Backyard Cookoff

The Backyard Cookoff is an opportunity for backyard bar-b-q chefs to fire up their grills and smokers to compete among the best in the region for the coveted grill master title and cash prizes.

Awards are given for the best preparation of  beef, chicken and pork, plus an overall Backyard Cook Grand Champion is selected.

Please view our Galleries tab to view competitors for the Grand Champion Backyard Cook Title!

The Backyard Cookoff Information Package includes the invitation letter, registration form and rules.


Cooking begins Saturday, May 12th at 7 am.

Judging at 2 pm.

Winners are announced at 6 pm at the Festival Plaza Stage.


2nd and Locust Streets


Deadline: May 1, 2018

Backyard-CookOff Registration Form



Payment may be made by cashier’s check, personal check or money order payable to International Bar-B-Q Festival.  No cash please.


Overall Champion: $1500 plus trophy and waiver of 2019 entry fee!

Category winners (pork, chicken, beef)

  • 1st Place: $500
  • 2nd Place: $300
  • 3rd Place: $200
  • Best Booth: $200

Each winner receives a trophy to commemorate their achievement.

Basic Rules

  • All meats must be prepared on site.
  • Meats will be judged on taste, cut, tenderness and appearance
  • Samples to the crowd are encouraged
  • Contestants are responsible for the removal of all ashes and debris
  • Availability of electricity is limited
  • No vehicles, driven, towed and any others are allowed in the cooking area
  • Ice is available for purchase

Official Rules

Backyard Cookoff Rules

2017 Winners

2017 Grand Champions
Pit Brothers

Category Awards

First Place: Pit Brothers
Second Place: White Wolf Smokers
Third Place: Kentucky Smoke Squad

First Place: Uncle Pappy’s
Second Place: Meatheads Barbeque
Third Place: Holy Town Cookers

First Place: Kentucky Smoke Squad
Second Place: Smoke Em If You Got Em
Third Place: Rubbin’ Bellies BBQ

Best Booth
Rolling Smoke

Event Chairpersons

Todd Johnson

Kelly Ward