The Adventures of BJ and Tony Morris

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BBQ Judges
Certified MIM & KCBS

Judging BBQ is a great hobby!   Especially if you are on one of those low-carbohydrate diets!  You get to eat LOTS of meat!  The most frequent question we hear is, "How do you become a BBQ Judge?"  BBQ Judging requires rigorous training!  Each sanctioning body has their own methods for training and certification.  We are certified in the Memphis in May Society (MIM) and the Kansas City BBQ Society (KCBS).  For Memphis in May certification, we were required to attend a one day class and then judge two sanctioned contests.  For KCBS, we were certified as soon as we had completed the class. 

MIM contests involve both onsite and blind judging.  There are three categories (all pork):  Shoulder, Ribs and Whole Hog.   After their meat is inspected, the cook teams prepare their meat for the grill by injecting, marinating, rubbing, etc. and stay up all night cooking.  Each category is judged separately.  The judges are all called together for the judges meeting and assignments are made.  BJ's favorite category to judge is onsite ribs.  Tony's favorite is blind ribs.  An onsite judge has 15 minutes in each of three cook team areas to judge entries.  Attention must be paid to the cleanliness of the cooking area and the presentation of the entry as well as appearance, taste and tenderness.   Blind judging takes place in a tent where the entries are presented in unmarked containers.  The scores from the onsite and blind judging are tabulated to determine the winners in each category.  Blind scores are more heavily weighted than onsite scores.  The winners of each category then compete for Grand Champion.  Grand Champion judging is done onsite by a team of very experienced judges.  We have not been selected to judge Grand Champion yet!  Here is a good website that tells about MIM sanctioned contests:

KCBS contests involve only blind judging.   The categories in KCBS contests are Beef Brisket, Pork Shoulder, Chicken and Ribs.   Each judge will judge all categories so it is A LOT of food (nearly 2 pounds if you eat 1 ounce of each sample you are served)!  Here is a link to the instructions for judging a KCBS contest:

There are also ancillary contests the night before the official contest.  Rules for these contests vary greatly.   There are Margarita Contests, Stew Contests, Sauce Contests, Dessert Contests and something they call "Anything But", which means it is anything cooked on a grill but barbeque.  Following the ancillary events, the cook teams entertain the judges in their cooking area, with snacks and beverages

Below are some photos of contests that we have judged:

The Ham Slam 8/26/2000 Culloden, GA

Pig Pounda Kappa Pig Pounda Kappa Pig Pounda Kappa

The Big Pig Jig 10/21/2000 Vienna, GA

BJ Tony The Telephone Company

The Ham Slam 11/4/2000 Middleburg, FL with Loretta Lynn and Tanya Tucker

Tony - blind judging Shoulder category BJ - blind judging Rib category BJ - blind judging Rib category She rode a red Indian!

Memphis in May 05/19/2001 Memphis, TN

Elvis is alive and well in Memphis! Squealer Dealers took 3rd place Shoulder! Cindy and Alvin with their ambassador