NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL BBQ ASSOCIATION (NHSBBQA)
Do you have to be in High School to compete?
No, we also have middle schools teams. Students must be 12-18 years old. Our curriculum and system can be used for to fit any program but due to liability we do not host events with student under 12 because we require student teams to do everything with no parental or coach help. They must own their success!
How much does it cost?
See the join us page and it has all of our products and services.
Do you allow alcohol?
Never, all our events are on School property and follow School District rules in line with High School Athletics of that State. Examples include - rain delays, extreme weather, power outage,ect.
Can we camp out or use an RV?
No, not on School District property and most times there will not be a need as our events are only one day so you can compete and get back to school. Some School Districts allow students to camp, but that would need to be at a State Park or other location following your School District policies.
How long do they cook?
Typically, events start at 6:00 a.m. and are over by 4:00 p.m. See event Agenda and Turn-In Times for each event in our document and forms section. Turn-In times tell each team when there food is due for grading. Just as with band, atheletics, and other student groups it is a day trip.
Do you have to compete?
No, many schools just do the lessons and curriculum and host their own school cook off. It is designed so you can start at any level - teacher lessons, school project, fundraiser, private competition, or Sanctioned Competition.
What is a Charter?
A Charter determines the level of involvement of the School or School District and how many High School BBQ Teams can compete. We also have a basic club charter for those schools that do not want to travel or compete.
How many students on a team?
Each school can have a maximum of 5 students per team but can compete with just one student, although that would be incredibly hard and a disadvantage.
Do you feed the public like a normal Adult BBQ cook off?
No, our events are meant to be about education and learning and feeding the public is an additional cost we do not support. The host School can have a Food Truck, caterer, local restaurant, or other staff or students sell or serve food but that is up to the host School District. Many School Districts combine our events with another District event or competition to showcase more kids and make it a community event or host their own internal District Competition. Examples include: Fall Festivals, Football Alumni or Homecoming Tailgate, CTSO invitationals, Senior Week, ect.
Who can be on a team?
The team can be a combination of students both girls and boys. Students do not have to be in the same class, although it makes it easier to teach unless it is an after school club and program.
Do I have to have a separate BBQ Club?
Although you still must have a BBQ Club Charter to compete as part of our National Championship series many schools incorporate our curriculum or system into an existing class, pathway, or student organization. FCCLA, SkillsUSA, ProStart, and C-CAP all teach culinary arts so this can just be another event for your students and current teams to participate in. We also have FFA, 4-H, and other student groups compete for team building and learning a new skill.
How much is equipment?
The beauty is many schools borrow much of the equipment in the beginning to try this out and then invest in year two. Many adult BBQ Cook Off teams and families in your community have the equipment and will not only loan it to your school but many times want to help mentor and coach students and teachers. Average cost is between $1,000 and $2,500. This investment can serve a whole District if utilized right. Our founder got a $15,000 BBQ trailer after 4 years that the School District owns and keeps at the Bus Barn as part of the fleet to be checked out by staff for different purposes - teaching, fundraising, staff appreciation, and competition.
How are the events judged?
Since we are a education organization first and about building communities we invite School District staff, administration, and communities members to participate as judges at the host school or your District event. Teams are scored on a Rubric based on 1-10 points using our proprietary system.
Can coaches, teachers, or parents help the students?
We believe our events help build self esteem, personal responsibility, organization, and time management skills so NO Adults are allowed in the cook off area after the event begins. Two Adult Mentors can verbally coach a team from outside the roped off cook off area but absolutely no touching or crossing the boundary lines. Teams are required to bring 12 Safety Cones to mark their space.
Can we bring our own meat?
No, all main meats will be provided for each team the day of the event so the event is fair, affordable, and consistent foor all teams and schools. Students will receive their meat the day of the event all at the same time so a team or school can not buy the event or cheat.
What categories do you cook?
Pork Ribs (St. Louis Style or Baby Backs), Chicken (Could be Thigh, Whole, or Wings), New York Strip Steak, Dessert, and then a Wild Card draw each year to add a new item. Examples: Skirt Steak, Flat Iron, Tri-Tip, Chili,Burgers, Dutch Oven Biscuits, Cobbler.
Brisket is only cooked at Regional and National Championships as these events are the top teams from a State or the Nation and is designed as a weekend cook off and BBQ Leadership summit. Normal events are one day events only.
Students will know what categories at the beginning of the season to practice..
What is HOT and FAST?
HOT and FAST is a style of live fire cooking at higher traditional barbecue temperatures between 300-400 degrees.
Do you have to cook all categories?
Yes, all categories are average together for a final score. Omitting one or two categories would take your score out of the winners circle.
How do you cook a Brisket in 5 or 6 hours?
Brisket can be cooked HOT and FAST, but due to event and school time restraints we do not cook Brisket except at the National Championship. It is the hardest and takes the most time. At Nationals teams set up the day before which gives them more time and ability to cook the brisket in 8 hours.