1. Teams will consist of one head cook and a supporting team of no fewer than five members. Each team must have and cook on its own pit. Each team must also plan to provide its own tables and utensils for preparation and serving of food.
2. Fires for sustained cooking can be wood, charcoal, gas or electric. However, each cooking pit must be covered (either with a lid or a small tent) to comply with board of health regulations. No open pits or ground fires allowed. Each team MUST provide its own safety equipment, including a fire extinguisher. No exceptions. Teams will cook and serve in the space provided to them at the Fairgrounds by the Festival board.
3. Each team is responsible for being knowledgeable about their preferred cooking methods and meat. Plan for adequate cooking and preparation time in advance of serving both Cook-Off judges and the general public.
4. The health and well-being of the public is top priority. Care must be taken to adequately cook all food and to avoid any and all food-borne bacteria and illness.
5. Each team should plan to serve approximately 200 guests in addition to what will be prepared for judges.
6. Each team will prepare ONE of the following meats: pulled pork (sandwich), beef brisket (sandwich), chicken quarters, pork ribs. Teams should submit their preferences in order for which meat they’d like to prepare. The Festival board will make the final determination of which team cooks what.
7. Teams will coordinate the ordering of the meats necessary for cooking with the Festival board, to arrange for best pricing possible.
8. Each team will be responsible for developing and making its own special BBQ sauce recipe and, if desired, spices and dry rubs. Care should be taken to make and bring enough sauce, etc. to serve the appropriate number of Festival patrons. If a team prefers to purchase a ready-made sauce for use (e.g. KC Masterpiece, Sweet Baby Ray’s, Cattlemen’s, etc.) arrangements can be made through the Festival board’s food vendor at reasonable prices.
9. If a team wishes to pre-marinate its meat before cooking, special arrangements must be made through the Festival board to procure your food in advance.
10. Cooking and preparation cut-off time will be 11:30 am on the day of the event. At that time, teams will be asked to provide the judges with samples. Serving of the general public will begin at noon.
11. Judges will grade each team and entry on the following criteria: quality and flavor of the meat; consistency and flavor of the sauce; overall presentation/appearance of the food; and overall team showmanship/spirit.
12. Awards will be given for each category, and for the overall champion.
13. To control costs and simplify the event, the Festival will provide side dishes (beans and chips), plates, eating utensils, and napkins for each meal purchased by the public. The side dishes will be the same for each team.
14. It is the responsibility of the teams to see that the contest area is kept clean and that the area is cleaned and policed following the contest. All fires must be safely put out, and all cooking and other equipment must be removed from the site by the end of the Festival.
15. As the Festival is on property owned by Morgan County, and as this is a family event, the possession and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages is strictly prohibited.
16. The Festival board will not be held responsible for any accidents, theft or mishaps.