St. Louis' Premier Amateur BBQ Competition

Rules for the 6th Annual Backyard BBQ Bash

Rules for the 6th Annual Grillin Fools Backyard BBQ Bash Presented by First National Bank

Benefiting the Troy, Illinois Fire Protection District


All cooking must be done on mass market grills

– No custom rigs

– We will allow UDS’s or Ugly Drum Smokers despite them being custom

– Gas grills are allowed

– Rigs that run more than a good Kamado at about $1500 will not be allowed (send a link to the rig if you are uncertain before showing up at the day of the event)

– If the rig cost $10,000 new but you only paid $900 used, you will not be allowed to compete with it

– The main thing here is no gigantic, over the top rigs

The pros can compete but they have to use what us Joes use


Categories – All Meat Provided by Competitors

– Chicken

– You can do legs, thighs or wings.  If you’re bold you could go with the unforgiving breast.  Choose which is best for you.

– Ribs

– We are referring to pork ribs here but not limiting it to spares or baby backs.  You can use either.

– Beef – Mystery Ingredient Provided by Event Coordinators.

Best combined score of all three categories will be named Best in Smoke which is Grillin’ Fools for Grand Champion

Check in

– Check in starts at 6:00 a.m.

– Teams may check in later than 6:00 a.m. if they don’t fell they need the full time to prepare their products

– Proper refrigeration is very important.

– All meat/ingredients must be inspected upon check in to ensure freshness for the safety of the judges.

– The meat MAY NOT be marinated, injected, rubbed, or a combination of, prior to check in

– No precooking/parboiling is allowed, and frankly that’s just wrong!

– No food is allowed to go onto a grill until it is first checked by one of the event staff and is approved.

– Upon check in and set up, someone will be around to check to make sure the food is sanitary

– Failure to comply with this rule will result in disqualification

– At check in, each team will be assigned an approximate 10’X 20’ plot (the size of one parking space) where all their cooking will be performed.


Selling Food

– We encourage teams to sell excess food, or anything else you would like to prepare, for food tickets which the public buys at $1/ticket. At the end of the day, turn the tickets into the event organizers and get 50 cents per ticket. Basically, half goes back to you to recoup costs and half goes to the Troy, Illinois Firefighters.



– Each team will turn in at least 6 samples of each category to be judged in the Styrofoam boxes provided by the event organizers

– Judges are not allowed to consume alcohol while judging

– Bottled water and crackers to clear the palette will be provided for the judges

– If we have any husband and wife/boyfriend and girlfriend judges then they are not allowed to be at the same judging table

– All samples to go to the judges have to be submitted in numbered Styrofoam boxes (provided by contest organizers) with 6 samples in each.

– The boxes will be turned in to contest organizers and renumbered for a double blind system to ensure that the scores are based on the food and not the team that prepared it.

– Entries can be disqualified for:

– Entry is submitted after the official turn in time for that category

– The individual servings are not completely separated

– Make sure that each portion is cut cleanly from any other portion.  If 6 ribs are submitted and two are stuck together by some meat then the box will be disqualified.

– Less than 6 servings are turned in per box

– Sauce has “pooled” in the bottom of the turn in box

– Turn in box is marked in some way to identify it and circumvent the double blind system.

– If you get something on your box like a stain or mark with a pen, track down the contest organizers for a replacement.



– We will be using the St. Louis Barbecue Society scoring system

– Entries will be judged on Appearance, Tenderness/Texture and most importantly Taste in a weighted scoring system with Appearance accounting for 0.5880 of the overall score, Tenderness/Texture 1.1765 and Taste 3.2355.

– Once a sample box has been presented, the judges will not be able to talk to each other until all scores are marked down for all the samples in front of them.

– Scoring will be done on a scale of 2-9.

– All scoring starts at 6 which is average and goes up and down from there as the judge sees fit.

– Disqualified entries receive a 1.

– The lowest score of the six scores will be thrown out.

– In case of a tie:

– The scores will be compared (counting all five judges) for the highest cumulative scores in taste, then tenderness, then appearance.

– If still tied, then the low score, which was thrown out, will be compared and the higher of the low scores will break the tie.

– If still tied, then we toss a coin.


Turn in times

– 2:00 for chicken

– 2:45 for beef

– 3:30 for Ribs



– Awards will be presented soon after the final scores are tabulated around 6:00 pm


Other things teams need to bring

– A fire extinguisher

– Charcoal disposal at the end of the event needs to be done carefully

– A metal bucket or can, small metal shovel are good ideas to bring along to dump charcoal after the event ends.

– A sanitation station



– This is a rain or shine event so some sort of awning or canopy is recommended just in case of inclement weather and to shade from the sun.

– Appearance is not just for the food itself, but how it is presented, so think about how each box looks before it is turned in.  Some greenery as a nest for your submissions can go a long way for the appearance score.

– It will probably require multiple grills to compete in all categories, plan accordingly

– If you need electricity, let us know so we can place you near a jack.

– Please bring a roll of duct tape as we will need to tape down the entire length of the extension chord to ensure no one trips over it.


Rule Changes

– These rules are ever evolving.  We will send out amendments as quickly as possible to all entrants as necessary.


The event will be held at Troy Township Park in Troy Illinois