Rules & Logistics


The decision and interpretations of the Smoketober Rules and Regulations are at the discretion of the Smoketober Lawn Aqua Committee. Their decisions and interpretations are final to the extent consistent with the rules.


  1. Each team shall consist of a Captain and teammates. Members of a team shall not compete on more than one team. The cook and assistant cooks may only cook for their single designated team.

  2. Each team will be assigned their own designated cooking space by the Contest Organizer. All seasoning and cooking of the product shall be done within the assigned cooking space.

  3. Contestants shall provide all needed equipment and supplies. Contestants must adhere to all electrical, fire and other codes. A fire extinguisher will be provided by event organizers.

  4. It is the responsibility of the contestant to see that the team's assigned cooking space is safe, clean, and orderly throughout the contest. Failure to thoroughly clean the area may disqualify the team from future participation at Smoketober.

  5. Fires shall be of wood, wood pellets, or charcoal. Gas and electric heat sources shall not be permitted for cooking or holding. Propane or electric is permitted as fire starters, provided that the competition meat is not in/on the cooking device. Electrical accessories such as spits, augers, or forced draft are permitted. No open pits or holes are permitted. Fires shall not be built on the ground.

  6. All competition ribs shall be inspected by the Official Meat Inspector during the times established by the contest organizer. Once the competition meat has been inspected, it shall not leave the contest site. Cooking shall not begin until the competition meat has been inspected by the Official Meat Inspector. All competition meat shall start out raw. The organizer will designate quantities of meat to be provided and when the meat will be distributed. If after receipt of their meat, a team believes their meat is spoiled, they should bring it to the attention of the reps. If the reps agree, the organizer will have additional meat on hand of the same brand and quality, to replace.

  7. Meat shall not be sculptured, branded, or presented in a way to make the team’s entry identifiable. Teams in violation of this rule shall receive a penalty score of one (1) in all criteria from all Judges and disqualified.

  8. An entry will be judged only at the time established by the contest organizer. 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 a Rep and will receive a 0 (zero) in all criteria.

  9. No Greens/Garnish. Just a plan box turn in this year. If you add greens you will lose an appearance point.

  10. Sauce is optional. If used, it shall be applied directly to the meat and not be pooled or puddled in the container. No side sauce containers will be permitted in the turn-in container. Chunky sauce will be allowed. Chunks are to be no larger than a fine dice, approximately 1/8 inch cubed. Sauce violations shall receive a penalty score of one (1) on Appearance.

  11. Entries will be submitted in an approved container, provided by the contest organizer.

    1. The container shall not be marked in any way so as to make the container unique or identifiable. Aluminum foil, toothpicks, skewers, foreign material, and/or stuffing are prohibited in the container. Marked entries or containers with the above listed material will receive a one (1) in all criteria from all Judges and disqualified.

  12. Each contestant must submit the assigned portion of meat to be judged in an approved container. Contestants will receive 6 slabs at the start of the event. Each contestant must submit the required amount of ribs to be judged (two containers - Container 1: 4 ribs | Container 2: 6 ribs). Ribs shall be turned in bone-in. If there is not enough meat for each judge to sample, the shorted judge(s) will score a one (1) on all criteria, and the judges that receive samples will change the Appearance score to one(1) as a penalty.

  13. The following cleanliness and safety rules will apply:

    1. No use of any tobacco products while handling meat.

    2. Cleanliness of the cook, assistant cooks, cooking device(s) and the team's assigned cooking space is required.

    3. Shirt and shoes are required to be worn.

    4. Sanitize work station regularly