Best cooks flocking to Uvalde

More than 140 teams registered

Kimberly Rubio

Assistant editor

Each of the Top 10 cooks in the International Barbecue Cookers Association standings will be in Uvalde this week when the South Texas CattleWomen group introduces the 11th-annual Briscoe Ranch Cook-off at the Crossroads.

The event is set Friday and Saturday at the Uvalde County Fairplex, 215 Veterans Lane. As of Thursday, 143 teams were registered, with four teams coming from as far as Tuttle, Oklahoma, and Carlsbad, New Mexico.

Last year, 161 teams participated.

“Teams continue to register daily up until the start of the event,” said Wade Carpenter, an event organizer, noting that the event has grown since its inception in 2007.

That year, eight teams signed up, followed by 15 teams in 2011. In 2013, 36 teams participated; 2014, 26; 2015, 115; 2016, 153; and 2017, 161.

The competition was recognized by the Texas Senate as a Texas State Championship barbecue competition in 2013. It is also sanctioned by the International Barbecue Cookers Association.

“From 2014 to 2017 we had 373-percent increase in participation in cooks,” Carpenter said, adding that event organizers utilize cooker group forums on various social media platforms to spread the word.

This year, all top 10 cooks from the 2018 IBCA standings have registered to compete.

“Our Kids Que is sanctioned by KidsQue Nation,” Carpenter noted. “Youth up to 17 years of age may compete for only $10.”

Cost to register as an adult is $175.

“They register to cook three meats: brisket, pork, spare ribs and half chicken. They may also choose a jackpot ribeye steak category for an additional $25,” Carpenter said.

Prize money is awarded to the top 15 contestants in the categories of brisket, spare ribs and chicken. All teams have one head cook, and check-in time will begin at 10 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 7. Meat is subject to inspection at check-in. Meat will not leave the cook-off area after check-in.

Tray pickup begins promptly at 4 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7. The ribeye steak competition will begin at 6:30 p.m. and is the only competition for Friday.

The cooks’ meeting and kick-off party will follow beginning at 7:38 p.m.

Competition will pick back up Saturday, Dec. 8, at noon starting with chicken. Pork spare ribs will follow at 2 p.m. Brisket will begin at 4 p.m. and the Kids Que will start at 5:30 p.m. The awards ceremony will begin at 7 p.m.

So far, 250 individuals have signed up to serve as judges for the event. Organizers are still seeking additional judges, as between 300-400 are needed. “They may choose which meats they are willing to judge,” Carpenter said. To sign-up, visit

The event is produced by Uvalde Festival and Events Association Inc. Proceeds benefit Southwest Texas Junior College scholarships. To enter, visit

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