1) The decision and interpretations of the Rules and Regulations are at the discretion of the Contest Representatives at the contest. Their decisions and interpretations are final to the extent consistent with the rules.
2) Each team shall consist of a chief cook and no more than three assistants. Chief cooks and/or assistant cooks may only cook for their designated team at the contest they are attending.
3) Each team will be assigned a cooking space. Pits, cookers, props, trailers, motor homes, vehicles, tents or any other equipment (including generators) shall not exceed the boundaries of the team’s assigned cooking space. All seasoning and cooking of product shall be done within the assigned cooking space. Teams shall not share an assigned cooking space or cooking device.
4) Contestants shall provide all needed equipment and supplies, except as arranged for in advance. Contestants must adhere to all electrical, fire and other codes. A fire extinguisher shall be near all cooking devices.
5) It is the responsibility of the contestant to see that the team’s assigned cooking space is clean and orderly following the contest. All fires must be put out, and all equipment removed from site. It is imperative that clean-up be thorough. Any team’s assigned cooking space left in disarray or with loose trash, other than at trash containers, may disqualify the team from future participation.
6) All heat sources shall be permitted. Electrical accessories such as spits, augers, or forced draft are permitted. No open pits or holes are permitted. Fires shall not be built on the ground.
7) All competition meats shall be inspected by the APPROVED Meat Inspector during the times established by the contest organizer but not prior to the day before judging. Once the competition meat has been inspected, it shall not leave the contest site. Cooking shall not begin until the competition meat has been inspected by the Official Meat Inspector. All competition meat shall start out raw. No pre-seasoned meat is allowed. Competition meat not meeting these qualifications shall be disqualified, not allowed to be turned in, and not judged, and receives no score.
8) Barbeque for the purposes of the Rules is cooking the two Meat Categories (10) below on a device defined in (6) above. Parboiling, Sous-vide, and/or deep-frying competition meat is not allowed. If any of the banned processes are discovered before the team turns in, the team will receive zeros. If discovered after turn-in, the team will receive a one (1) in all criteria for that entry.
9) Meat shall not be sculptured, branded or presented in a way to make it identifiable. Rosettes of meat slices are not allowed. Violations of this rule will be scored a one (1) on all criteria by all six judges.
10) The Two Meat Categories:
11) Judging The two (2) categories will be judged in the following order:
An entry will be judged only at the time established by the contest organizer. The allowable turn-in time will be five (5) minutes before to five (5) minutes after the posted time with no tolerance. A late turn-in will not be accepted by a Rep and will receive a 0 (zero) in all criteria.
12) Garnish is optional. If used it is limited to chopped, sliced, shredded or whole leaves of fresh green lettuce, curly parsley, flat leaf parsley, curly green kale and/or cilantro. PROHIBITED GARNISHES ARE lettuce cores and other vegetation, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO endive, red tipped lettuce. "PROHIBITED" garnish shall receive a penalty score of one (1) on Appearance.
13) Sauce is optional. If used, it shall be applied directly to the meat and not be pooled or puddled in the container. No side sauce containers will be permitted in the turn-in container. Chunky sauce will be allowed. Chunks are to be no larger than a fine dice, approximately 1/8 inch cubed. Sauce violations shall receive a penalty score of one (1) on Appearance.
14) Entries will be submitted in an approved numbered container, provided by the contest organizer. The number must be on top of the container at turn-in.
15) The container shall not be marked in any way so as to make the container unique or identifiable. Aluminum foil, toothpicks, skewers, foreign material, and/or stuffing are prohibited in the container. Marked entries or containers with the above listed material will receive a one (1) in all criteria from all Judges and disqualified.
16) Each contestant must submit at least six (6) portions of meat in an approved container. Brisket may be submitted chopped, pulled, sliced, or diced as the cook sees fit, as long as there is enough for six (6) judges. Ribs shall be turned in bone-in. Judges may not cut, slice, or shake apart to separate pieces. If there is not enough meat for each judge to sample, the shorted judge(s) will score a one (1) on all criteria, and the judges having samples will change the Appearance score to one (1) as a penalty.
17) The following cleanliness and safety rules will apply:
18) There will be no refund of entry fees for any reason, except at the election of the contest organizer.
CAUSES FOR DISQUALIFICATION & EVICTION of a team, its members and/or guests: A cook team is responsible jointly and severally for its head cook, its team members and its guests.
Excessive or continued complaints from teams on any of the above rule infractions shall be considered grounds for immediate disqualification from the contest by Representatives, Organizers and/or Security. In addition, any violation of the above rules shall be reported to the Board of Directors who may in addition to the above disqualification impose additional penalties upon the team, the head cook, and its members including but not limited to disqualification from competing in Smokin' on the Prairie events for a period of time not to exceed five years. All complaints of disturbance or violation of quiet time shall be reported to the Board of Directors.
CLARIFICATION: If the team does not turn in a product or is disqualified and not allowed to turn in or is late for turn in, that team’s category is not accepted and not judged and receives no score. If a product is turned in and then penalized or disqualified for any reason, such as no bone in ribs, etc., it will be judged and will receive a one (1) or ones (1s) in all criteria depending on the rule violation.
Entries will be submitted in an approved numbered container provided by the contest organizer. The container may be renumbered by authorized personnel before being presented to the judges.
Judges may not fraternize with teams on turn-in day until conclusion of judging.
Judging will be done by a team of 6 persons at each judging table, who are at least 16 years of age. Only Judges, Contest Reps and necessary support staff are allowed in the judging area during the judging process. No other activities are permitted in the judging area during the judging process.
Each judge will first score all the samples for appearance of the meat. The turn-in containers will then be passed around the table and each judge will place a sample from each of the containers in the appropriate box on the judging plate. Judges shall not lick their fingers while taking these samples; paper towels, non-scented wipes or damp wash cloths are preferred. The judge will then score each entry for taste and tenderness, before moving on to the next entry.
The scoring system is from 9 to 2, all whole numbers between two and nine may be used to score an entry. 9 excellent, 8 very good, 7 above average, 6 average, 5 below average, 4 poor, 3 bad, and 2 inedible.
A score of one (1) is a penalty or disqualification and requires approval by a Contest Rep. Grounds for penalty/disqualification: All judges will give a one (1)in Appearance for prohibited garnish, pooled sauce or less than 6 samples of meat. All judges will give a one (1)in all criteria for sculptured meat, a marked turn-in container, foreign object in the container, incorrect meat. All judges not receiving a sample will give a one (1) in all criteria.
The weighting factors for the point system are: Appearance = 0.5600, Taste = 2.2972, Tenderness = 1.1428.
The low score will be thrown out. Results will be tallied. If there is a tie in one of the categories, it will be broken by the computer, as follows: The scores will be compared (counting all five judges) for the highest cumulative scores in taste, then tenderness, then appearance. If still tied, then the low score, which was thrown out, will be compared and the higher of the low scores will break the tie. If still tied, then a computer generated coin toss will be used.
In the event of lost, destroyed or missing score cards the remaining score cards will be averaged in each category and those averages shall be used as the missing scores on replacement score cards. After there are six total score cards the normal procedure will be followed for dropping the low score. These correct scores will be the official scores for any and all purposes.
Total points per entry will determine the champion within each meat category.