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Who, What, Where, When....

Hello Teams, Vendors, and Judges and Welcome to the WV BBQ Throwdown!


We are so excited to have you join us and can’t wait to welcome you to the WV BBQ Throwdown, supporting the Jackson County Hunting Heroes mission. Our committee volunteers and dedicated sponsors work together to raise money to improve the quality of life for US Veterans and their families through education, fellowship and building on tradition by providing recreational opportunities during their recovery and rehabilitation to promote healing and personal esteem, so thank you for supporting military families with this event!  


Please come to the Headquarters Building at the Farigrounds. if you need assistance or you may call or text Andrea at 301-335-2715.


Vendors:  Space will be assigned on a first come first serve basis but all booths are located in the same area at the fairgrounds. You may set up on Friday until 5pm or Saturday starting at 7am.


The BBQ STAGING area is located at

I 77 Chevrolet/Dodge

435 South Church Street

Ripley WV 25271


Need to Know Information


BBQ Festival Contacts

Andrea Ball, Festival Director

Text or Call: 301-335-2715


Chad Emrick, Festival Staff

Text or Call: 301-385-2699



Randy and Carol Bigler

256-426-9374 – call or text


Location: The Festival is Located at the Jackson County Fairgrounds.  Please note this is NOT the same location last year but we feel our teams will be pleased with the new location and campsites with FULL HOOK UPS!


Ice: 1 large bag for $5 dollars and staff will deliver throughout the event. Correct change is appreciated.

Tee shirts:  Tee shirts are available for sale at the JCHH booth for $20.  Each pro team will get one complimentary shirt


Electric Info: All 50amp connections from the BBQ Rigs must have a three prong plug for their connection.


Backyard teams must have ordered electric in advance. Quiet Generators Are Allowed but they MUST follow KCBS rules. (Quiet time 10pm)


Water Connections: All pro teams receive a water connection.  Backyard teams must order it in advance.  A spigot designated near the northwest corner of the festival grounds can be used to fill containers.


The festival does not provide extension cords or water hoses to the connection points.  We suggest 50 to 100 ft cords and hoses.


Load-in time starts Friday 9am to 5pm.


It is strongly recommended that you attend the cooks meeting on Friday night at 5pm. It will be held near the judging area on the DMV side of the courthouse.  The KCBS reps will pass out your turn in boxes.


You must have your meat inspected prior to seasoning or marinade by a festival staff member or the KCBS representatives.  It may be trimmed in advance.


Pro Competitors must compete in all four meat categories; Beef Brisket, Chicken, Pork Ribs, and Pork Butt to be considered for overall prizes. Backyard Competitors must compete in three meat categories; Beef Chicken, Ribs, and Pork Butt to be considered for overall prizes.


Your team will receive an assigned space and you must be self-contained within that space.  If you have additional special requirements, please contact the festival office in advance at


Showers: The fairgrounds has showers available. You will need your own towel.


Dumping Ash and Grease: The fire department will also take care of the grease and ash/coals.  The will direct you to the dumpsite during the event on Saturday.


Rules:  The WV BBQ Throwdown adheres to all KCBS rules and regulations.  They can be found at or by clicking here.


KCBS Pro Prizes

Grand Champion: $ 2000 and a big ole trophy

Reserve Grand Champion: $ 1000 and a big ole trophy!

Pro Pitmaster Category Prizes: (Brisket, Ribs, Pork, and Chicken) (Winners will receive a certificate and cash!)

First Place $200

Second Place: $150

Third Place: $100

Fourth Place: $75

Fifth Place: $50


Backyard Prizes: Ribs, Chicken and Pork (Winners will receive a certificate and cash!)

Backyard Champion: $500 and a sorta big trophy

Backyard Reserve Champion: $300 and a sorta big trophy

First Place $100

Second Place: $80

Third Place: $60

Fourth Place: $40

Fifth Place: $20


Lodging Options:

McCoy's Inn #2 Fitness Lane, Ripley, WV 25271• (304) 372-9122

Econo Lodge 1 Hospitality Dr, Ripley, WV 25271• (304) 519-4522

Holiday Inn Express 110 Memorial Dr, Ripley, WV 25271• (304) 372-4444

Super 8 by Wyndham Ripley 102 Duke Dr, Ripley, WV 25271• (304) 372-888


Judges: Judges should report to check in a the festival headquarters by 10am on Saturday morning and you’ll be directed to the adjacent judging area in the DMV lobby.  Restrooms are available in this area also.


Please be in place by 11:40 am.  If you need assistance, please refer to the contacts at the beginning of this email.


Judging Times:


11:55 am - 12:05 pm Chicken Turn In

12:25 - 12:35 pm Rib Turn In

12:55 - 1:05 pm Pork Butt Turn In

1:25 - 1:35 pm Brisket Turn In

2:00 pm Public Tasting Turn In


We strive to use 100% KCBS certified judges.  However, if we need to recruit any community members to judge.  SOME IMPORTANT RULES TO REMEMBER:


  1. On turn in day, judges may briefly socialize with teams. It is not acceptable to view turn-in boxes or sample any product you could judge. Be visible.

  2. Do not go inside a closed area or out of public view. Do not congregate inside the cook area of any team.

  3. The team number of each entry to be judged will be read by your Table Captain in the order of judging. Write these numbers on your judging slip. Your judging plate has a larger square which is where you place your sample from the entry box. The smaller square on the judging plate is for the sample entry’s team number.

  4. Once all the entry numbers are properly recorded in each square on the judging slips and plates, your Table Captain will begin the Appearance presentation for each entry.

  5. Each Judge will score all the samples for Appearance, writing down his/her Appearance score for each entry as it is presented on the judging slip.

  6. During Appearance scoring, Judges are not allowed to touch the containers, samples, or look at the underside of samples.

  7. Once all the entries have been scored for Appearance, the Table Captain will pass out the entry boxes for you to take a sample. Make sure you place the correct sample on the correct square. Do not lick your fingers while taking samples. Paper towels, non-scented wipes, or dampened wash cloths are preferred. If utensils are used to remove samples, these are to remain with the container. Utensils are not permitted during the sampling of the entry. Once all samples are on your judging plate, you may begin with the first sample by judging Taste and Tenderness. Once you have finished scoring the first entry, you shall move to the second entry and so forth. You must judge in the order the entries are presented. Please score carefully. You may not go back and change any scores once they have been recorded except under the direction of the KCBS Contest Reps.

  8. If you pick up a sample and there are two or more pieces stuck together, do not shake, pull, or cut the pieces loose. Just put them on your judging plate as one sample. If you do not get a sample to judge, call this to the attention of the Table Captain.

  9. No alcoholic beverages or other mind-altering substances prior to or during judging will be permitted.

  10. Water that is provided by the organizer is the only beverage allowed during judging. No other beverage containers are allowed at the judging table.

  11. Scented wipes are not allowed during judging.

  12. Smoking is not allowed in the judging area at any time.

  13. Turn off cell phones and/or pagers. Any cell phone usage must be before the first category occurs. Thereafter, these must be turned off and placed out of sight.

  14. Once the Judges meeting has started, photography of any kind inside the judging area is NOT permitted except by approved media.

  15. Do not remove labels from the sample containers.

  16. Do not sample from the volunteer or leftover table.

  17. Do not remove any numbered container from the judging area.




Chicken may be presented with or without the skin. It may also be presented with a combination of dark and white meat or all of one or the other. Sliced, pulled, chopped, or any combination thereof is an acceptable entry. Properly smoked chicken will be moist and have a nice texture and any juice present should be clear. Barbecue chicken tends to produce a red coloring around the bone areas, especially in the thigh and leg meat. To some it gives the impression that it was undercooked. If concerned about the doneness of chicken, you may use the “napkin test” to see if the juices are clear and that the chicken is properly cooked. There may be a pink appearance to breast meat that has been barbecued and some breast meat will remain white. Because of this, do not judge chicken on its color. If presented with the skin on, you shall judge the skin in your scoring for appearance, taste and tenderness.



When judging competition ribs, you must consider a few factors. The bone must be present in the rib sample. When sampling a properly cooked contest rib the area of the meat where the bite is taken should be pulled cleanly from the bone with very little effort. The exposed bone of a well-cooked rib will often dry immediately. Ribs should be moist, flavorful, and possess good texture. They can be presented with or without sauce.  Ribs may be presented in single or multi-bone presentation. Any questions should be directed to the KCBS Contest Representative. When a rib is overcooked, most or all the meat comes off the bone when sampled. Additionally, the meat of an overcooked rib has a tendency to be mushy and have a poor texture.



Pork shoulder or Boston butt should be very tender. It should pull apart with very little effort, be moist, and have good texture. Sliced, pulled, chopped, or any combination thereof is an acceptable entry. With these types of entries, checking for proper cooking is important. Pork can be easily overcooked to achieve maximum tenderness, which in turn makes the final product mushy. Mushy meat dissolves in your mouth with very little effort when chewing. Often the crusty dark outer surface, or bark, is included in the presentation. This is an acceptable part of the entry.


Cooks may present brisket sliced, chopped, cubed, pulled, or any combination thereof. Brisket s l i c es tend to lose moisture quickly. Experienced cooks will take precautions to prevent brisket from drying out. Both moisture and tenderness must be evaluated for this category. Mouthfeel is the primary method of determining tenderness. In addition to mouthfeel, another possible test of tenderness is the pull test. To test the brisket tenderness using this method, pick up the brisket and see how easily it will pull apart. A well-cooked brisket, when the slice is picked up and pulled, should have some resistance and yet come apart without crumbling. The meat should maintain a desirable texture. One final note, a smoke ring should not be taken in consideration when judging appearance because it can be artificially produced.  


Good luck and lets have a fun throwdown!


Andrea Ball, President

Festival Organizer

301.335.2715 mobile


WV Downtown BBQ Throwdown

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