Kansas City Barbeque Society

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Kansas City Barbeque Society is a competitive cooking organization founded in 1985 by Carolyn and Gary Wells and Rick Welch. Their desire was to put together a local group for competitive barbecue. It has since grown exponentially and provides oversight to hundreds of competitions. It is the largest competitive barbecue organization in the world, with more than 15,000 members.[1]


The Kansas City Barbeque Society is the official sanctioning body of competitive barbeque. Each year, KCBS sanctions more than 500 competitions across the country.[2]

Competitions are usually coordinated in conjunction with a local festival or event. Teams typically begin to arrive on a Friday morning and set up their equipment. Competitors will begin to cook on Friday evening and then throughout the night with a turn in for the various smoked meats some time in the early afternoon on Saturday.

Events usually have a cash prize of varying amounts. Quite often these events draw crowds of spectators numbering in the thousands, and depending on the prize amount, they will draw competitors from several states.

In 2011, KCBS partnered with Sam's Club to offer the largest and richest competition in barbeque history. The Inaugural Sam's Club National Barbecue Tour consists of 20 local qualifying events, five regional events and one national championship.[3] Teams will be competing to win a piece of the $400,000 prize purse.

Certified Barbeque Judges[edit]

As the sanctioning body of competitive barbeque, the Kansas City Barbeque Society employs a blind judging process at all official contests. In order to become a Certified Barbeque Judge, one must be at least 16 years of age and attend one of the hundreds of Certified Barbeque Judge classes held each year.[4]

A Certified Barbeque Judge attains the status of Master Certified Barbeque Judge after participating in 30 contests, cooking with a competition team, and passing an online exam. [5]

Judges at all sanctioned Kansas City Barbecue Society competitions take a judges' oath authored by renowned judge Ardie Davis.[6]

Judge's Oath:I do solemnly swear to objectively and subjectively evaluate each Barbeque meat that is presented to my eyes, my nose, my hands and my palate. I accept my duty to be an Official KCBS Certified Judge, so that truth, justice, excellence in Barbeque and the American Way of Life may be strengthened and preserved forever.[7]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ M. English (17 May 2012). "Plymouth Township seeks grill masters for first BBQ competition". Journal Register News Service. Retrieved 6 July 2012. 
  2. ^ Zorn, Phyllis. "http://enidnews.com/localnews/x740874479/Judges-in-training-learn-finer-points-of-barbecue-judging" Judges in Training Learn Finer Points of Barbeque. "Enid News."
  3. ^ Charlotte Observer. "http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2011/02/20/2070856/kannapolis-team-seeks-bbq-title.html" Kannapolis Team Seeks BBQ Title.
  4. ^ Barron, Robert. "http://enidnews.com/localnews/x1348438410/Barbecue-society-to-recruit-new-judges" Barbecue Society to Recruit new Judges. "Enid News."
  5. ^ KCBS.us "http://www.kcbs.us/judges-requirements.php" Kansas City Barbeque Society Judging Requirements "kcbs.us"
  6. ^ America's Best BBQ: 100 Recipes from America's Best Smokehouses, Pits, Shacks, Rib Joints, Roadhouses, and Restaurants
  7. ^ KCBS.us "http://www.kcbs.us/oath.php" Kansas City Barbeque Society Judge's Oath "kcbs.us"