Many people who have never been to a BBQ competition wonder what it is all about. Jaestar BBQ competes in BBQ competitions sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS). Contests sanctioned by KCBS have four main categories that are judged: chicken, pork ribs, pork (pulled pork), and beef brisket.
Teams typically set-up on Friday, have their meat inspected to make sure it has not been seasoned and is kept at food safe temperatures and cook all through the night preparing for turn-ins beginning at noon on Saturday. Most competitions have chicken turned in at noon, ribs at 12:30, pork at 1:00, and brisket at 1:30. Each entry is included in a 9x9 Styrofoam take-out box.
All KCBS contests are judged double-blind. The judges have no idea what teams they are sampling, and the teams have no idea what judge is sampling their entry. Judges provide numerical scores from 1 to 9 (9 being the best) on three categories: Appearance, Taste, and Tenderness. The scores are weighted with taste having the highest value, followed by tenderness and appearance.
Teams are ranked based on their scores in each category and also based on their overall score for the four categories. The Grand Champion of a contest is team with the highest overall score. Teams are generally given awards for placing in the top 10 for each category, as well as overall. Awards consist of trophies, cash, and sometimes prizes.