook team is responsible jointly and severally for its head cook, its team members and its guests.

 a. Excessive use of alcoholic beverages or public intoxication with a disturbance.

 b. Serving alcoholic beverages to the general public.

 c. Use of illegal controlled substances.

 d. Foul, abusive, or unacceptable language or any language causing a disturbance.

 e. Excessive noise, including but not limited to that generated from speakers, such as radios, CD players,

 TVs, public address systems or amplifying equipment, will not be allowed during quiet time, designated to start at 11:00 p.m.  on contest nights and will last until 7:00 a.m. unless otherwise determined by the event.

 f. Fighting and/or disorderly conduct.

 g. Theft, dishonesty, cheating, use of prohibited meats, or any act involving moral turpitude.

 h. Use of gas or other auxiliary heat sources inside the cooking device.

 i. Violation of any of the KCBS Cook’s Rules above, save and except #9 – 13.

Excessive or continued complaints from teams on any of the above rule infractions shall be considered grounds for immediate disqualification from the contest by KCBS Representatives, Organizers and/or Security. In addition, any violation of the above rules shall be reported to the KCBS Board of Directors who may in addition to the above disqualification impose additional penalties upon the team, the head cook, and its members including but not limited to disqualification from competing in KCBS events for a period of time not to exceed five years. All complaints of disturbance or violation of quiet time shall be reported to the Board of Directors.


CLARIFICATION: If product is turned in and is disqualified, it receives a one (1) in all criteria. If the team does not turn in a product or is disqualified and not allowed to turn in, that team’s category is not judged and receives no score. If a product is turned in and then disqualified for late turn in, no bone in ribs, etc., it is not judged and will receive a one (1) in all criteria.



KCBS sanctioning allows for blind judging only. Entries will be submitted in an approved KCBS numbered container provided by the contest organizer. The container may be re-numbered by the KCBS Contest Rep or authorized personnel before being presented to the judges.

1) Judges may not fraternize with teams on turn‐in day until conclusion of judging.

2) Judging will be done by a team of 6 persons, who are at least 16 years of age. Only Judges, Contest Reps and necessary support staff are allowed in judging area during the judging process. No other activities are permitted in the judging area, during judging process.

3) Each judge will first score all the samples for appearance of the meat. The turn‐in containers will then be passed around the table and each judge will place a sample from each of the containers in the appropriate box on the judging mat. The judge will then score each entry for taste and tenderness, before moving on to the next entry.

 4) The scoring system is from 9 to 2, all whole numbers between two and nine may be used to score an entry. 9 excellent, 8 very good, 7 above average, 6 average, 5 below average, 4 poor, 3 bad, and 2 inedible.

5) A score of one (1) is a disqualification and requires approval by a Contest Rep. Grounds for disqualification: All judges will give a one (1) in Appearance for unapproved garnish, pooled sauce or less than 6 samples of meat. All judges will give a one (1) in all criteria for sculptured meat, a marked turn‐in container, foreign object in the container, incorrect meat. All judges not receiving a sample will give a one (1) in all criteria.

6) The weighting factors for the point system are as follows: Appearance - 0.5714, Taste - 2.2858, Tenderness - 1.1428.

7) The low score will be thrown out. Results will be tallied. If there is a tie in one of the categories, it will be broken by the computer, as follows: The scores will be compared (counting all five judges) for the highest cumulative scores in taste, then tenderness, then appearance. If still tied, then the low score, which was thrown out, will be compared and the higher of the low scores will break the tie. If still tied, then a computer generated coin toss will be used.

8) Total points per entry will determine the champion within each meat category.

9) Cumulative points for only the four (4) KCBS categories will determine the Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion except the Dodge City, KS contest, or at the election of this organizer.

Note: No rules have changed from the 2010 to the 2011 Rules and Regulations/Judging Procedures.


Competition Meat Guidelines per KCBS

Here are the most important points for you to know before you begin:

All meats must be stored at a temperature of 40 degrees or less. Use common sense. If the meat is packed in ice, or in a refrigerator and is cold, then it is presumed the meat has met the requirement. Please do not use a temperature probe to measure internal temps. We do not want to cross contaminate any meats. You may check the temperature of the ice chest or the refrigerator. Meats which are warm must be removed from the contest area and may not be used in competition. Do not open meat packages which you can see through unless from the looks of the meat you suspect some type of improper marinade.

  • No pre­seasoned meat is allowed other than manufacturer-enhanced or injected products as stated on the label excluding but not limited to: teriyaki, lemon pepper or butter injected. All meats must be raw when inspected .
  • The meats do not have to be in the original packaging and may be trimmed prior to meat inspection, but no meat may be seasoned, injected or cooked prior to the inspection.

According to KCBS rules, these are the only acceptable meats for a KCBS Sanctioned contest:

  • Chicken: Chicken includes wild or farm-raised chicken, Cornish game hen or kosher chicken. The chicken may be whole or in parts.
  • Pork RibsRibs may be spare ribs, Saint Louis cut pork ribs, or baby back ribs. The ribs must include the bone. Country style ribs are prohibited.
  • Pork: Pork shall be Boston butt, picnic and/or whole shoulder weighing a minimum of five (5) pounds. It can have the bone in or bone out. No pork loin, pork tenderloin, pork chop or other type of pork roast is permitted.
  • Brisket: Brisket may only be beef brisket. It may be whole (packer trimmed), flat or point. No other beef product may be substituted for the brisket. Corned beef is not allowed.

Thank you again for providing this valuable service of ensuring the safety and fairness of this contest!

The Kansas City Barbeque Society


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