The great thing about BBQ is that everyone can enjoy it – no matter the skill level. But while the majority of grillers and BBQers only grill occasionally, there is also a whole world of competitive BBQ. If you’re looking to cross over into the world of competitive grilling, smoking, and marinating, read through our tips for putting your best meat forward.

When you think of competitive BBQ, you might think of charred ribs and brisket. This may have been true of past events, but modern barbecue requires much more finesse. Judges are looking for quality of meat, consistency, flavor, and more. Consistency especially requires a high level of cooking skill – and ensures judges have the same eating experience. Think of consistency as your signature. It’ll become what you’re known for after all.

The temperature of the meat is paramount. Just-off-the-grill meat is ideal, but temperature can be regulated with heat pads, insulated food storage, small burners, and more. Some of which, you can find in our store. To keep garnish fresh, wrap it in a damp paper towel until just before presentation.

Preparedness isn’t just for boy scouts; prep duplicates of all of your dishes. Accidents happen more often than not under high-pressure situations. It’s best to have a backup and not need it than leave a judge or two without a plate to assess. Overpacking in the event of barbecue competitions is highly encouraged. No one ever complained about having an extra pair of tongs laying around.

One of the barbecue tools we often see overlooked is tweezers. Tweezers are incredible tools for detailing plates and getting that presentation just right.

Let’s talk sauce. It’s what we’re all here for. We obviously recommend making your own sauce if your meat is going to compete. While taste is an obvious factor, texture, color, and amount of sauce need to be considered as well. A flavorful sauce might be fantastic in moderate amounts, but could also easily overwhelm the palate.

Bringing your barbecue to competition can be daunting, but American Outdoor USA is always here to help. Check out our online store for all things BBQ, or stay up to date on events by liking us on Facebook.