About KCBS

You and your fellow judges will help make our event a great success. The Holy Cow BBQ and Festival is a KCBS sanctioned event and as such, judges will be accepted on a first come basis.  We look forward to having you join us in making this a successful BBQ Event. The judges will perform their duties inside, in a comfortable indoor space.

Please take the time to review and fill out the application.

Interested in the official KCBS rules and regs? We have you covered! Click the button below to find out more.

View KCBS Rules & Regulations


KCBS Certified Barbeque Judge’s Oath

I do solemnly swear to objectively and subjectively evaluate each Barbeque meat that is presented to my eyes, my nose, my hands and my palate. I accept my duty to be an Official KCBS Certified Judge, so that truth, justice, excellence in Barbeque and the American Way of Life may be strengthened and preserved forever.


KCBS Quick Facts/Q&A

What is KCBS?

KCBS sanctions and judges BBQ competitions across the U.S. and promotes barbeque as America’s cuisine. It is the largest society of barbeque enthusiasts in the world.

How does KCBS sanction a BBQ competition?

By providing the most respected form of judging and scoring in the world of BBQ, KCBS provides representatives for each contest and access to certified BBQ judges who have been trained in how to judge world-class barbeque, all while using a blind judging process that is fair and void of personal knowledge of teams being judged.

How many competitions does KCBS sanction?

KCBS sanctions nearly 300 events across the country, and sanctions contests in 44 states.

Does KCBS only judge Kansas City style BBQ?

No. KCBS judges are trained in a manner that allows them to appropriately judge ALL types of barbeque, from St. Louis and Texas styles to Memphis and Carolina styles. Our contests are held in every region of the country, and as a result receive the same fair, unbiased, trained judging process.

How many members does KCBS have?

KCBS has more than 14,000 professional members throughout the world.

How does one become a KCBS member?

An individual membership to KCBS costs $35, and includes a subscription to The Bullsheet, the society’s monthly magazine, as well as inclusion in numerous discounts and special offers. A family membership costs $50.

How does one become a KCBS Certified Barbeque Judge?

By attending one of the numerous official judging classes conducted by KCBS each year throughout the country. Each class has an enrollment fee (which is discounted for members), and instructs students on how to judge world-class BBQ. An updated list of judging classes are listed on the KCBS official website.

What categories does KCBS judge at contests?

KCBS conducts official competitions at each event in the following categories (specifically kosher): chicken, turkey, beef ribs and brisket.

What are the qualities that a KCBS Certified Barbeque Judge looks for as he or she judges?

A KCBS judge evaluates barbeque in three different criteria: taste, appearance and texture.

How long has KCBS been around?

KCBS was formed in 1986 by Gary and Carolyn Wells and Rick Welch.

How is KCBS operated?

As a non-profit corporation, KCBS is administered by a 12-seat board of directors.

Where is KCBS located?

The KCBS home office is located at 11514 Hickman Mills Drive, Kansas City, MO 64134.