2022 Competition info is here!

Smokin’ In the Harbor BBQ Competition for teams! Calling all KCBS master series BBQers looking for a smokin’ H-O-T venue, C-O-O-L entry fees and sweet ‘n spicy organizers who will make this competition the ONE you want to cook at in 2022!


$5,000 in total estimated cash prizes:
Four categories:  chicken, ribs, beef brisket and pork
Grand Champion:  $700
Reserve Grand Champion:  $500​​

1st place:  $300 each team for 4 categories
2nd place: $250 each team for 4 categories
3rd place:  $200 each team for 4 categories
4th place:  $150 each team for 4 categories
5th place:  $25 each team for 4 categories

Ancillary category:  Dessert
1st place: $100
2nd place:  $75
3rd place:   $50


Please complete the entry form and mail to BCTR, PO Box 1245, Warsaw, MO  65355 or email lstokesvisitbentoncomo.com.

​There will be four categories for chicken, ribs, beef brisket and pork.

Check-in times: 10am-3pm on 8/5/22 (Friday)
Meat inspections: begins as you arrive
Cook meeting:  4:00pm
Turn-in times:  8/6/22 12:00pm for chicken, 12:30pm for ribs, 1pm for pork, 1:30pm for beef brisket and 2:00pm for dessert

The Four KCBS Meat Categories:

  • CHICKEN: Chicken includes Cornish Game Hen and Kosher Chicken.
  • PORK RIBS: Ribs shall include the bone. Country style ribs are prohibited.
  • PORK: Pork is defined as Boston Butt, Boston Roast, Picnic and/or Whole Shoulder, weighing a minimum of four (4) pounds at the time of inspection. After trimming, pork shall be cooked whole (bone in or bone out), however, once cooked, it may be separated and returned to the cooker at the cook’s discretion. It may be turned in chopped, pulled, chunked, sliced or a combination of any of those.
  • BEEF BRISKET: May be whole brisket, flat, or point. Corned beef is not allowed.

The four (4) KCBS categories will be judged in the following order: CHICKEN 12:00pm, PORK RIBS 12:30 pm, PORK 1:00 pm, BEEF BRISKET 1:30 pm.  Any modification of turn in times or the order the categories will be judged must be approved by the KCBS office. The modified times or change in category order must be published in the cooks packet well in advance of the contest and be confirmed at the cooks meeting. 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.

Award time:  8/6/22 2:30pm-3:00pm​

Note:  All meat can be trimmed prior to meat inspection.  The meat cannot be seasoned or injected prior to meat inspection.  Meat can only be cooked with charcoal or wood.  NOTE:  ONCE YOUR MEAT HAS BEEN INSPECTED IT CANNOT LEAVE THE SITE SO IF YOU’RE STAYING SOMEWHERE OFF SITE FRIDAY NIGHT THEN THE MEAT MUST REMAIN IN YOUR BOOTH.  Once your meat is inspected, it is at your discretion when you can begin cooking.

​Note:  All meat can be trimmed prior to meat inspection.  The meat cannot be seasoned or injected prior to meat inspection.  Meat can only be cooked with charcoal or wood.  ​

Above times are subject to change at organizer’s discretion with notice sent to all teams.  *Subject to change 60 days prior to competition with notice sent to all teams. ​

Vendor opportunities for the Taste of Benton County BBQ Festival:  Friday, August 5, 2022 from 6-9pm
There are no vendor fees and you provide whatever items you will be selling.  We are having a mini festival Friday evening, which includes a live band and a beer garden.  We anticipate there to be a large crowd of locals supporting not only our festival but purchasing your food and products.  We will sell “Taste of Benton County BBQ Bucks” on this evening.  You receive 90% of the proceeds back within two weeks.  You must turn in your BBQ bucks to receive reimbursement.


  • You will provide the meat, which leaves it open to whatever you want to cook, and can be prepared and cooked prior to your arrival on Friday.
  • You can sell your products, meat, merchandise, etc. to the public. You will receive 90% back of what you sell within two weeks of the event.  YOU MUST ACCEPT THE BBQ BUCKS FOR ANY ITEMS THAT YOU SELL (food, merchandise, retail items, etc).
  • Anything that is sold by you at your booth will need to be paid for with the BBQ Bucks and turned in at the end of the evening. We will tally up sales from each team and send a check back to you for 90% of the sales within two weeks from the event.
  • We need a minimum of 5 teams to participate but would love to have more!
  • The Taste of Benton County increases visibility of your team, KCBS and the sport of competition BBQ.
  • You will need to commit to vending no later than July 1, 2022 and submit your list of items for sale with pricing no later than August 1, 2022.

The attraction for the public to attend our Taste of Benton County is the opportunity to sample the best BBQ in the State of Missouri as produced by your team. Smokin’ on the Harbor is a fundraiser event for Benton County Tourism & Recreation, promoting tourism to Benton County. There is no extra charge for your team to be part of this contest and for a minimal percentage (10%) – we will market and promote this event. This contest also increases the visibility of your team, KCBS, and the sport of competition BBQ.

Dessert Contest Rules:
Dessert turn-in time:  2:00pm

Various Divisions: Cakes – Pies – Cheesecakes – Cup Cakes – Cookies
Scoring: The standard KCBS weighted scoring system will be used for Appearance/Visual Appeal/Creativity/Level of Difficulty, Taste/Flavor/Smell and Texture/Tenderness/Quality: Appearance: .5600 (14.00% of total score) Taste: 2.2972 (57.43% of total score) Tenderness/Texture: 1.1428 (28.57% of total score)

Some notes regarding criteria used to judge:

  • Appearance/Visual Appeal/Creativity/Level of Difficulty: Does this recipe present beautifully on a serving plate or baking dish? Do your eyes make you want to eat the dessert before you even smell or taste it?
  • Taste/Flavor/Smell: Does this recipe taste great with every bite? Does it have mass appeal? Would you want to make this recipe over and over again basted on taste alone? Does it contain interesting, yet gratifying flavor combinations? 50% of total score
  • Texture/Tenderness/Quality: Does this recipe have a great texture and “mouthfeel”?
  • Contestants will provide their own serving tray or plates etc. With their assigned number attached.
  • Garnish is open and optional.
  • Alternative heat sources are allowed.
  1. KCBS clamshell box is not required but will be provided to entered teams.  Teams will need to provide their own platter, tray, bowl, etc. to turn in their entries if they choose not to use the clamshell box.  Teams must also ensure that their team number (same as on clamshell boxes) appears somewhere on their dessert entry in a visible location.​
  2. Entry trays, etc. used by teams to turn in dessert entries must comply with the recommendations by KCBS in that the trays, etc. will be no larger than 18 inches by 24 inches and the entire dessert entry must be no taller than 18 inches.​
  3. It is not necessary for desserts to be cooked on-site.  We realize those without motor homes with ovens may be at a disadvantage if we did require cooking on site.​
  4. There are no garnish or KCBS rules that are applicable other than size limitations of the entry.​
  5. There will be no store-bought desserts entered.  Components of the desserts may be store bought but not the entire dessert.​
  6. It is NOT our goal to squelch creativity and fun in the dessert category.  Have fun, be creative but abide by the limited rules we have please.​

Teams must pick up their dessert entry trays at the judging area between 2:30pm-4pm on Saturday.  Entry trays not picked up by the teams will be discarded if not claimed.​



Mail a check payable to Benton County Tourism & Recreation, PO Box 1245, Warsaw MO  65355 along with the printed form above.  Deadline to register for the competition is August 1, 2022.

For more information on this event, please contact Lynette at 660-438-2090 or lstokes@visitbentoncomo.com.​

Entry fee is non-refundable and the event will be rain or shine.  Ice will be available to participants at a minimal fee during the competition.

Deadline to register for the contest is no later than August 1, 2022.

For more information on this event, please contact Lynette at 660-438-2090 or lstokes@visitbentoncomo.com.​  Entry fee is non-refundable and the event will be rain or shine.  Ice will be available to participants at a minimal fee during the competition.


 Order your “What you Smokin” Souvenior Tshirt today!