(revised Feb 1, 2016) -- [Download Official Packet]
1. COOKED ON SITE
All meats that are entered into judging will be cooked from scratch within the constraints of the event. Pre-cooking, pre-marinating, etc. will not be allowed either on or off the cook site prior to start of the cook-off as defined by the cook-off promoter. Meat may not be seasoned or marinated prior to 6:00 p.m. on the day before a cook-off.
All cooks are to prepare and cook in a sanitary manner as possible. Cooking conditions are subject to inspection by the judging committee at any given time.
3. SECTION REMOVED
4. COOK’S MEETING
After the welcome by the PROMOTER, the HEAD JUDGE will be responsible to address the cooks on rules and judging procedures.
Pit – Any commercial or homemade trailered or un-trailered pit or smoker. May include gas or electricity to start natural fiber substance but under no condition can gas or electricity be used for cooking; however, electric rotisseries will be allowed.
5. OPEN FIRES
CTBA further recognizes that no ground pits will be used and that all burn down barrels will have some sort of safety barrier placed across the top or around the barrel. Promoter to include this information in the invitation and non-compliance could be grounds for disqualification.
Recognized categories for CTBA are as follows:
(NOTE: Brisket, Pork Ribs and Chicken ARE THE ONLY CATEGORIES used for determining the Grand Champion or Overall Winner.)
Slab Only (spare or baby back or St. Louis style)
Any type - no Cornish Game Hen
Any type of pork meat as specified by promoter, other than slab ribs, if slab ribs is a category.
Garnished w/green leaf lettuce and parsley only
Any meat other than the above categories
Cooked on site
7. CRITERIA FOR TURN IN SAMPLES
One showpiece for each category plus a number of samples that will be determined by number of teams competing. For a cook off with less than 50 teams there shall be 12 bite size pieces. For a cook off over 50 teams there shall be 15 bite size pieces. Rib samples must have bone in it and can be any length as long as the lid will close. Brisket slice shall be cut twice for bite size piece. There shall be no more than the allotted numbers of bite size pieces in your turn in box. Example: If your head judge sets the limit for 12 bite sized pieces then there shall not be any more than 12 bite sized pieces in your turn in box.
8. JUDGING TRAYS
CTBA recommends the use of a Styrofoam tray with a hinged lid and without dividers or the best readily available judging container that is approximately 9 inches square on the bottom half.
CTBA also states that silver foil must be used in the judging trays supplied by cookers.
All judging containers shall be clean and free of obvious marks. Marked containers may be disqualified at the Head Judges’ discretion. Cooks are responsible for insuring the containers they receive are clean and undamaged. Cooks are also required to sign the duplicate ticket on your turn in box. No prize will be awarded if the matching duplicate ticket is not signed.
9. JUDGING TRAY CONTENTS
CTBA requires that the promoter and/or Head Judge advise all cooks entered into competition at any given event of the exact quantities and cuts of meats that will be placed into the judging tray. No exceptions permitted once decided.
Unless specified by the cook-off promoter, any and all garnishes and condiments are prohibited. Meats may be cooked with sauces, but once cooking is completed, sauces or seasonings of any kind cannot be used. No sauce may be visible in the judging containers; this will be grounds for disqualification.
11. TURN-IN TIMES
CTBA requires promoter and/or head judge to pre-set firm turn-in times for each category to be judged. Once this time is set and announced to the contestants, no change or variation will be made. CTBA does allow for a turn-in time window that will be 5 minutes before and 5 minutes after turn-in time. Judging trays received after this window time will be accepted but not judged.
CTBA strongly recommends the following turn-in times:
3 Categories - 1:00 PM, 2:00 PM, 3:00 PM
4 Categories - 12:00 PM, 1:00 PM, 2:00 PM, 3:00 PM
5 Categories - 11:00 AM, 12:00 PM, 1:00 PM, 2:00 PM, 3:00 PM
CTBA prohibits the use of participating cooks and/or assistants as tasting judges in all phases. They may however, be used as table monitors
Judging will be done by preliminary. Amount of judges for tasting will be decided according to the number of entries. Fifteen pieces should be the maximum per judge per category.
CTBA recommends all top ten entries be called out in each category and if possible all trays that make the finals table, but in no particular order.
15. OUTLAW CHILI
Anything goes, but cooks must take a bite at turn-in of their chili before being accepted.
16. BEAN CATEGORY
Unless promoter gives prior notice, only dry pinto beans will be used for cooking. Nothing larger than a bean and no meat product will be allowed in cup.
CTBA recommends that the times for judging showmanship will be clearly stated by the promoter and further recommends that the time does not interfere with entry turn-in times. We suggest either before or after entry turn-ins.
18. BEST PIT/PIT AREA
No time limit. These two categories will be judged at any time during the day. Judges are to remember that while judging these pits and areas, if done during turn-in times, that they take this into consideration.
19. ALL DECISIONS BY CTBA JUDGES ARE FINAL.
20. RULE VIOLATIONS AND PENALTIES
Any cooking team found to be in violation of the above stated rules is subject to being disqualified from the current cooking event and/or season. Any infractions will be brought to the attention of the current CTBA Officers who, along with the Board of Directors, will review the allegations and determine the consequence of the alleged action. Teams and/or individual team members may be prohibited from competing in CTBA sanctioned cook-offs for a period of time not to exceed 5 years.
CTBA JUDGING PROCEDURES (RECOMMENDED)
1. TRAYS AND CUPS
CTBA furnishes all cups and trays.
2. SELECTION OF JUDGES
Judging will be accomplished using separate phases, Preliminary and Finals, and when required there will be a Semi-Finals table. It is highly recommended that ample numbers of judges be pre-invited and familiarized with the judging system. There shall be NO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES within the confines of the judging area while judging is taking place. At no time will any judge be allowed to consume any alcoholic beverages while actively judging the event.
- Preliminary Judges: Head Cooks may never be used as a judge for tasting. Spectators are the most logical choice for this phase of judging. With a proper briefing, anyone should be able to judge satisfactorily.
- Finals' Judges: It is recommended that judges in this phase refrain from sampling any competitor's barbeque prior to judging. Finals' judges must not be associated with any team entered into the competition at the cook-off.
3. JUDGING CRITERIA FOR MEATS
- Aroma: in your opinion, does it smell like barbeque
- Appearance/Color: does each meat look like barbeque and does it have eye appeal. A good example of this is the smoke ring in brisket, the pinkish tone of chicken and the redness of pork.
- Texture: is the eat moist and is it cooked just right.
- Taste: this is a personal preference but should consider 1) how the smoke tastes; 2) how the spice tastes; 3) and the overall palate appeal of the meat and spice combination.
- Overall: the final criteria, what is the overall effect of the barbeque, your total impression.
4. JUDGING CRITERIA FOR BEANS/OR CHILI
Same type criteria as in barbeque: Aroma, Color, Texture, Taste, Overall. This is really a personal preference for the individual judges.
Each tray of barbeque or cup of either chili or beans will be scored on its own merit. One must not be compared to another. Scoring shall be in whole numbers. The scale that will be used will be 1 to 15, with 1 being the lowest and 15 being the highest score given to each individual tray or cup.
6. JUDGING SHEETS
CTBA forms must be used for judging meats and/or beans and chili.
- Turn-In Time: Contestants must be notified by promoter/Head Judge of category turn in times both at registration and at the cooks’ meeting. Once these times are announced, they shall not be changed.
- Turn-in/Check-in: CTBA recommends that each competitor judging tray or cup be brought to the designated turn in area by the head cook or his or her representative at the appointed time. It is the cook’s responsibility to insure compliance of contents.
- Table Monitors: Each phase of judging table should have a knowledgeable monitor for each table. Table monitor is to check each tray, prior to judging, for sauce or markings. Responsibilities will include insuring a smooth flow of containers onto and off of the judging table and also controlling table talk. Any questions regarding disqualification of a tray or judge’s sheet should be referred to the Head Judge. Discretion shall be used when a disqualification is being considered. The Head Judge’s decision shall be final. Monitors shall insure that each judge has judged and scored each tray/cup before releasing judges.
- Numbering Containers: Once a number of trays have been turned in, the Head Judge or their designated representative can then assigning them judging numbers. The same quantity of trays or cups, or as close to equal as possible, shall be assigned to each judging table. The Head Judge or designated representative will randomly select tray/cups and mark each for the judging table with a judging designation on the lid of each tray and side of each cup. This process will continue until all containers have been properly marked and then taken to the appropriate tables.
- Tasting: Judges will normally be provided with beverages along with crackers, grapes and bite size pieces of celery. CTBA recommends dairy products not be used. This will allow judges to cleanse their palate between each tasting. Ample toothpicks will be supplied to the tasting judges so that none will be reused. Once sample meat has been tasted and passed to the next judge, it cannot be re-tested. Each entry shall be judged on its own merit. Do not compare one against another. Total points received from the judges will determine the winner. No alcoholic beverages are allowed to be consumed while judging.
8. TABLE MONITOR DUTIES
- PRIOR TO JUDGING
- Ensure all judges are seated as they arrive. Judging will not begin until all tables have the appropriate number of judges seated.
- Ensure that there is a judging sheet and pencil for each judge.
- Ensure that sufficient toothpicks, napkins, palate cleansers and beverages are available for each judge, and that a disposal box is available.
- STARTING THE JUDGING
- As each tray/cup is removed from the holding box, the Table Monitor will inspect the outside and inside of the tray/cup for marks, unauthorized marks, garnishes, sauces on the meat, etc. not authorized by CTBA. Tray/cups that are found to be in question will be referred to the Head Judge for final decision.
- COMPLETING THE JUDGING
- Once all trays/cups are judged, the Table Monitor shall ensure that a judging sheet is turned in from each judge before releasing any judges.
- The Table Monitor shall bring the judging sheets to the tally area for tabulating.
- Once the sheets are tallied and the predetermined numbers of trays/cups are determined, the Table Monitor shall pull the non-advancing trays/cups from the holding box at the direction of the Head Judge. The holding box with the advancing trays/cups will be taken to the next judging area for advancement.
9. TIE BREAKERS
Category tie breakers used shall be the first and last judge at each table. When a tie occurs for Overall winner the tie breaker will be the Brisket points. If a tie still exist you go to the Rib points and if needed the chicken points. If no tie can be broken the last resort is to flip a coin with both winners present.
CTBA requires returning the meat trays, in each category, to the winner during the awards program.