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A Roundup of the Best BBQ Cook-Offs in America

For the seasoned or aspiring pitmaster, BBQ festivals offer an opportunity to break out of the ordinary and investigate the wide world of grilling, smoking and indulging. From saucy meats to charred veggies, the best BBQ festivals across America provide more than just the typical fare.

Below are some BBQ competitions you might want to add to the family calendar. Whether they are near to you or require a little travel time, they are totally worth the investment. What better way to boost your own game than to treat yourself to the secrets of grilling gurus from around the nation and beyond?

A Roundup of the Best BBQ Cook-Offs in America

1. World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest

Held in Memphis each spring, the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest boasts thousands in cash prizes for the tastiest nibbles. Beware, though —this is not your average BBQ festival. It attracts individuals and teams from far and wide, so be ready to fight the crowds during the multi-day extravaganza. Bring your appetite and a notebook to jot down all your grilling and smoking ideas.

2. W.C. Handy Barbecue

How does a summer pig roast and some Zydeco music sound? If you are planning to be in Henderson, Kentucky, take some time to plan your vacation around the W.C. Handy Barbecue festival. There’s no need to buy a ticket. This is one free event that features more of a down-home atmosphere, true to the surrounding social culture. Though you might not think Cajun goes with bluegrass, they actually do — and it is one spicy adventure!

3. Big Apple Barbecue Block Party

Going to be in NYC next June? Join pitmasters for a block party near the Flatiron building in Manhattan. Although the Big Apple may not sound like the perfect location for a top-notch BBQ festival, people who attend this yearly soiree swear it has all the fun and cache of any competitions the Midwest or South have to offer.

4. Red, White and Brews

Finally! Something for the West Coasters who love to grill! This two-week festival that celebrates BBQ and more is located in Santa Clara, California. Join other pitmasters, families and friend groups as you explore barbecue and beer in a rousing, fun environment. As with the other best BBQ festivals, you can expect lots of great tunes from live stage bands. Getting hungry from all your dancing? You know that a rack of ribs is just around the corner.

4. Giant National BBQ Championship

Leave it to D.C. to get into the BBQ festival act. This summer fest is a classic event where you can rejoice in the flavors and essence of freshly prepped and served ‘que. Watch as champion pitmasters battle it out on the grill, smoking and charring their way to success. Be sure to pick up tips from some of the many famous attendees, including barbecue chefs who give away some trade hints for free to visitors.

Looking forward to tasting the greatest BBQ on the planet? Make plans for a BBQ trip or two next year. Who knows? One day, you might even want to compete. You’ll just want to have the right equipment to practice, though, so take a look at what we have available and find your perfect Grilla Grill

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