BBQ Masters Throwdown Official Rules & Regulations

Each category will be judged on appearance, aroma, taste, tenderness and overall impression.

Cooked On-Site:

All meat must be brought to the cooking site raw. No pre-marinating, pre-soaking or pre-slicing prior to event, and all meat will be prepared from scratch within the time constraints of the cook-off. No meat will be allowed to leave the site after the team has been checked in.

Turn-In Times: 

Friday May 13th 

  • Seafood - 7pm

Saturday May 14th 

  • Chicken - 11am
  • Ribs - 1pm
  • Brisket - 3pm

Official time is kept by the Head Judge.

Turn-In Quantities:

  • Cooks will turn in seven (7) Full slices of Brisket
  • Cooks will turn in seven (7) full Pork Spare Ribs
  • Chicken will be two (2) fully jointed chicken halves containing a breast portion, leg, thigh, wing and skin.

Markers & Garnish:

Cooks may cook with sauce. However, when preparing meat product for turn-in, nothing may be added to the meat in the tray. No garnishes or foreign objects on meat turn-ins.

Sanitary Conditions:

The promoter may disqualify a contestant for unsanitary conditions or entries. Work stations and food handlers must maintain sanitary conditions to ensure all entries are acceptable for entry. All meat must be stored according to proper health and safety regulations, and prepared to appropriate internal temperatures. 

Wood Fire:

All fires for cooking meat must be wood or wood products (charcoal) or wood pellets. Gas Burners rotisseries or electric cookers are not permitted.

Judging Format:  Local Rules will be used.

Double Blind Judging:

All entries will be submitted in identical containers which have been assembled and brought to the site by the head judge.

The container is a 9"x9" hinged foam tray with a matched pair of identically numbered theater tickets affixed to the tray. One ticket is to be signed in ink by head cook when trays are picked up. The signed ticket will be used to match the ticket number when, or if, called out. Head cook will be provided with a piece of foil for each turn-in, which will be placed in the bottom of each tray. The meat is placed on the foil.  

Seafood Competition:

The Seafood competition will commence on Friday after team check-in, beginning at 12pm.

The dish submitted for judging must contain Seafood and must be cooked on-site.

FAQ's and info about Seafood:

  • Yes, you can make gumbo. 
  • If you're presenting boudin, yes you can bring your own homemade to the site and cook on-site. 
  • May isn't oyster season, do not present accordingly.
  • If you're wrapping something from the saltwater in something from the land, cook the meat to the appropriate temperature for consumption (no under-cooked bacon).
  • The Seafood category is a chance to showcase your team's creativity. Sauces, vegetables, seasonings of your choice and your flair for coastal cuisine are all encouraged!

All Seafood must be stored and handled prudently, observing health and sanitation codes. All Seafood entries must be prepared to appropriate internal temperature. The promoter may disqualify a contestant for unsanitary conditions or entries.

All Cook Teams will be Required to have a Grease Bucket and a Fire Extinguisher. No vehicle or golf cart driving through BBQ area after check-in Friday at noon.
Food, beverage and merchandise is NOT permitted to be sold on the event grounds by cook teams.
By registering for the event, you are agreeing to the rules, regulations and terms for the Southern Coast Open Texas BBQ Masters Throwdown.

Listen, we're here to have a really great time, so let's show out accordingly! Teams displaying the most spirited showmanship wins. Festival attendees will vote on Best in the Showmanship category.

How do you put your best foot forward in Showmanship? Your team's pizazz can be displayed in any way you find representative of your spirit - costume, decoration of cook area, theme, enthusiasm, team presentation in dress, whatever works for y'all. It's the Port Aransas, it's PalmFest, let's GOOOO!

The People's Choice Category will be judged by festival attendees who register to judge and the merit of entries will be based on the same guidelines as the BBQ competition: Appearance, aroma, taste, tenderness and overall impression.

How many servings, details for presentation, etc. etc.? Great questions! But that's up to your team! Make the people happy the best way y'all know how, and you've got the idea.  

I've read enough, sign me up already.