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Here Comes The Judge

Updated on September 28, 2009

Certified Barbeque Judges

My husband and two daughters spent a day to become national certified barbecue judges. It started out as a father and daughters bonding time and grew to a committed family time of service to the community. For the past five years, they have been judging a local barbecue contest. When they started, there were only 15 judges and the contest has become so successful and grew to over 175 judges and over 110 barbecue contestants.

The barbecue contest has been incorporated in a city yearly festival. This year was the largest ever. Families came from neighboring cities to participate in the planned activities for adults and children, and purchased food and drinks at merchants and contestants booths. Most of the booths have a theme: Porky's Pig, Rib Crib, Smoke N' Grill, etc. It was a big day of community fun.

The judges are kept in a special location and are not allowed to mingle with the contestants. When they arrive or take a break, they stroll incognito. In their chambers, contestants approach the bench with their final and best cooked samples. The judges raise their gavels (forks) and based on how tender and tasty the pork, beef, chicken, and even shrimp and lobster are, determines how often the fork (gavel) is raised to their mouths. Once the gavel hits the plate a score from 1 to 9 is sentenced.

My family sat with judges of all backgrounds including the city mayor and his wife. Judging is taken very seriously at these events. Over time it became prestigious to qualify as a judge by becoming certified. My family took on the challenge and are very proud of becoming national certified barbecue judges.

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