One of the challenges of being a competitive BBQ’er is trying to figure out what the heck the judges want. I know I have cursed many a judges score, scratched my head in disbelief and generally been frustrated to no end when on the receiving end of comment cards that say ” Chicken was too juicy” ” Looks too perfect”.  ( I won’t tell you what I said after reading those cards- lol it would involve a whole lot of bleeps!) Gut instinct takes and you are offended at first but more sensibly its another opportunity to learn.  I also have thanked the BBQ Judges on occasions where I thought I literally had turned in crap and gotten calls. I don’t think I have ever seen anyone refuse to take an award.

In my never ending quest to improve my BBQ I search out lots of ways to get more information. Whether it be on the net or in person listening to what the judges and other competitors have to say- is important to me. As far as I am concerned I work for them. Everything I do is to get them to give me and my BBQ a better score. A wiser much more experienced BBQ’er once told me never leave any points on the table. I strive for that every time I turn in boxes.

KCBS judging plate and judging slip

Photo Credit  The burger Baroness:

I am a certified BBQ judge with KCBS and PNWBA. I have not however judged many contests. On various forums ( BBQ Brethren one of my favs!) there are always posts that say rate my box. Feedback in appearance can be really helpful. The posts are usually answered by multiples of people and the answers can vary wildly. While it isn’t a slam dunk it can sure help.  Thats probably why I like the site BBQ Critic. Lots of boxes posted with commentary from a wide variety of folks.


Certified BBQ Judge’s Oath

Kansas City BBQ Society



“I do solemnly swear to objectively and subjectively evaluate each Barbeque meat that is presented to my eyes, my nose, my hands and my palate. I accept my duty to be an Official KCBS Certified Judge, so that truth, justice, excellence in Barbeque and the American Way of Life may be strengthened and preserved forever.”

KCBS Judge Program

Photo credit


BBQ Critic invites people to come and judge the boxes presented. The teams are kept anonymous. It is really interesting to see the commentary.  Teams are invited to submit their boxes to be judged.


BBQ Critic is also on Facebook.