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Grand/Reserve Champion--Up in Smoke on the Square

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What is a CBJ?

The Kansas City Barbeque Society Judge Certification Program is designed to train barbeque judges in basic objective standards for judging barbeque meat in KCBS sanctioned cooking contests.

Who is eligible to Judge?

Anyone sixteen years and older, who likes barbeque and is serious about the excellence of judging barbeque.

How much does it cost to be certified?

KCBS can offer the program at a low cost because our members volunteer their time and resources.  The fee covers costs of materials, the rental of the facility to conduct the class and the travel expenses for the instructor.

If you are not a member when you take your CBJ training, a years membership is also included in the cost of the class.

Are there any perks for being a CBJ?

Yes! You will receive a judging manual, a certificate of your official judging status, a membership card depicting your judging number, the monthly Bullsheet, and an official KCBS judging name badge. There are many other perks as well.

KCBS members have some unbelievable benefits available to them. For example, a discount at Choice Hotels, GrillGrates, Harry & David, and much more! For a complete list of current membership discounts, go to our website at

Contest organizers prefer to use certified judges at their contests. Teams who compete in KCBS sanctioned events want certified judges scoring their barbeque.

How do I find a contest to Judge?

As soon as you are certified you can begin judging. Go to our website at for a complete list of upcoming contests and contact information. In addition, as a member of KBCS, each month you with receive the Bullsheet which also contains the same contest information as our website. 

Contact the organizer with a request to judge. Judging is a privilege, and it is always up to the organizer.

How do I become a Master Judge?

You must judge 30 KCBS sanctioned contests and cook at a contest (that you are NOT judging) with another team. You do not have to judge the 30 contests prior to cooking with a team. You may also count up to 10 table captain assignments in your 30 contests, but no more than 10 can be used towards your Master Judge certification. 

Mail your contest verification record and the form for cooking with a team(found in the judging manual) to the KCBS, 11514 Hickman Mills Dr., Kansas City, MO 64134

A Master Judge Test will then be mailed to you for you to complete. You must pass the test with a score of 90% or better.

What if I let my membership expire? Am I still a Certified Judge?

No. Certified judges must be a member in good standing to be considered “certified.” Why, you might ask? Simple, each year the KCBS board reevaluates the rules for a competition. Occasionally, rules are changed and if you are NOT a KCBS member, you will not be informed of these changes.


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Questions about the upcoming 2019 competition? Contact Us