Held in Perris, CA – May 21-22, 2021


5th Gear BBQ
7 Sins BBQ
Ant’s Backyard BBQ
Big Poppa Smokers
Big Red BBQ
Bull Market BBQ
El Titi Carnitas & BBQ
Gettin’ Blasted
Hickory & Spice BBQ
Howzit BBQ
Lady of Q
Meat Candy Q
One Thumb Barbeque
Pike’s Iron Wagon
Rock Band BBQ
Semper Smokin’
Seven Sins BBQ
Simply Marvelous BBQ
Smoke & Swill
Smokified Que
Smokin’Volts BBQ
The BBQ Asylum
The Brisket Brothers
Two Brother’s Barbeque

About the Contest

This was a Master’s Series Contest with 4 main categories. Chicken, Pork Ribs, Pork, and Brisket. The cooking source at a Master Series must be of wood, wood pellets or charcoal. KCBS Rules and regulations applied. Master Series are eligible for American Royal and Jack Daniels World Championship, upon meeting qualifying criteria, which basically means you have to win a Grand Championship in a Master Series. In addition, all teams who participate in a Master Series earn points towards KCBS Team of the Year awards presented at KCBS’s annual banquet.

There was also a People’s Choice Competition – which any team cooking in the competition or not could compete. In People’s Choice, you cook a variety of BBQ and the public buys tickets to sample the BBQ. Each cook team collects tickets and the one with the most tickets win the PC Competition. Cook teams can then redeem their tickets for cash to help offset their costs. Its a great way to get your name and/or catering business out there!

How We Did...

…(spoiler alert: we finished very near the bottom).

This was our first KCBS competition and no matter how many classes you go to, no matter how many YouTube videos you watch, no matter how much you practice … your never quite as ready as you think you are! This was a baptism through fire.

We spent weeks leading up to this event getting our gear ready, getting all the supplies we needed, getting lists of what we needed Amazon to deliver. We watched hours and hours of YouTube videos, re-read Pitmaster Class text books and notes, we emailed various Pitmasters we knew trying to get advice, help, anything!!

We also signed up for People’s Choice, which was a big mistake. People’s Choice or PC as its called is made for the professional catering teams or at least cook teams with right equipment and the right number of staff…..we lacked that in all facets.

Fortunately for us several name recognition Pitmasters came to our aid, Harry Soo (Slap Yo Daddy BBQ), Steve Botkin (Desperado BBQ) and Christie Vanover (Girls Can Grill BBQ) all jumped in to help us! Harry gave us cooking tips and shared videos, Steve helped us develop a cook plan and sent us a checklist for packing, and Christie told us how to set up our cook site.

We arrived on Thursday morning to set up our cook site and take inventory of everything we forgot to pack or buy. We spent the rest of the day sourcing the missing items. We got a tip that we should probably start cooking some of the People’s Choice items ahead of time so we could vacuum seal and freeze them. So we started cooking late Thursday afternoon on through midnight Friday Night. We prepped our meat for the competition and hit the rack for some sleep before the cook start and it was the deepest 45 min sleep we had ever had.

Our family and friends came out in spades to help and support us. We had long long lines for our BBQ and quickly ran out of People’s Choice after about 2 hours. As far as the competition went…well our cook plan was way off, our brisket finished in record time, like 2.5 hours, our ribs were left on the smoker too long, our pork butts came out but the money muscle on both shrunk, so more like a mini-muscle than money muscle. Our chicken thighs were great, Corey did an amazing job with the devil meat. Ron created amazing turn-in boxes which helped us score perfect in presentation for each category……we turned in.

Unfortunately we didnt turn in our brisket – that was my mistake as I felt it had sat too long in the Cambro, and we didnt turn in our Pork Butt because we didnt have good money muscle. Some of the seasoned teams gave us some good advice following the scoring – “no matter what take the best part of any meat you cook, sauce it, and throw it in the box, at least you will get points” <- That advice is golden! So while we finished 18th place overall in the Competition and 4th overall in People’s Choice, we learned so much and made a lot of new friends and really that’s what BBQ is all about.