FPBS Competiton Rules

On this page you will find general cook-off competition rules. For scoring and judges procedures - Click on the Scoring & Judging Procedures Tab to the left.



1. The following are the rules for (FPBS) conducted competitions.

2. Each team must have a Team Captain who will be responsible for their team’s actions and adherence to the event’s rules. The Team Captain may not competitively participate with other teams in the same event. Additionally, the Team Captain may not enter more than one team per event. Shirt, pants, kilts, etc., and shoes are required to be worn by all team members.

 3. Competitive foods must be presented to the Food Inspector at the beginning of the event before food preparation work can commence. No competitive foods may be pre-cooked, marinated, cured, etc., prior to the food inspection, unless the event coordinator has stipulated otherwise. The Head Judge shall make the final decision as to whether any competitive food product shall not be allowed.

 4. The heat source for cooking the competitive foods must be from charcoal, wood, and/or wood pellets. No gas or electric grills are permitted, unless the event coordinator has stipulated otherwise.

5. Each team must maintain a clean cooking area. Your entire assigned area must be cleaned at the end of the event. All materials and garbage must be disposed of by the team. A breach of this rule will mean disqualification. The Head Judge is responsible for deciding disqualifications.



1. All teams must provide their own supply of meats unless otherwise specified.

2. The four usual competitive meat categories are pork ribs, pork butt, beef brisket, and chicken, unless the promoter has determined that other products be used.

3. Pork ribs include spare ribs and loin or baby back ribs, but not country style ribs.

4. Chicken includes Cornish hen and kosher chicken. It is acceptable to have manufacturer enhanced or injected products as shown on the label, excluding teriyaki, lemon pepper and/or butter injected.

5. Pork is defined as Boston butt, picnic or whole shoulder weighting approximately five pounds or more. Pork must be cooked bone in or bone out in its entirety and may not be separated during cooking.

6. Brisket may be whole or flats.

7. For “qualifier events,” only the four basic meat categories – that is, Brisket, Pork Butt, Pork Ribs and Chicken – will be used to determine the Grand Champion.

8. Some events may feature other competitive foods; however, these food categories may or may not count in determining the Grand Champion. Check with Head Judge or event coordinator to determine which food categories will be included in the championship scoring for that event.



1. Each team will provide a pit or pits to be used exclusively by that team within the team's assigned cooking space. No cooking of food entries from two or more teams are allowed in the same pit(s) at the same time.

2. The heat source for cooking the competitive foods must be from charcoal, wood, and/or wood pellets. No gas or electric grills are permitted, unless the event coordinator has stipulatedotherwise. Electric accessories – such as spits, augers, or forced draft – are permitted.

3. Each team must provide a washing station, using one capful (1 tsp.) of bleach to one gallon of water for general cleanup and washing of dishes, cutting boards, etc. The use of disposable gloves and any other similar protective items is strongly recommended to help maintain good hygiene and a germ-free work area.

4. An approved and current certified Fire Extinguisher will be required in each cook area.



1. All seasoning and cooking of products shall be done within the confines of the team's assigned cooking space.

2. All meats must be held at safe temperatures. Meats must be on ice or refrigeration before being cooked at 40°F or less. After cooking, all meats must be maintained at a minimum temperature of 140°F.



1. There will not be a public notification advising you of approaching entry turn-in times. It is the Head Cook’s responsibility to meet all turn-in times correctly. Please coordinate your watches to the official timepiece at the turn-in table.

2. Entries must be at the turn-in table between 5 minutes prior to the official turn-in time, and up to 5 minutes after the official turn-in time. If you are in line at the table prior to 5 minutes after the turn-in time, you are okay. If your turn-in is early or late, your entry will not be accepted. There will be no exceptions to this time rule.

3. Turn-in times, turn-in area and hot coal bin locations will be announced at the cook’s meeting.




1. Your competitive food entries must be submitted in the event-supplied Styrofoam containers.

The event coordinator may alter this requirement for special food categories. You will be handed all your containers with ample time prior to the start of judging. Each container will have a team identifier, a team number.

2. The competitive meats may be presented sliced, diced, pulled, or chopped. A minimum of eight separate, identifiable food portions MUST be submitted. (It is acceptable to include more than the minimum eight portions which allows extra for table captains, volunteers, etc.) The FPBS recognizes pulled and chopped meat in the Pork Butt and Brisket categories only. In the case of pulled or chopped meat, there needs to be enough for each judge to take a sample. Entries will be judged on Appearance, Tenderness/Texture, and Taste.

3. Garnish is not allowed. Any entry not complying with this rule will be given a “0” on appearance.

4. No toothpicks, skewers, foil or foreign materials are allowed in the container.

5. Sculpting of the meat or pooling of sauce is not allowed. Containers of sauce are not allowed. 

There will be no marking of the container.



1. Entries will be judged by a judging team, which is comprised of six judges who are at least 18 years of age.

2. Entries are judged in the areas of APPEARANCE, TENDERNESS/TEXTURE, and TASTE. The judge scoring system ranges from 10 (excellent), to 7.5 (average), to 5 (bad). Whole and Half numbers between 10 and 5 may be used to score an entry. A score of 0 is a disqualification and requires confirmation/approval by the Head Judge.

3. Grand Champion and Reserve Champion will be determined by adding together each team’s judging scores from all qualifying contest categories. The highest accumulated team score will be awarded Grand Champion, and the second highest accumulated team score will be Reserve Champion.



1. Excessive use of alcohol by a team, its members and/or guests. Under no circumstances are alcohol beverages to be distributed to the general public by contestants and/or guests.

2. Use of controlled substances by a team, its members and/or guests.

3. Foul, abusive or unacceptable language by a team, its members and/or guests.

4. Use of an unauthorized fuel or heat source at a fuel restricted contest.

5. Disqualifications will only pertain to the event in which the behavior occurs. The FPBS Board  will review all disqualifications and may impose further penalties as needed.





1. The FPBS uses a double-blind judging system. Your entry will be received and a number marked on the top of the box to be used for judging purposes only. Your team number remains unexposed to the judges.

2. Speak with the head judge if you have any questions about FPBS rules or any other aspects of the contest. Please stay after the cook’s meeting if you are inexperienced with FPBS contests and you would like some help. Teams willing to mentor inexperience teams should stay after the cook’s meeting to offer help.

3. Last but certainly not least, the most important rule at every FPBS event is to HAVE FUN, promote friendly and skillful competition, and help the public learn more about true barbecue.



Join the FPBS Today


Join us in Promoting Grilling and Barbecue in the Florida Panhandle. The Fla Panhandle BBQ Society is all about making new friends, enjoying great events and learning how to cook great barbecue. We strive to keep this going, by inviting you to join our BBQ Family.


The FPBS is now Operating Three BBQ competitions during the year in the Florida Panhandle. We need members to assist with operations and enjoy the events. If you would like to become a FPBS barbecue judge we will train you.

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