Cooker Information

This year’s Blues Bandits & BBQ is setting up to be a fantastic event! Thank you all for choosing to compete.

We have put together some important information as we approach the event, to run smoothly and ensure compliance with the rules and the parks department. We’ve broken this information down into several categories:

  1. Load-in / Check-in

  2. Event Layout

  3. What’s Provided

  4. General Schedule & Cooking Turn-In Schedule

  5. IBCA Cooking Rules

  6. People’s Choice Rules

  7. Awards

  8. Wrap-Up and Close Out (Required form you must fill out!)

1. Load-in / Check-In

Check-In and arrival will begin on Friday, November 1 at 12:00 p.m. and conclude at 5:00 p.m. You must be loaded in by 5:00 p.m. Each competitor will be expected to check in at the parking lot located on the north side of the Kidd Springs Park baseball field (located on Kidd Springs Drive). Our Blues, Bandits & BBQ staff will have a registration table with information ready for the Head Cook of each team to fill out and sign. Tent assignments will be assigned based on the sequence of arrival. (Note: For those wishing to be close together, we suggest you check in at the same time as we are not allowing for spot reservation this year.)

Once you have your assigned spot, please drop off your pit, unhitch and remove your vehicle from the area as quickly as possible. There will be many competitors looking to get in, get fired up and start cooking quickly. Thanks in advance for your cooperation with this and we know you all will help us out by getting in and out quickly so load-in runs smoothly.

2. Event Layout

We have made significant efforts to spread the competitors out so that everyone will have equal abilities to participate in the Popular Vote and get equal audience from our local participants. For those that provided feedback from prior year’s events, Thank you. We’ve incorporated a number of your suggestions into the event this year and we hope that you notice that we’ve done our best to accommodate all cookers.



Kidd Springs Drive, Dallas, TX 75208

3. What’s Provided

Included within each numbered space:

  • One (1) piece plywood flooring

  • One (1) 6-foot table (feel free bring your own tables as well)

  • One (1) table covering

  • One (1) fire extinguisher

  • One (1) hand wash station

  • One (1) dish wash station

Cooker Load-In is on the north side of the park. Public entry is on the south side of the park. Upon arrival, competitors will need to drop off their pits and find parking for their vehicles.

*Vehicles and RVs are not allowed in the park – street parking is first come, first served.

Public Entry, Beer Garden, Music Stage, People’s Choice Turn In, Bathrooms and Judging have all been spread out to ensure participants have the best chance at visiting all competitors. *Event staff will do a periodic cooler check upon check-in or shortly there after to ensure no meat has been prepared in advance of the event.

*Spaces are not guaranteed as size of pit will be a factor but are otherwise as noted first come first serve.

4. General Schedule & Cooking Turn-In Schedule

Friday Schedule:

12:00 p.m. Check-In / Load-In begins

6:00 p.m. Friday night - Bands Begin to Play

6:30 p.m. MANDATORY - Cookers Meeting – Head Cook Must Participate

9:00 p.m. Bar Closes

Saturday Schedule:

In the interest of providing all cookers a set schedule and based on some new requirements to

stay within the regulations of the IBCA, we’ve had to make some last-minute changes. We’ve

modified the turn-in categories to just 4 items: Chicken, Pork Spare Ribs, Brisket and a “Wild


The Turn-In schedule and rules will be as follows:

11:00 am – Wild Card (For the People’s Choice)

The only rule for the Wild Card is that this item CANNOT be the same as what you turn in for

the IBCA certified items. Each competitor will receive a serving tray whereby they will need to

turn in approximately NINE (9) pieces or servings of their Wild Card entry. The main rule for this

category this is that it CANNOT be the same item that is used in the IBCA categories (Chicken,

Pork Spare Ribs, or Brisket) – feel free to get creative!

12:00pm – Chicken

Each competitor will receive two containers whereby they will need to turn in ONE (1) - one

half (1/2) fully jointed chicken with skin that includes a breast, wing with tip (visible not

tucked under), thigh, and drumstick. (No Cornish Game Hens)

1:30pm – Pork Spare Ribs

Ribs must be pork spare ribs (baby back and country style are NOT permitted); St. Louis style is

allowed. Each competitor will need to turn in NINE (9) ribs in the container that will be provided

to during the cookers meeting.

3:00pm – Brisket

NINE (9) full slices, recommended 1/4′′ to 3/8” thick. Blocking brisket ends is allowed. The fat

cap may be trimmed or cut away before the slices are placed into the tray.

All three meats Chicken, Pork Spare Ribs and Brisket are required to be turned in meat side up

no more than 10 minutes before or 10 minutes after the turn-in times listed above.

Other notable times:

12:00 pm – doors open to public and People’s Choice sampling begins

3:00 pm – People’s Choice sampling ends

4:45 -5:00 pm – Awards and Announcements

8:00 pm – We need to have everyone packed and out of the park

5. IBCA Cooking Rules

1. COOKED ON SITE – All meats will be cooked on-site. The preparation and completion

(excluding pretrimming) of any and all meats in competition is within the confines of the

cook-off site and during the time limits designated by the promoter. Pre-trimming

competition meat may be removed from the store packaging and pre-trimmed unless

there is a health department rule requiring that all meat must be in store packaging

when meat is inspected. If this is an issue, it must be made clear on the cook-off flyer so

that all cooks attending an event know about this ahead of time.

2. SANITATION – Cooks are to prepare and cook in as sanitary manner as is possible.

Cooking conditions are subject to inspection by the Promoter. Infractions identified by

the judging committee shall be immediately corrected or the cook will be subject to


3. ENTRIES PER PIT – IBCA recognizes only one entry per head cook on a given pit. It will be

the responsibility of the Promoter to monitor entries. Notwithstanding, multiple entries

in the same category by the same cook or from the same pit, or multiple entries from

the same piece of meat shall not be allowed. The head cook of the team registered for

the event must be at least 18 years old and present at the event. If an emergency arises

that requires the head cook to leave the event, the head judge must be notified

immediately. The remaining team members may complete the competition and the

head cook will receive the points. If the head cook is not in attendance at the event, the

team members may not cook under the head cook’s name. Points will be awarded to

the member in attendance who is determined to be the head cook, if a member of IBCA.

4. BBQ PITS – Any commercial or homemade, trailered or untrailered, pit or smoker

normally used for competitive barbeque. A BBQ Pit may include gas or electricity for

starting the combustion of wood or wood products but NOT to complete cooking. Pit

should be of a permanent design that contains separate individual cooking chambers

and heat sources. (no sharing of heat sources) Electrical accessories such as spits, augers

or force drafts are permitted. The use of heat lamps, proofing cabinets or any other

electrical heating or holding device is prohibited. Anyone with a free-standing pit (not on a trailer) will need to provide their own floor (sheet of plywood) under the smoker.

5. OPEN FIRES – Kidd Spring Park does not allow ground pits on this property. Should this be an issue for you, please contact the Blues Bandits and BBQ Chair.

For each category, the Head Cook or other authorized representative must write the name of

the Head Cook on the exposed portion of the ticket that will be attached to the judging

container. Also…Anyone with a free standing pit (Not on a trailer) will need to provide their own floor (sheet of plywood) under

the smoker.

6. People’s Choice Rules

We’re allowing any pork, chicken or beef item of your choice to be creative with. This item will

serve as you’re Wild Card and should be turned in at 11:00 am to the Judging Station but will

also serve as your item to serve to the public beginning at 12:00 pm for your entry to the

People’s Choice Award. We will shut down all public turn-in for the People’s Choice Award at

3:00 pm. Judging for the Wild Card will result in 3 votes for 1st, 2 tokens for 2nd and 1 for 3rd.

This year, we’re anticipating our public attendance will be between 500 and 750 attendees. For

those that have participated in this event previously, you know that this is one of Oak Cliff’s

favorite events and you’ll see a number of hungry people visiting your tent and interested to

see what kind of creativity you’ve got in store for this year.

Again, the only stipulation we have for this category this year is that it CANNOT be the same

item that is used in the IBCA categories – feel free to get creative! For those that were planning

for Sausage or Pulled Pork, feel free to use that as your Wild Card entry.

7. Awards

ANNOUNCING WINNERS – Winners for each category will be announced starting with the IBCA recognized categories in order of chicken, pork spare ribs, and brisket. The top 10 scores in each category will be announced. The top 10 will receive points from IBCA. After the announcement of the top 10 in each category, the final table tray numbers will be announced. After the IBCA categories are called, the People’s Choice will be announced.

1st Place in each category will be awarded a winning trophy and a $250 Check

2nd Place in each category will be awarded a winning trophy and a $150 Check

3rd Place in each category will be awarded a winning trophy and a $100 Check

At the end of the individual awards, the Reserve Grand Champion and Grand Champion of the event will be announced. The announcement of the winners will be by the Head Cook’s name and the total number of points received for each that category.

The Grand Champion will also be automatically eligible to participate in the American Royal, which is in September 13 – 16 of 2019. This event is an honor to participate in and more information about this event can be found at:

In the event of a tie for Grand Champion, brisket will be the first tie breaker, followed by ribs, then chicken, and then the wild card.

Note: When claiming the award, the ticket matching the called number must be presented for verification. Copies of the ticket number including but not limited to written list, photographs, etc will not be accepted. If unable to produce the original matching ticket part the place called will be declared as Unclaimed. Ticket holders of Unclaimed places in the IBCA categories have until the end of call the final table brisket numbers to claim the place. If the original Matching ticket part is presented to the Head Judge after the announcement of the final table brisket numbers, the place will remain listed as Unclaimed on the official winners list and no points will be awarded.

Other Important Things to Keep in Mind

Please be registered and present for the 6:30 p.m. Cookers meeting with the IBCA Head Judge on Friday evening. All competitors may bring your pit/smoker before or after the meeting but keep in mind two things –

(1) if you aren’t at the meeting your spots are assigned upon arrival.

(2) Spots are assigned upon Check-In and Head Cook arrival.

Other supplies needed or that may be needed:

All cookers are required to bring:

  • Hair coverings (hats acceptable)

  • Food safe latex gloves

  • Thermometer

Optional Supplies to bring:

  • Lights

  • Chairs

  • Generators

  • Signage/décor - NO TAPING ON TENTS, please

Wristbands for competitors for beer/wine will be available for purchase on Friday. There is no outside alcohol permitted at Kidd Springs Park.

8. Wrap-up and Close Out

Park Rules are that we need to clear out and have all competitors wrapped up and off premise between 6 and 8 pm on Saturday.

As with any event done on a city park, it is ours and your responsibility to clean up anything that you bring in. Please help us to make sure that we maintain a clean environment to represent us well.

Lastly, we’re always open to feedback and welcome your input to help make this event even better for the years to come. Next year for our 10th anniversary, we are expecting that we’ll have more than 50 competitors and even more attendees.

Cookers / Competitors:

We want this to be a great experience for you and for our community. This is known as one of the best events we “Go Oak Cliff” hosts throughout the entire year. We want to keep it fun, and make this an event you’ll want to participate in year after year.

Please understand that we have made many accommodations in order to make this event better. That said, our neighborhood event is growing. We have almost 200% growth in cookers this year over last. Which means, we’re going to have a lot more people, a lot more food, a lot more attention, and finally a lot more responsibility.

Welcome to our 9th annual Blues Bandits & BBQ Event. You are in for a great time. We have some great people here. We have some great competitors, a great event and we welcome your participation. At the heart of this event is our passion to support our community!

As part of Go Oak Cliff, we want to bring our community together, raise awareness of what’s happening in and around our neighborhood and give back where we can.

Thanks to all of you for being a part of this event. The weather looks like it is going to be perfect for sitting around a fire and breaking bread with such a tight community.

One final ask, in preparation of the event, please submit the following.

Head Cooker *
Head Cooker
Address *
Phone *

If you have questions, comments or concerns, please contact Alison Matis:

Text: (202) 657 5747

Good luck to all of you and see you on Friday!