Backyard Cookoff

The Backyard Cook-off 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 competing for the Grand Champion Backyard Cook Title!

The 2021 Backyard Cookoff Information Package includes the invitation letter, registration form and rules.

View the 2019 Backyard Cookoff Street Map


Cooking begins Saturday, May 8th at 7 am

Judging at 2 pm

Winners are announced at 5:30 pm on the Festival Plaza Stage


2nd and Locust Streets


Deadline: May 1, 2021

2021 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 2022 entry fee!

Category winners (beef, chicken, pork)

  • 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

2021 Backyard Cookoff Rules

2019 Winners

2019 Grand Champions
Double J’s BARBECUE Team

Category Awards

First Place:  Pork Swords
Second Place:  Barren River BBQ
Third Place:  All Smoked Up

First Place:  All Sauced Up
Second Place:  Double J’s BARBECUE Team
Third Place:  Barren River BBQ

First Place:  Lifetime Financial Growth
Second Place:  TRU BLU BBQ
Third Place:  Double J’s BARBECUE Team

Best Booth
Rollin’ Smoke

Event Chairpersons

Todd Johnson

Kelly Ward