Event Rules

The Kansas City Kosher BBQ Festival is the only Kosher BBQ competition in the US to be sanctioned by the Kansas City BBQ Society.  This following rules have been outlined to ensure compliance with official KCBS terms and procedures.

General Overview

The decision and interpretations of the KCBS Rules and Regulations are at the discretion of the KCBS Contest Representatives at the contest. Their decisions and interpretations are final to the extent consistent with the rules.

Each team shall consist of a chief cook and as many assistants as the chief cook deems necessary. A team shall not compete in more than one KCBS sanctioned contest under the same team name, on the same date. Chief cooks and/or assistant cooks may only cook for their designated team at the contest they are attending.

Each team will be assigned a cooking space. Pits, cookers, props, trailers, motor homes, vehicles, tents or any other equipment (including generators) shall not exceed the boundaries of the team’s assigned cooking space. All seasoning and cooking of product shall be done within the assigned cooking space. Teams shall not share an assigned cooking space or cooking device.

Contestants must adhere to all electrical, fire and other codes. A fire extinguisher shall be near all cooking devices.

It is the responsibility of the contestant to see that the team’s assigned cooking space is clean and orderly following the contest. It is imperative that clean-up be thorough. Any team’s assigned cooking space left in disarray or with loose trash, other than at trash containers, may disqualify the team from future participation at KCBS sanctioned events.

Fires shall be of wood, wood pellets or charcoal. Gas and electric heat sources shall not be permitted for cooking or holding. Propane or electric is permitted as fire starters, provided that the competition meat is not in/on the cooking device. Electrical accessories such as spits, augers, or forced draft are permitted. No open pits or holes are permitted, except at the election of the contest organizer. Fires shall not be built on the ground.

Parboiling, Sous-vide, and/or deep-frying competition meat is not allowed. If any of the banned processes are discovered before the team turns in, the team will receive zeros. If discovered after turn-in, the team will receive (1) ones in all criteria for that entry.

Meat shall not be sculptured, branded or presented in a way to make it identifiable. Rosettes of meat slices are not allowed. Violations of this rule will be scored a one (1) on all criteria by all six judges.

Each team will be provided with the following meats:

  • 1 whole packer brisket 12-14 pounds
  • 3 racks of 5 bone beef back ribs
  • 18 chicken thighs
  • 1 Whole 10 Pound Turkey provided by Grow & Behold Kosher Meats

Competition Categories

  • CHICKEN: Chicken Thighs
  • RIBS: Beef Ribs shall include the bone. Country style ribs are prohibited.
  • TURKEY: Whole 10 Pound Turkey provided by Grow & Behold Kosher Meats
  • BEEF BRISKET: May be whole brisket, flat, or point. Corned beef is not allowed.


Times are subject to change and will be confirmed at the Cooks Meeting. An entry will be judged only at the time established by the contest organizer. The allowable turn-in time will be five (5) minutes before to five (5) minutes after the posted time with no tolerance. A late turn-in will receive a 1 (one) in all criteria.

Approximate judging schedule (subject to change)

  • CHICKEN Noon
  • RIBS 12:30 pm
  • TURKEY 1:00 pm
  • BEEF BRISKET 1:30 pm

This is a no-garnish competition.

Sauce is optional. If used, it shall be applied directly to the meat and not be pooled or puddled in the container. No side sauce containers will be permitted in the turn-in container. Chunky sauce will be allowed. Chunks are to be no larger than a fine dice, approximately 1/8 inch cubed. Sauce violations shall receive a score of one (1) on Appearance.

Entries will be submitted in an approved KCBS numbered container, provided by the contest organizer. The number must be on top of the container at turn-in.

The container shall not be marked in any way so as to make the container unique or identifiable. Aluminum foil, toothpicks, skewers, foreign material, and/or stuffing are prohibited in the container. Marked entries or containers with the above listed material will receive a one (1) in all criteria from all Judges.

Each contestant must submit at least six (6) portions of meat in an approved container. Chicken and Turkey can be bone in or out, and Brisket may be submitted chopped, pulled, sliced, or diced as the cook sees fit, as long as there is enough for six (6) judges. Ribs shall be turned in bone-in. Judges may not cut, slice, or shake apart to separate pieces. If there is not enough meat for each judge to sample, the shorted judge(s) will score a one (1) on all criteria, and the judges having samples will change the Appearance score to one (1).

If product is turned in and is disqualified, it receives a one (1) in all criteria. If the team does not turn in a product or is disqualified and not allowed to turn in, that team’s category is not judged and receives no score. If a product is turned in and then disqualified for late turn in, no bone in ribs, etc., it is not judged and will receive a one (1) in all criteria.

Judging Procedures

Entries will be submitted in an approved KCBS numbered container provided by the contest organizer. The container will be renumbered by the KCBS Contest Rep or authorized personnel before being presented to the judges.

  • Judges may not fraternize with teams on turn-in day until conclusion of judging.
  • Judging will be done by a team of 6 persons, who are at least 16 years of age. Only Judges, Contest Reps and necessary support staff are allowed in judging area during the judging process. No other activities are permitted in the judging area, during judging process.
  • Each judge will first score all the samples for appearance of the meat. The turn-in containers will then be passed around the table and each judge will place a sample from each of the containers in the appropriate box on the judging plate. Judges shall not lick their fingers while taking these samples; paper towels, non-scented wipes or damp wash cloths are preferred .The judge will then score each entry for taste and tenderness, before moving on to the next entry.


  • The scoring system is from 9 to 2, all whole numbers between two and nine may be used to score an entry. 9 excellent, 8 very good, 7 above average, 6 average, 5 below average, 4 poor, 3 bad, and 2 inedible.
  • A score of one (1) is a disqualification and requires approval by a Contest Rep. Grounds for disqualification:
  • All judges will give a one (1) in Appearance for unapproved garnish, pooled sauce or less than 6 samples of meat. All judges will give a one (1) in all criteria for sculptured meat, a marked turn-in container, foreign object in the container, incorrect meat. All judges not receiving a sample will give a one (1) in all criteria.
  • The weighting factors for the point system upon deployment of KCBS Score will be
    • Appearance – .5600
    • Taste – 2.2972
    • Tenderness – 1.1428
  • The low score will be thrown out. Results will be tallied.

If there is a tie in one of the categories, it will be broken by the computer, as follows: 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 a computer generated coin toss will be used.

In the event of lost, destroyed or missing score cards the remaining score cards will be averaged in each category and those averages shall be used as the missing scores on replacement score cards. After there are six total score cards the normal procedure will be followed for dropping the low score. These correct scores will be the official scores for any and all KCBS purposes.

Total points per entry will determine the champion within each meat category.

Cumulative points for only the four (4) categories will determine the Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion.

Trophies will be awarded to the first, second, and third place winners and medals will be awarded to the 4th 5th and 6th place winners in the following categories:

  • Best Brisket
  • Best Ribs
  • Best Turkey
  • Best Chicken

A trophy will also be awarded to the overall Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion

Cleanliness and safety

  • No use of any tobacco products while handling meat.
  • Cleanliness of the cook, assistant cooks, cooking device(s) and the team’s assigned cooking space is required.
  • Shirt and shoes are required to be worn.
  • After cooking, all meat:
    • Must be held at 140° F or above OR
    • Cooked meat shall be cooled as follows: Within 2 hours from 140° F to 70° F and within 4 hours from 70° F to 41° F or less.

Miscellaneous Rules

Booth sites will measure approximately 11 feet x 15 feet on asphalt and will be numbered. Your booth must fit within these parameters. Additional space may be available upon request in advance. Please be considerate to your neighbors in adjoining booths.

Drilling into the asphalt is not permitted. Standard tents measuring approximately 10′ x 10′ will be provided.

Vehicles will not be allowed on the contest grounds from 8:00 am until after the awards ceremony at approximately 4:00 p.m.

Each team is responsible jointly for its cooks, team members and guests.

Show up on time for all required events (see Event Schedule).

Be respectful of all other competitors and their booth, equipment, etc.

The Mashgiach has the final word on what is considered kosher.

The KCBS Judging Supervisors have the final word on all judging matters.

Do not fraternize with the judges until after all judging has taken place.

Pets are not allowed on the premises. Service animals are permitted.

Water will be available in one central, outside location. Please bring sufficient water containers to transport water to your site. Hoses will not be allowed.

Each team is responsible for removing their trash. Trash receptacles will be available for each team. Dumpsters will also be available on the grounds. Teams will not leave behind litter, ashes, or grease.

Bathroom facilities are available inside the synagogue and port a potties.

Electricity will not be provided, except by prior arrangement with the contest organizers. The synagogue has very limited electrical capability on the parking lot.

Teams may not sell any food, drink, or other items during the event.

The Kansas City BBQ Competition reserves the right to make additional rules and regulations as the situation warrants.


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