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Dan Boles shares about Competition Barbecue

Group O'Dell: Dan Boles shares about Competition Barbecue

Meet our Friend, Dan Boles

Dan, tell us about yourself:
Group O'Dell: Dan Boles - Barbecue Competition Ribbons
My name is Dan Boles, I am a Certified Barbecue Judge, Backyard enthusiast and a Championship BBQ Pit Master, I love almost every style and flavor of BBQ, though there are few that I don’t like, I will state for the record the BEST Barbecue on the planet is always FREE, and the second best is usually the stuff you make for your friends and family. So, cook what you like and enjoy it. However, you think you have what it takes to compete on the competition barbecue circuit go for it, see you out there.

Do you have a good recipe for “pick your meat”?
Yes, you can find some of our shared recipes on our Facebook Page.

What’s the difference between Backyard barbecue and Competition Barbecue?
The primary difference between Backyard barbecue and Competition barbecue is that a competitive Pit Master must by KCBS rules hit a ten-minute window to produce the best possible product. Each competition meat is turned in 30 minutes apart so from 11:30 to about 1:35 a competition team is very busy. Backyard barbecue if it takes 30 minutes longer that’s just more time spent enjoying your company or drinking an ice-cold beverage. Competition BBQ that 30 minutes cost you points or could even get you disqualified for that meat.

Group O'Dell: Dan Boles shares about Barbecue CompetitionsWhat does it take to win a BBQ Competition?
To win a BBQ Contest and earn the title of Grand Champion a pit master must produce outstanding competition barbecue in KCBS using 4 different cuts of meat, Chicken, Pork Ribs, Pork Shoulder and Beef Brisket. Each team will turn in 6 portions of meat in a blind box for 6 judges you never meet and have no clue what drives their barbecue palette. They rate your offerings according to Appearance, Taste and Tenderness scoring 1 – 9, as there is no Perfect 10 in Barbecue. Since its blind the judges can be honest and indicate their score which can be very subjective. Since the judge doesn’t know who’s barbecue they are tasting they can be honest, sometimes brutally honest, when they give you a comment card telling you why they didn’t like your protein.

What scores well one contest may or may not score well the next depending on the table of judges your box lands on, not to mention the 15 other variables that might have changed from last week such as its not the same meat, the weather was 10 degrees hotter, the wood was a little more moist or dry than last contest, etc.

To be successful in competition barbecue a team also needs to be able to reproduce their flavor profile and hit that ideal tenderness every time. It is both frustrating and rewarding. 

Dan, is there anything else you’d like to share?
Follow our team on Facebook and if we are at a competition nearby feel free to stop by on Friday evening to say Hi, we might have a morsel or two to share. If you happen to be a CBJ call if you want to cook with a team for your Master CBJ.


All Forked up for Q is a Championship Competition Barbecue Team as well a limited barbecue catering operation. Like their Facebook Page and follow the team.

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Group O'Dell
Keller Williams Realty Partners, Inc
11005 Metcalf Avenue
Overland Park, KS 66210
Office: 913.599.6363
Broker: 913.906.5400

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