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.

An updated 2017 Cookoff map will be available after May 1st.


Cooking begins Saturday, May 13th at 7am.

Judging at 2pm.

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


2nd and Locust Streets


Deadline: May 1, 2017

Backyard Cookoff Registration



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: $750

Category winners (pork, chicken, beef)

  • 1st Place: $300
  • 2nd Place: $200
  • 3rd Place: $100
  • Best Booth: $100

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

2016 Winners

2016 Grand Champions
Crooked Creek

Category Awards

First Place: Crooked Creek
Second Place: Big Daddy’s BBQ
Third Place: Holy Town Cookers

First Place: Kentucky Smoke Squad
Second Place: Pork N’ Pigs
Third Place: Crooked Creek

First Place: TRU BLU BBQ
Second Place: Meat Heads
Third Place: Kentucky Smoke Squad

Best Booth
Getting’ Sauced

Event Chairpersons

Todd Johnson

Kelly Ward