4th Annual Middletown BBQ Cook-off
The event will be held May 17, 18th and 19th at Frightland, 309 Port Penn Road located in Middletown, DE. Proceeds from admissions will benefit local scholarships and the Leukemia Society of Delaware. In addition to the barbecue contest, there will be carnival rides for all ages, live entertainment, craft and food vendors. Some of the BBQ vendors have been very successful over the years and won many trophies on the competition barbecue circuit. We will even hold a backyard chicken and ribs competition for those looking to match their skills with other beginning grill masters.
What follows is a short synopsis of what you can expect when attending our barbecue contest.
The professional barbecue contest is held under the rules and regulations of the Kansas City BBQ Society, (KCBS). You are encouraged to visit the KCBS site at www.kcbs.us. The cook teams will begin to arrive at the contest grounds early Friday morning. Upon arrival at the site, their meats will be inspected by contest reps to make sure they have not done any seasoning or injecting before arriving. Once the meats have been inspected, teams are free to begin any favor building for the contest.
Friday afternoon is a time when teams will be prepping their meats and getting things ready for their contest cook. A stroll around the contest grounds will find cookers and smokers of all shapes, sizes and configurations. If you like, Friday is a good time to visit with some of the cooks and pit masters as they relax and ready their sites for the contest cooking that lies ahead. Just be sure they are not involved in contest prep when you ask a question. You will find that most of these folks are more than willing to talk BBQing and grilling as long as they are not busy with the contest.
Many teams will begin cooking their larger contest meats, (butts & briskets), late on Friday night or early Saturday morning. If you are present at the contest grounds on Saturday morning you will find the smoke really rolling as well as teams getting busy getting things ready for the most important time of the event, contest turn-ins.
Saturday morning, between the hours of 11:00 AM and 1:30 PM the teams will be extremely busy getting their cooked submissions to the judges in what is referred to as “turn-ins”. This is not a good time to approach team members to ask questions. Turn-ins are complete after 1:30 PM and teams once again will have time to discuss things with the public.
During the turn-in period is probably the best time to be spectator at a BBQ contest, teams are working hard to get their succulent selections into their turn in boxes and made to look just right because appearance is almost 1/3 of the overall score. If you take up a position within view of the teams’ main prep area, you will be able to see what the they go through to get their products ready for the judges inspection.
Their completed entries are then delivered to the judges’ tent and must be submitted within a 10 minute window, again, something that is outlined by contest rules. Many folks wonder who gets to judge all of this high quality BBQ goodness, well the answer is very simple, KCBS certified judges. If you’d like to see how you can become a certified KCBS judge just click this link www.kcbs.us/judges.php
As per Health Department regulations, teams are not allowed to pass out samples of their foods. As mentioned above, we will have several top notch barbecue vendors on hand serving up some quality que for your dining pleasure. Several of our vendors are competing in the barbecue contest as well as preparing their wares for sale to the public.
After the last turn-in team will begin cooling their cookers and packing for their journey home. There is typically a short wait before the awards are announced. The awards for this contest will be held on the main stage at 5:00 PM. The awards ceremony is where the winners of each category as well as the overall contest winners are announced. Teams will all attend this gathering in hopes of hearing their names called to the stage. We encourage all spectators to attend this ceremony and cheer on the winning teams.
After awards, many of the teams will depart the contest grounds and head for home. Some teams will remain on site and again this is a nice time to visit with the cooks as they sit around and discuss the recent contest events.
Please remember, teams have made a substantial investment of both time and money to compete in this event. Be respectful when asking questions as well as respecting the space they are occupying. Please treat their cooking areas as you would their campsite or even their home kitchen, do not walk in without permission. Most team members are more than willing to answer any questions you may have, as long as they are not directly involved in a particular contest related task at the time they are asked. Using a bit of common sense and courtesy will go a long way in making your visit to this contest a memorable one, and one that we hope you repeat time and time again.
Thanks for taking time to read this over and we look forward to seeing you at the 4th Annual Middletown Barbecue Cook-off!
Grand Champion: Wilbur's Revenge
Reserve Champion:Chix Swine & Bovine
Our Goals for the Middletown BBQ Cook Off our pretty simple.
This is a family event you will not want to miss. The Cook-Off is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society and will drawin over 50 teams to compete in a four meat contest. There is also an Amateur event. We have a variety of food & craft vendors,a stage with live entertainment all day, Many regional artists and craftsman will also take part in the festivities offering there jewelry, pottery and artwork, Children will enjoy the wide selection of amusement rides, slides and games.
BBQ Weekend Facts