British Open BBQ Championship

Smoke and Fire Festivals are proud to be holding the British Open BBQ Championship. Teams will compete in a thrilling one-off national BBQ competition cooking chicken, brisket, pork and ribs in classic low’n’slow style BBQ.

Who will be crowned the undisputed British BBQ Champion?

Whether you are part of an existing Pro Team or just a keen back garden cook; this is the competition for you!

  • BBQ aficionados & hotshots will cross tongs in our British Open BBQ Championship.
  • Mouthwatering dishes will be based around the classic low’n’slow traditions of chicken, ribs, pork butts, brisket etc. 
  • Our team of hand-picked expert judges plus a public vote will decide on who is BBQ is crowned ‘British BBQ Champion 2021’.
  • So, bring on your secret rubs & sauces to create the most succulent, finger-licking, delicious BBQ dishes in the country!
  • Team entry includes weekend access to the festival, a pitch for your camp and cook stations and a chance to win and enter the British BBQ Hall of Fame!
  • All team entries will be confirmed upon full payment of the British Open BBQ Championship entry fee (£250).
  • Places are strictly limited to 30 teams per year.
  • Entry and payment confirm the team’s acceptance of all rules of entry and participation as set out below. 
Official British Open BBQ Championship logo

We now have all the entries for the 2021 competition

Entry to the Competition is now closed


TEAMS Information

Whether you’re a Pro team from a local restaurant, or an enthusiastic backyard BBQ crew, any team can enter the competition. 

The minimum members per team is 2 (two) and the maximum is 4 (four). 

Each team must have one appointed team captain. The team captain must be at least 18 years of age, and no team member may be less than 14 years old. 

All team captains must attend a MANDATORY team captains’ meeting prior to the start of the competition. 

All entries are to be “free style”. The platter should show off the cook’s creativity and skill but should also include at least six individual portions for the judges. For example, a platter could contain a whole chicken with six individual portions around/beside it. No knives or cutlery to be handed in with the entry. Entry should be easily carried by one person. The platter will NOT be supplied by the Organiser. The team must use their own serving platter/dish/plate.


The team must compete in all of the following mandatory categories in order to become British Open BBQ Champion and British Open BBQ Reserve Champion


  • The Beef Steak Wine Club: Steak (Teams must include wine provided to each team by our lovely wine partners Beef Steak Wine Club (
  • Plant-based / Vegetable: ( Meatless and you can use Tofu )
  • Hotdog: 6 Hot Dogs must be sausage or hot dog in a roll NOT a bun
  • Desert: the main element must be cooked/baked using the BBQ
  • Cocktails: (Optional) -An opportunity for your team to have some fun unleash their inner Mixologist! We’re asking you to create alcoholic or Virgin Cocktails with a BBQ twist. (Points will not go towards the Grand Champion prize). But there will be a great prize from our partners for the winner.


  • Ribs: ( defined as any animal rib cage, may be served on/off the bone but bone must be present. These can be any type of rib inc pork, lamb, beef, goat but not cutlet)
  • Bird / Poultry: ( Chicken, turkey, duck, goose, ostrich if it has feathers you can cook it – Need we say anything else?)
  • Pork -MEATER: ( Anything from a PIG you want to present to the judges ranging from chops to belly, but NOT ribs ) and our lovely partners are putting up some pretty nice little prizes for this round of the competition.
  • Beef: (Brisket, steak, skirt, cheeks, in fact, anything as long as it’s cow-related but NOT ribs)

Cumulative points scored within all (8) mandatory categories will determine the British Open BBQ Champion and British Open BBQ Reserve Champion. 

Each mandatory category will have a first, second and third prize & certificate. 

New Competition, New Rules, Please read.

We want you to be creative with your garnishes but remembering at all time that the star should always be whatever the category is your cooking i.e Ribs, Bird, Pork and Beef etc. 


  • The decision and interpretations of the Rules and Regulations are at the discretion of the Contest Representatives.  Their decisions and interpretations are final.
  • Each team shall consist of a head cook and up to 4 assistants.
  • Each team will be assigned a cooking space.  Pits, cookers, props, trailers, motor homes, vehicles, tents or any other equipment (including generators) shall not exceed the boundaries of the team’s assigned pitch.  Teams shall not share an assigned cooking space or cooking device.
  • All competition ingredients shall be inspected during the times established by the contest organiser. 
  • Once the competition ingredients have been inspected, they shall not leave the contest site.  Cooking shall not begin until the competition meat has been inspected by the Contest Representatives.  All competition ingredients shall start out raw and unprepared (for example, not marinated).  
  • When the contest organizer supplies the ingredient, it is required to enter only that meat.  Competition ingredients not meeting these qualifications shall be disqualified, not allowed to be turned in, and not judged, and receives no score.
  • Contestants shall provide all needed equipment and supplies. Contestants must adhere to all electrical, fire and other codes. A fire extinguisher shall be near all cooking devices provided by the team.
  • Turn in times will be published prior to the event.  The allowable turn-in time will be five (5) minutes before to five (5) minutes after the posted time with no tolerance.  A late turn-in will not be accepted by the Contest Representative and will receive a 0 (zero) in all criteria.
  • Entries will be submitted with the team number.
    • a). Entries shall not be marked in any way to make the team’s name identifiable.
    • b). Foreign objects that may be accidentally consumed or represent a hygiene issue (for example, pieces of aluminium foil, pieces of toothpicks, pieces of skewers, etc) are prohibited in the entry.  Marked entries with the above-listed material will receive a one (1) in all criteria from all Judges and disqualified.
    • c). All cooking must be on site.
    • d). All cooking must be on a BBQ, fire bowl, or firepit (if allowed).  NO stoves or hobs.
    • e). The key element of the round must be the star of the dish.
    • f). No pre-made foods (e.g., no packet desserts, no ready-made meals like lasagne).  Items such as ice cream are permitted as long as it’s an accompaniment to the main dish. 
    • g). All teams must give their food to the helpers outside the judging tent (the exact turn-in location will be discussed at the teams meeting).
    • h). Teams may not fraternize with teams on turn-in day until the conclusion of judging.
    • i). Teams must present enough food, portioned, for all judges to each have every element (minimum of 6 pieces).
    • j). Food must be served in a manner whereby only one person can safely carry the entry.
  • It is the responsibility of the contestant to ensure that the team’s assigned cooking space is clean and orderly following the contest.  All fires must be extinguished, pits filled (if allowed by contest organizer), and all equipment removed from the site. It is imperative that clean-up be thorough. Any team’s assigned cooking space left in disarray or with loose rubbish, other than at waste containers, may disqualify the team from future participation at sanctioned events.
  • The following cleanliness and safety rules will apply
    • a). No use of any tobacco products while handling meat.
    • b). Cleanliness of the cook, assistant cooks, cooking device(s) and the team’s assigned cooking space is required.
    • c). Shirt and shoes are required to be worn.
    • d). Sanitizing of the work area should be implemented with the use of a bleach/water rinse (one cap/gallon of water). Each contestant will provide a separate container for washing, rinsing and sanitizing of utensils.
    • e). Prior to cooking, meat must be maintained at 40° F or less.
    • f). After cooking, all meat: Must be held at 140° F or above OR cooked meat shall be cooled as follows: Within 2 hours from 140° F to 70° F and Within 4 hours from 70° F to 41° F or less.
    • g). Meat that is cooked, properly cooled, and later reheated for hot holding and serving shall be reheated so that all parts of the food reach a temperature of at least 165° F for a minimum of 15 seconds.
  • SECURITY: Security of the event site will be provided by the organiser. Teams are responsible for their own security and insurance and should take out the appropriate policies.
  • SERVING TO THE PUBLIC: If a team wishes to serve food to the public, they may use the remains of their cooked foods, or provide extra food themselves. The safety and lawfulness of such supply is the responsibility of the Teams and the Organisers accept no liability in relation to such handouts.
  • ALLERGENS: EU listed allergens that must be identified when providing any food for public consumption.
  •  TEAM CONDUCT: Teams, including members and guests, are required to exhibit proper and courteous behaviour at all times. Failure to take instructions from the organiser may result in a team’s ability to compete at the contest or in future contests. 
  • Quiet time must be observed. It will be in effect from 10.30 pm on the night prior to the contest (including the subsequent nights of the competition), until sunrise the following day. Noise levels, including music, must be kept at a volume not to cause any disturbance to others. 
  • Teams will be informed of and must comply with all rules in relation to the consumption and serving and or selling of alcohol.
  • Complete compliance with all laws and on-site guidance in relation to fire, health, electricity, waste disposal and recycling is required.
  • SOCIAL MEDIA: Teams are not allowed to share any pictures or details of their dishes on social networks etc. during competition day(s) until such time as the judging process is completed.  

By entering the competition, teams will have agreed to be bound by all of the above rules and guidelines and also agree to the organisers carrying out impromptu inspections throughout the preparation, cooking and presentation for the competition


The British Open BBQ Championship allows for blind judging only.


  • APPEARANCE (score: 2 – 10):
    • First impressions and visual appearance. Does the entry look good to eat?
    • The first bite is with the eye and an attractive well-presented serving plate will score better than a plain one.
  • TASTE (score: 2.1 – 10.9: to include decimal points):
    • Is the taste nice? Is the flavour balanced?
    • Judges will be looking for flavourful food where they can taste the star of the dish, seasoning and balance of flavours. Judges are asked not to judge on personal preference, and teams are reminded to avoid extremes.
  • TENDERNESS & TEXTURE (score: 2 – 10):
    • Is it cooked correctly, is the food moist?
    • Judges will be looking for the star of the dish to be cooked correctly, and not to personal taste. For example, beef steak medium, ribs should be bite through but not fall off the bone.
  • CREATIVITY & SKILL (score: 2 – 10):
    • Creativity is where the cook has used their imagination to create something inventive and has the “wow” factor.
    • Judges will also be looking to score the cook on their BBQ skills.
  • Total points would 40.9

A one (1) can be scored on the following:


  • Judges must register at the assigned time.  Failure to do so may result in being unable to judge at this event.
  • Judges must attend judges meeting.  Failure to do so may result in being unable to judge at this event.
  • Judges may not fraternize with teams on turn-in day until the conclusion of judging.
  • Only judges, Contest Representatives and necessary support staff are allowed in the judging area during the judging process.
  • No photography within the Judges Tent apart from authorised media.
  • All phones to be turned off/on silent and not be used during the judging process.  If an urgent call needs to be made/taken, please contact a Contest Representative.
  • Contest Representatives will determine the optimum number of tables of judges needed to properly judge the contest.
  • No drinking of alcoholic beverages before or during judging is permitted.
  • No taking of mind-altering substances before or during judging is permitted.
  • No judge will be allowed to judge whilst intoxicated or under the influence of mind-altering drugs.
  • Family members or friends or team members of teams competing are NOT allowed to judge. They may assist in the judging process but are not permitted to take food to the judges.
  • The scoring system is from 2 to 10 (apart from Taste where scores must contain 1 decimal place, i.e.: from 2.1 to 10.9).
    10 = perfect
    9 = excellent
    8 = very good
    7 = above average
    6 = average
    5 =below average
    4 =poor
    3 = bad
    2 =inedible
    1 = a score of one (1) is a penalty or disqualification and requires approval by a Contest Representative as per the above judging criteria and scoring. 

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