1. COOKED ON SITE — All meats will be cooked on-site. The preparation and completion of any and all
meats in competition is within the confines of the cook-off site and during the time limits designated by
the promoter. IBCA recommends that competition meat be subject to inspection at cook-offs in which
substantial prize money and/or awards are awarded.
2. SANITATION — Cooks are to prepare and cook in as sanitary manner as possible. Cooking conditions are subject to inspection by judging committee. Infractions identified by the judging committee shall be immediately corrected or the cook will be subject to disqualification.
3. ENTRIES PER PIT — IBCA recognizes only one entry (one chief cook) will cook on a given pit. It will be the responsibility of the promoter to monitor entries. Notwithstanding, multiple entries in the same category by the same cook and multiple entries from the same piece of meat shall not be allowed. Pit shall be of a design that contains individual cooking chambers and heat sources (no sharing of heat sources).
With the exception of Junior or Kid’s Cook-off’s, contestants must be 18 years of age to participate for cash prizes.
4. BBO PITS — the Promoter will be responsible to address the type or types of pits allowed at the cook-off
PIT - Any commercial or homemade, trailered or untrailered, pit or smoker normally used for competitive barbeque. A BBQ Pit may include gas or electricity for starting the combustion of wood or wood products but NOT to complete cooking. Pit shall be of a design that contains individual cooking chambers and heat sources (no sharing of heat sources).
BYC (Backyard Cooker) — any cooking devise by design or nature that is inherently portable and by design is intended for recreational cooking.
5. OPEN FIRES — IBCA further recognizes that open fire, ground pits are used in some areas. It is in the interest of safety, a barrier shall be placed around said open fire pit.
A fire extinguisher shall be readily available.
6. CATEGORIES— Cook-off promoters shall advise contestants in advance of applicable meat categories and/or cuts of meats and/or types of cookers.
The following categories are recognized by the IBCA:
Pork Spare Ribs
Chicken — one half (1/2) fully jointed domestic chicken that includes a breast, wing, thigh, and drumstick. (NO Cornish Game Hens)
Pork — Butt and/or Shoulder
Open — Meats other than those listed above.
Dessert — This should be a separate category and the promoter should specify if it should be
cooked on site, on the pit, or can be cooked at home to be entered.
Beans — Dry Pinto Beans cooked on site * nothing larger than the bean to be put into the turn-in cup.
7. DOUBLE NUMBER SYSTEM - IBCA requires that the secret, double number system be used. This system assures a fair competition and is a fundamental tenet of the IBCA. The system requires that two tickets bearing the same number be utilized, one firmly attached to the top of the judging tray in a manner which hides the number and the other ticket easily removed by the head cook for retention after signing the Head Cook’s name.
Winning numbers will not be revealed until time to announce each place in each category. At that time the secret numbers attached to the tray/cup will be removed and announced.
8. JUDGING TRAYS — IBCA recommends the use of a Styrofoam tray with hinged lid and
without dividers or the best readily available judging container which is approximately 8 inches
square on the bottom half. (i.e. Dart 95HT1 or Genpak 200) A single sheet of aluminum foil should be
supplied in each tray (i.e. Reynolds 710 foil sheets 9” x 10”). All judging containers shall be clean and
free of any markings. Marked containers may be disqualified at the Head Judge’s discretion. Cooks are
responsible for insuring that the containers they receive remain clean and undamaged.
9. JUDGING TRAY CONTENTS - IBCA requires that the promoter and/or Head Judge advise all cooks of
the exact quantities and cuts of meat that will be placed in the judging trays. This will normally be
accomplished at the cook’s meeting. The Head Judge or designated representative will inspect all trays
at the time of turn-in in order to assure compliance with the turn-in criteria. All garnishes and condiments
are prohibited, as they do not reflect the true quality of the cooked meat.
Meats may be cooked with sauces and/or other liquids, but once the cooking is complete, sauces
and/or liquids may not be added once put into tray. NO PUDDLING IN BOTTOM OF TRAY.
Recommended amounts are as follows:
Brisket: seven (7) full slices approximately 1/4” to 3/8” thick
Pork Spare Ribs: seven (7) individual cut ribs (bone-in)
Chicken 1/2 fully jointed chicken (to include a breast, wing, thigh, and
drumstick, with skin on. (NO Cornish Game Hens)
Pork Pulled, sliced, or chopped ( All trays will be turned in the same,
either pulled, sliced, or chopped as directed by Promoter/Head Judge)
If an event has 50+ teams, it is recommended that two (2) 1/2 chickens be submitted for judging and that the brisket and pork spare rib quantities be adjusted according.
10. TURN-IN TIME — Turn-in times for each category shall be pre-set. Once this time is set and/or announced no changes will be made. A turn-in window often (10) minutes before and after the set turn-in time will be recognized. Judging trays received after that time will not be accepted for judging.
11. TERMS FOR DISQUALIFICATION – After the tray has been turned in, any tray found to be in violation of the IBCA rules, will be disqualified at the discretion of the “Head Judge”. Disqualified tray numbers will be called out immediately following the category announcements.
12. JUDGES — IBCA recommends that a minimum of five (5) judges per table be utilized during the initial judging. Subsequent levels of judging should utilize a minimum of seven (7) and a maximum of nine (9) judges per table. Head Cooks are prohibited to participate as judges. (No Smoking in the Judges Area)
13. JUDGING QUANTITY — Judges will assign a score from 1 to 10 for each tray sampled. A maximum of twenty (20) trays or containers should be assigned to each judging table. Judges should not be required to sample and judge in excess of this number during any event. It is recommended that a predetermined number of top results from each preliminary judging table be sent on to the subsequent levels of judging.
14. ANNOUCING WINNERS — IBCA recommends that announcement of winners be based on the
number of competitors in each category. (Example: Cook-off with ten (10) or more entries announce the
top ten (10) plus final table (numbers only). It is recommended that more than one person verify the
If the number of entries is less than ten (10) announce all places. In the interest of recognizing winners announce these places regardless of prizes or trophies being awarded.
15. PRIZES — IBCA states that a Grand Champion and Reserve Grand champion be named at every
cook-off. In the event of a tie for Grand Champion, brisket will be the first tiebreaker, followed by ribs,
then chicken, and then any other category. The promoter must advertise any changes to the tiebreaker
decision in advance.