An Introduction to Competition BBQ
Fueled by television programs like Destination America’s BBQ Pitmasters, Pit Wars, Smoked and the Food Network’s Challenge, BBQ Rig Race, BBQ Brawl and Chopped, BBQ is in the spotlight more than ever. Some call it a hobby, others a sport, but when you go head-to-head with the champs, toss in thousands of dollars in prize money and the opportunity to be named the best, you unquestionably have a serious competition on your hands. Teams compete for big checks and even bigger trophies, but most of all they covet the bragging rights that come with the title, Grand Champion.
With over 20,000 members in over 15 countries, The Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) is the largest, and most recognized, sanctioning body of competitive BBQ in the world. Each weekend teams load their trailers, RV’s, smokers and an arsenal of equipment, in a chase to be named KCBS Team of the Year. Teams compete in four categories: Chicken, Pork Ribs, Pork and the most coveted of all, Beef Brisket. Each category is scored on appearance, taste and texture. While they all have secret recipes, when it comes to brisket, a common denominator among World Champions is Snake River Farms.
Brisket has a reputation as being the hardest cut of beef to prepare. To take this large piece of tough meat and turn it into something delicious, has long been regarded as a challenge - a challenge that has teams battling week in and week out to prove they are the best. In the last five years, Snake River Farms Briskets have become synonymous with the word “champion”.
From Grand Championships won weekly to being crowned a World Champion on the biggest BBQ stages in the world, teams can count on the quality and consistency of a Snake River Farms brisket. They love the extreme marbling that is the hallmark of Snake River Farms American Wagyu beef. While cooking with Wagyu started out as the secret weapon of just a few teams, the word is officially out and the stats prove it.
Teams competing with Snake River Farms briskets have won every BBQ World Championship including The Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational BBQ, The American Royal World Series of BBQ (Invitational & Open Contests) and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. And since 2014, the KCBS Team of the Year and Brisket Team of the Year, and 80% of the Top 10 teams in the brisket and overall categories, have made Snake River Farms a part of their success.
In 2014, we introduced The SRF Challenge, which awards additional prizes to teams who compete using Snake River Farms briskets. It has proven to be a successful program, encouraging teams who don’t always cook Wagyu to cook with SRF and win! The trophy is a custom Gateway Drum Smoker that can only be won at these contests. The custom SRF Challenge smoker has become coveted as one of the hardest trophies to win.
And while winning is always the goal, being perfect is icing on the cake. A perfect score in KCBS is a 180; and in 2016 we introduced the Snake River Farms 180 Club for teams competing with SRF Briskets. When teams cook a perfect brisket, they register with us to become part of the club. In our inaugural year there were 100 perfect briskets cooked in KCBS competitions, and we proudly welcomed 60 teams to the 180 Club cooking a total of 75 perfect briskets, an unheard-of number for any other brand in any other category.
Snake River Farms is one of the most recognizable names in competitive BBQ and rightly so. Not only do teams compete using our briskets, we sponsor a variety of events including philanthropic endeavors, Kids Que competitions, contest support and educational opportunities. We’ve been very fortunate to have some of the best in BBQ personally tour our locations and see firsthand what makes us stand out from the rest. It’s exciting to share firsthand the hard work and commitment that goes into creating the briskets they use each week to win. We truly believe as we continue to provide the highest quality, most consistent brisket available and will always be known as producing the Winningest Brisket in BBQ.