6
Mar

NBBQA Award of Excellence Judging

AwardOfExcellence_BoxesOfSauceEach January we oversee and administer the National Barbecue Association Awards of Excellence judging. Hundreds of boxes of products arrive at the 17th Street Warehouse and Samantha Graff, an integral member of our pit crew, unpacks and organizes each entry. As you can see by the photo above, many people take advantage of that “if it fits, it ships” option with the USPS. Sadly many neglected to use packaging material, as well, resulting in an unprecedented number of broken bottles. Interestingly, almost every broken bottle was plastic, not glass.

Here are a few tips for success in this contest:

1. Kindly do NOT use a box that is too small. Please wrap each bottle separately with bubble wrap and then add more packing material or bubble wrap around the empty spaces in the box.

2. Read the instructions carefully. Send the proper number of items requested for judging. So many people did not send the required number.

3. Don’t make up your own category; it will not be judged. For example, there is no “garlic barbecue sauce” category. If you’d like to suggest a new category, write the National Barbecue Association a note and we’ll consider that for the following year.

4. Get your entry in on time. We have a flurry of last-minute entries each year and that creates extra work and chaos for us as we try to unpack, re-label, and take care of paperwork the day of the judging.
AwardOfExcellence_BottlesHere are hundreds of sauce bottles re-labeled and coded for judging. We do the same with the rubs. 

AwardOfExcellence_SettingTablesMike, Sammi, Tyler, and Cassidy are setting up the room and preparing to welcome the Rend Lake Culinary program students who will be the judges. We provide unseasoned pork and chicken with which to taste the sauces and the students diligently and thoughtfully judge all entries.

AwardOfExcellence_EmployeesSammi and Tyler are all smiles as the set-up is almost complete. We use the same placemats and table system as we use for our barbecue contest.

AwardOfExcellence_MikeAndPhilMike and Phillip are preparing to greet the students. Mike starts off the event by telling them about NBBQA and stressing the importance of the task at hand.

AwardOfExcellence_Judging1The judges take their job very seriously.

AwardOfExcellence_Judging2Sauce categories are Tomato Mild, Tomato Spicy, Fruit Mild, Fruit Spicy, Vinegar Mild, Vinegar Spicy, Hot Sauce, Marinade Asian, and Marinade Mustard.

AwardOfExcellence_MikeInDiningRoomThe students and their instructors love being part of this process and it allows us to have a big field of culinary-minded and impartial judges.

AwardOfExcellence_SauceSheetThere are also several dry rub categories, condiments, best book, label, menu, t-shirt, and more. We judged almost 700 entries.

AwardOfExcellence_FilmingLocal television station WSIL joined us to report on the process.

AwardOfExcellence_InterviewAwards were announced today at the National Barbecue Association convention in San Marcos, Texas.

Barbecue Sauce – Tomato Mild
• First Place: Steve’s Oink-N-Squeel – Steve’s Oink-N-Squeel Barbecue Sauce
• Second Place: Big B Barbecue – Sweet Barbecue Bones
• Third Place: Bayou Born BBQ Sauce – The Meat Pleaser
• Fourth Place: Yah Butz – Big Butz B-B-Q Sauce Cranberry
• Fifth Place: Southern Belles Gourmet BBQ – Original Belle

Barbecue Sauce – Tomato Spicy
• First place: Porky’s Place BBQ – Smoke, Spice and Everything Nice
• Second Place: Victory Lane BBQ – Mild BBQ Sauce
• Third Place: Famous Dave’s of America – Pineapple Rage
• Fourth Place: Steve’s Oink-N-Squeel – Steve’s Oink-N-Squeel Barbecue Sauce
• Fifth Place: Cattle Boyz Foods – Chipotle Maple Bacon

Barbecue Sauce – Mustard Mild
• First place:  Central Oregon Sauce – Carolina Mustard
• Second Place: Cookies Food Products – Cookies Country Blend
• Third Place: Williamson Bros. Bar-B-Q – Honey B-B-Q Sauce
• Fourth Place: Wilcox’s – Harold’s Hog Wash
• Fifth Place:  Ole Ray’s Sauces – Classic Gold Barbeque & Cookies Sauce

Barbecue Sauce – Mustard Spicy
• First place: SuckleBusters – Mustard BBQ Sauce
• Second Place: Famous Dave’s of America – Georgia Mustard
• Third Place: MonkeySpit – Monkey Mop BBQ Sauce
• Fourth Place: Smoky JOn’s #1 BBQ – Spicy Mustard Sauce
• Fifth Place: Pratt’s BBQ – Pratt’s Signature Sauce

Barbecue Sauce – Fruit Mild
• First place: Ole Ray’s Sauces – Blackberry Wine Barbeque & Cooking Sauce
• Second Place: Sweet Swine O’ Mine – Sweet Sauce O’ Mine Original
• Third Place: Ole Ray’s Sauces – Peach-a-licious Barbeque Sauce
• Fourth Place: J. Lee’s – Gourmet BBQ Sauce
• Fifth Place:  Hoosier Daddy – Sweet and Sassy BBQ Sauce

Barbecue Sauce – Fruit Spicy
• First place:  The Rib Doctor – Honey Classic Barbeque Sauce
• Second Place: Sweet Swine O’ Mine – Sweet Sauce O’ Mine Sweet & Spicy Vinegar
• Third Place: JoeSauce – Mango Habeñero BBQ Sauce
• Fourth Place: Kaban Brand Sauces – Raspberry Chipotle
• Fifth Place: Porky’s Place BBQ – Cherry “La Bomba” Habañero

Barbecue Sauce – Vinegar Mild
• First place:  SuckleBusters – Honey BBQ Sauce
• Second Place: Williamson Bros. Bar-B-Q – Roasted Garlic B-B_Q Sauce
• Third Place: Saucy Wench Barbecue Sauce – Mild BBQ Sauce
• Fourth Place: Hoosier Daddy – Smokehouse Hickory with Lime
• Fifth Place: Sucklebusters – Original Sauce

Barbecue Sauce – Vinegar Spicy
• First place:  SuckleBusters – Chipotle BBQ Sauce
• Second Place: Elmer’s Original Barbecue Sauce – Original Hot
• Third Place: TWG BBQ Company – High Heat Spicy Sauce
• Fourth Place: Sweet Swine O’ Mine – Sweet Sauce O’ Mine Sweet & Spicy Vinegar Sauce
• Fifth Place: The Shed BBQ & Blues Joint – Spicy Vinegar

Barbecue Sauce – White Sauce
• First place:  Hickory Prime – White Lightning
• Second Place: Firebud Brands – Alabama Salvation Sauce
• Third Place: Smokey C’s BBQ & Wings – Spicy White Sauce
• Fourth Place: Jack’s Bar-B-Que – Jack’s Music City White Sauce
• Fifth Place: Torchbearer Sauces – Oh My Garlic Sauce

Barbecue Dry Rub & Seasoning – All Purpose
• First place:  Sweet Swine O’ Mine – Sweet Rub O’ Mine
• Second Place: Famous Dave’s of America – Rib Rub
• Third Place: Pratt’s BBQ – Brisket & Butt Rub
• Fourth Place: Gary’s Seasoning – The Original
• Fifth Place: Eroc’s U-Betcha – Smokey Maple

Barbecue Dry Rub & Seasoning – Southwest
• First place:  Central Oregon Sauce Company – Southwest Rub
• Second Place: Victory Lane BBQ – Sweet BBQ Rub
• Third Place: Smoky Jon’s #1 BBQ – Southwest Seasoning
• Fourth Place: LA SPice House – Texas 1 Spice Chipotle
• Fifth Place: Smackers BBQ – Smackers BBQ Seasoning

Barbecue Dry Rub & Seasoning – Cajun
• First place:  LA Spice House – Texas 1 Spice
• Second Place: Smoky JOn’s #1 BBQ – Cajun Seasoning
• Third Place: Top Secret Gourmets – Cajun Gator Bite Spice
• Fourth Place: Victory Lane BBQ – All-Purpose BBQ Rub
• Fifth Place: LA Spice House – Texas 1 Spice

Barbecue Dry Rub & Seasoning – Caribbean/Jerk
• First place:  Smoky Jon’s #1 BBQ – Meriterranean Seasoning
• Second Place: LA Spice House – Texas 1 Spice
• Third Place: Gary’s Seasoning – Sweet for Mama
• Fourth Place: Top Secret Gourmets – Pirate’s Gold Spice Rub
• Fifth Place: Top Secret Gourmets – X Hot Jamaican Habeñero & Lime Jerk Rub

Hot Sauce 
• First place:  Yah Butz – Big Butz B-B-Q Sauce Hot
• Second Place: Black’s Barbecue – Habañero Pepper Sauce
• Third Place: Smackers BBQ
• Fourth Place: 3 Taxi Guys – Budda Bing Wing Sauce
• Fifth Place:  Famous Dave’s of America – Pineapple Rage

Barbecue Marinade – Citrus/Fruit
• First place:  The Rib Doctor – Honey Classic Barbeque Sauce
• Second Place: Smoky Jon’s #1 BBQ – Smoky JOn’s Fruit Marinade
• Third Place: Famous Dave’s of America – Beef Marinade
• Fourth Place:Mr. G’s Teriyaki – Hawaii-Style Plum and Pineapple Teriyaki Sauce
• Fifth Place: Famous Dave’s of America – Pork Marinade

Barbecue Marinade – Oil & Vinegar
• First place:  The Shed BBQ & Blues Joint – Hoggin’ It All
• Second Place: Smoky Jon’s #1 BBQ – Smoky Jon’s Oil & Vinegar Sauce
• Third Place: The Shed BBQ & Blues Joint – Beef Blaster
• Fourth Place: Fireman John’s BBQ – Fireman John’s Marinade
• Fifth Place: Famous Dave’s of America – Chicken Marinade

Barbecue Marinade – Caribbean
• First place:  Smoky Jon’s #1 BBQ – Smoky Jon’s Caribbean Marinade
• Second Place: Louisville Sauce Company – Original Jerk Sauce
• Third Place: Soggy Sandals – Guava-Jalapeño-Pineapple Rum Island Marinade
• Fourth Place: Soggy Sandals – Mango-Adobo Chipotle-Lime Rub Island Marinade
• Fifth Place: Victory Lane Baste & Marinade

Barbecue Marinade – Asian
• First place:  JoeSauce – Original BBQ Sauce
• Second Place: Mr. G’s Teriyaki – Hawaii-Style Spicy Apple Ginger Teriyaki Sauce
• Third Place: Famous Dave’s of America – Teriyaki Marinade
• Fourth Place: Mr. G’s Teriyaki – Hawaii-Style Spicy Garlic Teriyahi Sauce
• Fifth Place: Smoky Jon’s #1 BBQ – Smoky Jon’s Asian Marinade

Barbecue Marinade – Mustard
• First place: Smoky Jon’s #1 BBQ – Smoky Jon’s Mustard Marinade
• Second Place: Squealers Award-Winning BBQ – Mustard Madness Sauce

Barbecue Condiment or Accompaniment 
• First place:  Famous Dave’s of America – Signature Spicy Pickle Spears
• Second Place: Smoky Jon’s #1 BBQ – Sweet Fire Table Sauce
• Third Place:  Famous Dave’s of America – Georgia Mustard Kettle Chips
• Fourth Place: Bayou Born BBQ Sauce – Bayou Born Jam Fiesta Pepper Sauce
• Fifth Place: The Shed BBQ & Blues Joint – Mississippi Kumbac Sauce

Barbecue Gift Pack  
• First place:  Big B Barbecue – Gift Pack
• Second Place: Famous Dave’s of America – BBQ Variety Pack
• Third Place: Torchbearer Sauces – Best Seller Sample Pack
• Fourth Place: Cookies Food Products – Wings-N-Things BBQ Kit
• Fifth Place: Jack’s Bar-B-Que – Jack’s Four Pack

Barbecue Label 
• First place:  Cattle Boyz Foods – Chipotle Maple Bacon
• Second Place: The Shed Saucery – The Shed BBQ & Blues Joint
• Third Place: Backwoods Premium Sauces – Sweet Whiskey Habañero Sauce
• Fourth Place: Soggy Sandals – Guava-Jalapeño-Pineapple Rum Marinade
• Fifth Place: Sweet Swine O’ Mine – Sweet Sauce O’Mine Original

Barbecue Tool or Accessory   
• First place: Cenzeo – The Ribalizer
• Second Place: GrillGrate – The Grate Tong
• Third Place: Mack Daddy’s – Mack Daddy’s Blackener
• Fourth Place: GrillGrate – The Grate Griddle
• Fifth Place: BBQ Kansas City – Injector

Barbecue Apparel 
• First place:  Smoky Jon’s #1 BBQ – Camp Shirt
• Second Place: Sweet Swine O’ Mine – “Real Lives of BBQ Wives” T-shirt
• Third Place: Wilcox’s BBQ – Harold’s Hog Wash T-Shirt
• Fourth Place: Twyford BBQ & Catering – Twyford BBQ T-shirt
• Fifth Place: Boar’s Night Out – Boar’s Night Out T-shirt

Barbecue Book or Publication 
• First place:  Chef Events/Ted Reader, Inc. – Gastro Grilling
• Second Place: Chef Events/Ted Reader, Inc. – The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Smoking Foods
• Third Place: Chef Events/Ted Reader, Inc. – Beerlicious
• Fourth Place: Famous Dave Anderson – Famous Dave’s Barbecue Party Cookbook
• Fifth Place: Cookies Food Products – Cookies Favorite Recipes 

If you’ve won this contest in the past, did the award help you market your products more successfully? 

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