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.


New Cookbook that is available this month on Amazon.I was asked a while back to submit some recipes for the upcoming KCBS cookbook 25th Anniversary edition. I was surprised and delighted to receive my copy today. They included all of the recipes I submitted. These are truly some of my all time favorites.

About the authors of this latest KCBS Cookbook:

A charter member of KCBS and former three-term member of the Board of Directors, Ardie Davis founded the American Royal International BBQ Sauce, Rub, and Baste Contest and the Great American Barbecue Sauce, Baste, and Rub Contest. He is the author of five barbeque cookbooks.

Paul Kirk, a charter member of the KCBS and member of the Board of Directors, operates the Baron’s School of Pitmasters. The author of six barbeque cookbooks, he has won more than 475 cooking and barbequing awards, among them seven world championships, including the prestigious American Royal Open, the world’s largest barbeque contest.

Carolyn Wells and her late husband, Gary, were two of the original founders of the Kansas City Barbeque Society. Carolyn is the Executive Director and continues to dedicate her time as an ambassador for the KCBS and for barbeque itself.

The book is chock full of recipes (over 200) from lots of terrific teams and backyard cooks. I had to laugh at page 209 title page Cross Dressing at BBQ & Chili Events. So funny. I won’t ruin the surprise by posting it here but don’t miss that page. Also a fav recipe of mine from a friend Paul Seabrook is featured on page 17 . There are so many interesting and varied recipes throughout this book. It will be fun to experiment with some of them.

At the front of the book there is also a section on the KCBS 4 meats for competition making this an ideal book for any starter team as well.

Lots of fun and loaded up with contributions from so many this makes an ideal BBQ book purchase or gift for any on your list.



Hi all just passing this on. I personally have signed it already.

To:  Kansas City BBQ Association

We, the undersigned KCBS members, formally petition the KCBS to allow members to have access to all non-executive session meetings via electronic media, including, but not limited to, pod-casts, web-casts and streaming audio. This is not to disparage the KCBS or any member of the Board of Directors, but to provide us, as members the fullest information on rules, standards and the agenda of the Board to make us more active participants and have a stronger and more informed participation in all KCBS related business and the promotion of BBQ throughout the world.