Shelby County Shindig BBQ Team Guidelines

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Goal: To have fun, enjoy the day and raise funds for the Shelby County Arts Council. 

Each team will provide:

    1. Tables and chairs FOR THEIR USE
    2. Tent(s) Limit two per team (10×10)
    3. Teams must set up in the designated space only! Parking of vehicles will be in designated parking area for teams.
    4. White food safe hoses (40-50 feet) and a nozzle to connect to the supply lines WITH “y” ADAPTER
    5. Limited electricity will be available – teams will provide electric cords and lighting as needed. Must let organizers know prior to team set-up the day of event.
    6. Teams may bring drink coolers, adult beverages in plastic colored cups and personal food items. Garbage bags, paper towels, and soap recommended. Team should “contain” all adult beverages to their cooking area and not provide to event attendees. 
    7. 50 lbs of prepared meat for public tasting (Boston butt) which will be served by the team. We will provide the 2oz cups for tasting (400 for each team).


  • Teams are responsible for their meat, barbecue sauce, grill and cooking utensils. You may cook on gas, electricity, charcoal or wood. One team member must stay with the fire at all times.
  • Event hosts will provide water source, wash out area, restrooms and trash dumpsters.
  • Health Dept Regulations:

* All food must be prepared on site!  Keep food items that need to be cold at 45 degrees or colder.  Food items that must be warm keep at 140 degrees or warmer.  Please put a thermometer in each of your containers to monitor the temperature.

* Persons who handle food should use utensils instead of hands when possible.  Food handlers need to wash before the food is touched and after the food is touched.

* A mild bleach water solution needs to be used to wipe counters and utensils.  Flies will avoid areas that have been wiped with bleach.



Prizing will be awarded for the following:

Best Overall (Composite of all scores)

Best of Ribs, Runner Up Best of Ribs

Best Sauce, Runner up Best Sauce

Chef’s Specialty, Runner Up Chef’s Specialty

People’s Choice – 1st and 2nd


Ribs and Sauce –  Each team will prepare 1 slab of ribs and barbecue sauce ON THE SIDE.   Leave ½ half of the slab whole; cut the other half into eight pieces for the judges. We will provide a container for items to be judged.  Event staff will collect all the containers and present to the judges in a private area.  Containers will be numbered and judges will not know team names.  Judges will taste the ribs without sauce first, and then with sauce.  There are four criteria: appearance, tenderness, flavor and overall impression.  Your entry will be tasted by all judges.  All meat must be prepared and cooked on site (par-boiling is not allowed).  Please bring your meat raw, we will allow a rub or marinade.

Chef’s Specialty –  Judges will circulate among the Cook-teams to taste the chef’s choice.  You will be given a time to have your food plated and ready for tasting.  Teams may prepare up to three items to present to the judges as “one entry” for the chef’s choice.

Example – The team may prepare one item and present – or – a plate of food and present.  Either way there will be only one composite score for the “chef’s choice”.  Remember:  Items are being judged on Originality (10pts), Appearance (10pts) and Taste (10pts) equally. The composite score of the three categories will be added together to determine a winner.  Plating is as important as taste!

If the judges show up to your tent and the items are not 100% ready for tasting, your team with be disqualified from this portion of the competition. This is to ensure tasting takes place in a timely manner.  Judging will be based on originality, appearance and taste.  All items must be prepared at the event.

People’s Choice:  Teams will have a chance to interact with the crowd from 4:00-5:30pm and campaign for votes!  This is the time to talk up your teams talents.  Each attendee with an arm band may visit the team tents and taste.  Votes will be cast by dropping a ticket into the container at each team’s tent.  Containers will be collected at 5:30pm.


Awards: – Presented at 6:15pm –
Overall Winner – Cash prize and team trophy

  • Best Ribs:   1st place – cash prize for the team and Trophy.  2nd Place – Cash Prize and Trophy
  • Best Sauce:  1st Place Cash Prize  for the team and Trophy 2nd Place – Cash prize  and Trophy
  • Chef’s Specialty:  1st place – trophy – Cash Prize for the team and Trophy.  2nd Place Cash Prize and Trophy
  • People’s Choice:  1St Place and 2nd Place – Trophy Only
  • Clean up – teams must remove ashes, coals, and/ or grease at the end of the event. It cannot be dumped in the dumpster or trash cans because of fire hazard. Also, it cannot be dumped on the property.  The property should be left clean and in original condition.

Guests – Each team will be given 5 arm bands for team members to enjoy the Tasting Portion of the Event. Additional bands may be purchased by team.

Tentative Schedule:

4:00 am.. teams may begin set up (If you would like to set up the night before please let us know…there will NOT be security so it’s at the Team’s Own Risk)

8:00 am we will begin team check in.  We will go tent to tent, give out your armbands, t-shirts and gift box.

1:00 pm   gates open to public. Music begins, other activities

2:00 pm    Judging Ribs and Sauce – pickups begin.  Teams are assigned a time the day of event.

3:00 pm   Chef’s Choice; Starting with the team in Space one and moving through all teams.

4:00-5:30 pm Public tasting

6:15 – Winners Announced

7:00 pm Event Ends

Questions: contact Sandra Annonio, team coordinator. 205 902 2256 or 205 669 0044 or by email Sandra@shelbycountyartscouncil.com

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