About the Contest

2022 Competition Information

Grab your fellow BBQ lovers and form a team. You’ll be vying for glory and distinction as ultimate pit masters with supreme bragging rights for an entire year!   The Marshfield Community Rib Cook-Off competition is open to all amateur BBQ enthusiasts.

Find everything you we think you need to know about competing in the 2022 competition below (also available by PDF Download). Still have questions? Contact info@mcrco.org.

General Information

  • $50 deposit required to hold your spot.
  • A $300 sponsorship (This is not a requirement, but it is strongly suggested)
  • A passion for BBQ and the ability to cook a minimum of 25+ racks of ribs over the course of the day
  • Supply of St. Louis Style Ribs
  • Chaffing Trays
  • Water for chaffing tray
  • Sterno
  • Serving Tongs (optional)
  • Single serving rib containers (paper product)

Competing teams must register online, at https://mcrco.org/compete. The deadline to register is 11:59pm August 15, 2022.  View our refund policy.

Friday, September 9th

4:00pm – 6:00pm – Pickup your supply of St. Louis Style Ribs. Location to be determined.

Saturday, September 10th

5:00am – Team arrival (Marshfield Fairgrounds, Gate D South River Street) – setup – fire up your cooker!
12:00pm – Gates open to the public (have your first racks ready)
2:15pm – Judging rack turn-in
2:30pm –3:30pm – Judging
4:30pm – 4:45pm – Awards Ceremony
5:30pm – 6:00pm – Cleanup, pack & depart

Food Safety

  • Proper storage of meat is required. It must be maintained below 40°F before cooking or above 145°F after cooking
  • Meat may be rubbed or brined overnight but no cooking shall be done before arrival on the day of the event. Meat will be inspected prior to cooking day of the event to ensure integrity.
  • Prior to cooking, all meat that is resting in preparation for cooking must be covered at all times.
  • All meats must be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 145°F
  • After cooking, all meat must be maintained at a minimum temperature of 145°F until it is turned in for judging or given to public.
  • The use of Latex/Sanitary or “food service” gloves is required at all times while handling food. Failure to do so may result in disqualification
  • Each cooking team is expected to adhere to the highest food-safety procedures, and latex or vinyl gloves are recommended when prepping and handling meats. In addition are required for handling Ready-to-Eat (RTE) foods.
  • It is highly encouraged that at least one member of the team is ServSafe Certified. Click for more information on ServSafe Certification.
  • Chaffing trays should be “up to temp” and covered only when servicing in order to hold ribs for serving
  • Public may not serve themselves – if this happens, please consult a MCRCO official immediately and cease service

Each cooking team must provide a three-stage washing station, consisting of:

  • One tub or pan of soapy water
  • One tub or pan of rinsing water
  • One tub or pan of disinfecting water*

*Disinfecting water consists of 1 Tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water. Use a food-safe sanitizer, which falls in the range of 50-100 parts bleach per million.

Throughout the day, someone from MCRCO will be picking up trash from the pit area.

At the end of the day, each team is responsible for cleaning up their own area:

  • Ash/Grease Receptacles will be available on-site for grease and ash disposal.
  • Please bring separate containers for transporting grease and ashes to the proper receptacles
  • All live coals must be disposed of properly
  • Absolutely NO ash dumped on the ground, and left

Electricity and a water supply will be available at the Marshfield Fairgrounds. However, teams should bring buckets to fill with clean water for cleanup.

Rules & Regulations

  • A Team may consist of up to 5 members (1 Captain and up to 4 Assistants)
  • All members must be at least 16 years old.
  • All teams must have at least one representative of their team present at the Captain’s meeting (time and location to be determined)
  • Teams absent from Captain’s  Meeting accept full responsibility for understanding these rules and all changes to them that may have occurred.
  • Every team, including members and guests, are expected and required to exhibit proper and courteous behavior at all times.
  • Teams will be informed of all local laws and will adhere to same. Failure to abide by these rules of behavior may result in expulsion/disqualification from the contest and will be barred from competing in any future events.
  • All beverages must be purchased via the Marshfield Fairgrounds vendors (Location(s) TBD).
  • No outside alcohol
  • All Federal, State and Local laws applicable
  • All coolers are subject to inspection
  • Each cooking site will be at least [10‘] x [10’]
  • All equipment including cooker, canopy, tents, tables, grills, cookers, smokers, etc. must be contained within this space.
  • No holes or pits may be dug on site for cooking
  • Sites will not accommodate RVs, campers or oversized trailers.
  • Fire extinguishers are to be provided by the teams.
  • Please bring 100′ of extension cord if you desire an electrical hookup.
  • Separate containers for transporting grease and ashes to the proper receptacles
  • Propane of any sort is prohibited
  • Each cooking team must provide their own cookers, grills or smokers, and no team may share their grills, cookers or smokers with any other cooking team.
  • Teams are responsible for cleanup of their site once the competition has ended or before departing.
  • Each cooking team is expected to leave their cooking site in equal or better condition than it was when they arrived, and each team’s cooking site will be inspected when they leave the event.*

*Failure to obey this rule may result in further action against a team, such as, but not limited disqualification and/or banned from future events.

Turn-in Ribs for Judging

  • A turn-in container is provided to each cooking team by MCRCO officials and is the only approved container for turn-in.
  • All competition food must be submitted to the Turn-In Table (Location TBD)
  • Each food entry will be given a random number by the MCRCO Official.
  • The Official will then take the food entries to the judging area
  • A minimum of six (6) separate and identifiable portions of ribs must be presented in the provided container, along with whatever garnish the cooking team chooses to use, in order to enhance the appearance of their entry. Not cutting 6 portions results in a zero score on presentation.
  • Garnish is optional. If used, it is limited to a bed of greens i.e.: flat/curly parsley, kale or lettuce.
  • Ribs may be sauced or dry rubbed.

The Judging Process & Scoring

  • Each entry is judged by a minimum of 3 judges.
  • Judges rate each food entry using a blind tasting
  • The top 2 highest scoring entries from each judging table is put through to a second round. 
  • Entries at EACH table will be put through a second round judged on Taste and Tenderness. The top 2 entries will rotate to a new team of judges. Scores will be cumulative: First round plus second.

Teams are not allowed in the judging area during sampling and scoring.

  • A turn-in container is provided to each cooking team by MCRCO officials and is the only approved container for turn-in.
  • All competition food must be submitted to the Turn-In Table (Location TBD)
  • Each food entry will be given a random number by the MCRCO Official.
  • The Official will then take the food entries to the judging area
  • A minimum of six (6) separate and identifiable portions of ribs must be presented in the provided container, along with whatever garnish the cooking team chooses to use, in order to enhance the appearance of their entry. Not cutting 6 portions results in a zero score on presentation.
  • Garnish is optional. If used, it is limited to a bed of greens i.e.: flat/curly parsley, kale or lettuce.
  • Ribs may be sauced or dry rubbed.

All entries will be judged on the following three criteria:

  1. Taste – Does it taste good?
  2. Tenderness – Judged on bite and chew experience. A clearly defined bite off the rib. No pulling or tugging. Does not fall off the bone. The meat is tender and not overly chewy. Not raw.
  3. Appearance – Does the entry look good? Garnish does factor into this category

An overall score will be used based on a scale of 0 thru 9:
 0 = Inedible/Undercooked…9 = Perfection

In the event of a tie score, tie-breaking will be based on utilizing the Taste score first, then using the Tenderness score second, Appearance score third.

Immediately following the judges deliberation at approximately 4:30pm, final selection of First, Second, and Third Place winners will be announced awarded their trophies.

In addition to the official judging, teams will compete for People’s Choice.  Guests vote for People’s Choice by placing a ticket in the can at their favorite team’s station. Votes will be counted and People’s Choice winner will be announced one week after the event.

In addition to trophies for 1st, 2nd, 3rd Place, and People’s Choice, winners claim bragging rights in proportion with their achievement:

Third Place takes home the smallest of the three trophies and modest bragging rights.

Second Place takes home a bigger trophy and even more bragging rights.

First Place takes home the largest trophy along with supreme bragging rights until the next year’s winner is announced!

People Choice winners receive a trophy and lots of bragging rights except while in the presence of the First Place winners…

An entry can be disqualified by the MCRCO officials for the following reasons:

  1. There is evidence of marking or sculpting on the food. Marking is defined as: any handwritten or mechanically made mark inside or outside the turn-in box that identifies the team to any judge.
    Sculpting is defined as: the carving, decorating, forming or shaping of a meat entry contained in a turn-in container that identifies the team to judges.
  2. There is anything in the box other than the ribs and garnish
  3. There is evidence of blood such that the meat is uncooked / under-cooked or from a competitor.
  4. The entry is turned in after the officially designated time: 2:30pm EST.
  5. Gloves are not used while handling food products.
  6. Anything outlined in the other sections, such as behavior

Miscellaneous

  • Parking is available at the Marshfield Fairgrounds during the event.
  • Teams are limited to 1 vehicle, which can be parked in the competition area but must be moved to the designated team parking area once equipment has been unloaded/setup.
  • Trailer with smoker is fine.
  • Shaw’s/Star Market
  • Roche Brothers
  • Stop and Shop (Pembroke)
  • Lowes (Pembroke)

The Marshfield Community Rib Cook-Off is a registered 501c3 nonprofit organization.  The event raises funds to support critical community organizations and initiatives including Marshfield Food Pantry, Marshfield FACTS, McKinney Vento Youth Program, and North Community Church’s Youth and Adult Missions Learn more about these beneficiaries and spread the word.

Shopping Cart