1. ELGIBILITY - A promoter may not be a chief/head cook and cook the event they are promoting.

2. MINIMUM TEAMS - TGCBCA requires that you have at least 15 teams to have it sanctioned.

3. COOKING MEATS - All meats will be cooked on-site, without pre-cooking or marinating. Random inspections may be performed to assure that meat is not prepared prior to the official start of competition as defined by the Promoter. TGCBCA recommends that competition meat be subject to inspection cook- offs in which substantial prize money and/or awards are awarded. NO Meat will be allowed to leave the cook-off site after it has been inspected.

4. SANITATION - Cooks are to prepare and cook in as sanitary manner as possible. Cooking conditions are subject to inspection by judging committee. Infractions identified by the judging committee shall be immediately corrected or the cook will be subject to disqualification.

5. ENTRIES PER PIT - TGCBCA recognizes only one (1) entry (one (1) chief cook) will cook on a given pit. It will be the responsibility of the promoter’s to monitor entries. Notwithstanding, multiple entries in the same category by the same cook and multiple entries from the same piece of meat shall not be allowed.

With the exception of Junior or Kid's Cook-offs, contestants must be 18 years of age to participate for cash prizes.

6. BBQ PITS - The Promoter may specify the types of BBQ Pits, allowed during any sanctioned cook-off. Non-specification will authorize any type of cookers.

  • Pit - Any commercial or homemade, trailered or untrailered, pit or smoker  normally used for competitive barbeque. Fires shall be of wood, wood pellets or charcoal. A BBQ Pit may include gas or electricity for starting the combustion of wood or wood products but NOT to complete cooking.
  • Back Yard Cooker - Any cooking device by design or nature that is inherently portable and by design is intended for recreational cooking.
  • Open Fires - TGCBCA further recognizes that open fire, ground pits are used in some areas. It is in the interest of safety, a barrier shall be place around said open fire pit.  A fire extinguisher shall be readily available. NO fires shall be built on top of the ground.
  • Accessories - TGCBCA permits the use of electric spits, augers or forced draft fans.

7. CATEGORIES - Cook-off promoters shall advise contestants in advance of applicable meat categories and/or cuts of meats and/or types of cookers. The following categories are recommended by the TGCBCA:

  • Beef Brisket
  • Pork Spare Ribs
  • Chicken
  • Pork - Any cut of pork other than spare ribs.
  • Open - Meats other than those listed above. This category may include, but not limited to goat, mutton, fish, crustacean, wild game, or wild fowl. All Open categories must be cooked on site on BBQ pit or grill.
  • Dessert - This should be a separate category and the promoter should specify if it should be cooked on site, on the pit, or can be cooked at home to be entered.
  • Beans - Dry Pinto Beans cooked on site. Nothing larger than the bean to be put into the turn in cup.

8. DOUBLE NUMBER SYSTEM - TGCBCA requires that the secret, double number system be used. This system assures a fair competition and is a fundamental tenet of the TGCBCA. The system requires that two tickets bearing the same number be utilized, one firmly attached to the top of judging tray in a manner which hides the number and the other ticket easily removed by the cook for retention. The tickets must have Chief Cooks Name placed on each tickets at the time you are provided the containers. Failure to do so will result in your tickets being disqualified at time of awards and any awards you would have received will be forfeited.

Winning numbers will not be revealed until time to announce each place in each category. At that time the secret numbers attached to the tray/cup will be removed and announced.

9. JUDGING TRAYS - TGCBCA recommends the use of a styrofoam tray with hinged lid and without dividers or the best readily available judging container which is approximately 8 inches square on the bottom half.  A single sheet of aluminum foil should be supplied in each tray. The TGCBCA Head Judge will provide all judging trays for use in the competition. All judging containers shall be clean and free of any markings.

Marked containers may be disqualified at the Head Judge’s discretion. Cooks are responsible for insuring that the containers they receive remain clean and undamaged.

10. JUDGING TRAY CONTENTS - TGCBCA requires that the promoter and/or Head Judge will advise all cooks of the exact quantities and cuts of meats that will be placed in the judging trays. This will normally be accomplished at the cook's meeting. The Head Judge or designated representative will inspect all trays at the time of turn-in in order to assure compliance with the turn-in criteria. All garnishes and condiments are prohibited, as they do not reflect true quality of the cooked meats. Meats may be cooked with sauces and/or other liquids, but once the cooking is complete, sauces, seasonings and/or liquids may not be added once put into the tray. There must be NO PUDDLING OR POOLING in the bottom of the tray. Additionally, CONTAINERS THAT CANNOT BE CLOSED WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED AT TURN-IN. Recommended amounts are as follows:

  • Brisket - Nine (9) slices approximately 1/4 to 3/8 thick.
  • Pork Spare Ribs - Nine (9) individual cut ribs (bone-in) placed Meat side up in tray.
  • Chicken - Two half (1/2) chickens fully jointed (to include the complete wing, breast, leg, thigh).

11.    TURN-IN TIME - Turn-in times for each category shall be pre-set. Once this time is set and/or announced no changes will be made. A turn-in window of ten (10) minutes before   and after the set turn-in times will be recognized. Judging trays received after that time will not be accepted for judging. In the event of any emergency the Head Judge has the authority to make a time change will proper notification to the cookers.

12. JUDGES - TGCBCA recommends that a minimum of five (5) judges per table be utilized during initial judging. Subsequent levels of judging should utilize a minimum of seven (7) or a maximum of nine (9) judges per table. CHIEF COOKS are prohibited to participate as judges.

13. JUDGING QUANTITY - It is recommended that a maximum of twenty (20) trays or containers be assigned to each judging table. It is also recommended that a predetermined number of top results from each preliminary  judging table be sent on to the subsequent levels of judging.

14. ANNOUNCING WINNERS - TGCBCA recommends that announcements of winners be based on the number of competitors in each category. Example: Cook-off with ten (10) or  more entries announce the top ten (10) plus final table (numbers only). It is recommended that more than one person verify the  ticket numbers.

If the number of entries is less than ten (10), announce all places. In the interest of recognizing winners announce these places regardless of prizes or trophies being awarded.

Winning numbers will not be revealed until time to announce each place in each category. At that time the secret numbers attached to the tray/cup will be removed and announced.

TGCBCA will announce the top ten (10) over-all winners.

15. PRIZES - TGCBCA states that a Grand Champion be named at every cook-off. In the event of a tie for Grand Champion, brisket will be the first tie breaker, followed by ribs, then chicken, and then by any other category. The promoter MUST advertise any changes to the tie breaker decision  in advance.


Contact Us:

Texas Gulf Coast BBQ Cookers Association
PO Box 1123
Katy, Tx 77492

Joe Severson
Phone: 832-603-2626