Since I began my love affair with cooking, grilling and BBQ have become two of my favorite things. This past summer, I received a Traeger Smoker as a birthday present from Rachel. It was a fabulous day. Shortly thereafter I smoked some ribs, a turkey, chickens and some skewers. The whole world is opening up to me.
During this time I was introduced to KCBS (Kansas City Barbeque Society). Despite the name, it is not exclusive to Kansas City in events or style of BBQ. They actually sanction over 450 events every year throughout the country. For all of these BBQ events and competitions they need Judges. At first I was hesitant to sign up for the Judging class feeling like I was a novice myself. I did it anyway and learned so much about ribs, beef brisket, pulled pork and chicken.
The class was held in conjunction with the “Smokin in Mesquite” BBQ competition at the Casablanca Resort in Mesquite Nevada. What a pleasure it was to be there. Not only did we learn a lot about the types of meats, cooking styles and presentation, but we went over all the rules for judging. That was a lot of information. It got me really excited to not only be involved with more competitions but to cook a lot more on my smoker. Seeing the custom built smokers from many of the cooking teams was a majestic sight.
A few weeks after the event, I received all my KCBS membership information in the mail; including my name badge. In big red letters on the name badge it says, “Certified Barbeque Judge.” I can’t wait to wear it to the next family, friend or neighborhood barbeque. When someone says that their dish is pretty good, I will have formal authority to respond with “I’ll be the judge of that.” Blatent arrogance or unconditional support?