Webinar on the new rules


  1. To develop leadership talents and to work toward achieving the broad objectives of developing sound character and effective citizenship.
  2. To acquire scientific knowledge and improved understanding of the economy, versatility, and nutritional value of chicken meat and its relationship to human nutrition and health.
  3. To help youth develop skills in the preparation and use of chicken and to acquire the ability to express their ideas proficiently and efficiently through participation in projects, talks, discussions, demonstrations, and exhibits.
  1. Each state is eligible to enter one bona fide 4-H member in the contest; however, an individual may only enter one of the barbecuing events in a particular year due to an overlap in the cooking and presentation times between the chicken and turkey events. NOTE: This contest also overlaps with the Poultry judging and Egg preparation demonstration contests.
  2. The contest sequence for cooking and presentation will be announced at the contest briefing prior to the contest. The contestants will be scored for barbecue skills, sensory evaluation, and presentation by three sets of judges according to the barbecue score sheets.
  3. Following arrival and delivery of their supplies to the grilling or presentation location, contestants will work alone, except in case of an emergency, as determined by contest monitors.
  4. Contestants are responsible for keeping their cooking and presentation areas tidy and for clean-up as well as the removal of their equipment and supplies.
  1. Each contestant will prepare four (4) bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (1.5-2.0 lb. total), provided them by the contest monitors. They will be evaluated during the preparation of their chicken by judges utilizing the chicken barbecue skills score sheet.
  2. There will be a 2-hour time limit for the preparation and cooking of the chicken thighs. The chicken will not be available to the contestant prior to the contest starting time. The fire may not be lit until the contest starting time.
  3. Chicken shall not be marinated prior to the start of the contest. Parboiling and/or deep-frying competition meat is not allowed. Contestants may not enhance chicken meat by piercing, injecting, or inserting any fluid, sauce, or additive into the chicken product other than immediately beneath the skin layer.
  4. If the contestant desires, the thighs may be deboned. In addition, if deboned, seasoning or sauce may be applied to the area vacated by bone removal. Sauce or similar products can be placed in a small metal pan on the grill for heating, but the meat product may not be placed in the metal pan while on the grill.
  5. Barbecue grills will be provided for all contestants, which they will be required to use. Each contestant will be assigned a cooking space and grill along with a work area of one half of an approximately 30-inch by 8-foot folding table adjacent to their grill.
  6. Charcoal and lighter fuel will also be available if needed. Contestants may bring their own charcoal and lighter fuel but self-starting charcoal or automatic fire starter blocks will not be permitted.  
  7. Chimney-starters may be used, but such devices must be placed inside the grill before and during ignition and removed from the grill prior to the addition of the chicken for cooking. Fire is restricted to inside the provided grill. Burning materials outside the grills will be considered as a fire hazard. 
  8. The use of non-charcoal combustible fuel is to be limited. Accessories such as spits, augers, or forced draft are not permitted. Electricity will not be provided or cannot be used. Material may not be added to the grill area such as rocks, sand, or other dense materials to aid in cooking. 
  9. All other equipment and supplies, including sauce, must be furnished by the contestant. Sauce, if used, may be a commercial product or private recipe (description must be provided to judges on the recipe card to assist during flavor and appearance evaluation).  
  10. Contestants are expected to use a meat thermometer. Devices used for supporting, containing, or covering of meat during cooking will not be permitted; only aluminum foil wrap may be used. 
  11. Contestants must provide recipe or preparation outline cards describing sauce, rubs, or other treatments associated with the cooking of the chicken to include ingredients and special instructions if necessary, for food safety, relating to these ingredients such as keeping sauce ingredients either cool or heated. NOTE: Three (3) copies on note card stock, single 3-inch by 5-inch size preferred, containing these cooking instructions or recipe must be provided to judges – 2 copies to barbecue skills judges before starting the fire, and 1 copy to turn in to sensory evaluation judges with the cooked product. 
  12. Recipe cards need to include the following information:
    1. Name of the recipe and contestant number
    2. Ingredients and general cooking instructions
    3. If special cooking techniques were used to achieve unique flavoring
  13. Each contestant will present three (3) barbecued chicken thighs to the panel of judges at the conclusion of their cooking time on plates or containers provided. 
  14. Prior to the submission of the three (3) cooked chicken thighs for evaluation, contestants must demonstrate to the barbecue skills judges the criteria and methods they used to determine the proper doneness of their product at the time of turn-in. Judges may also independently evaluate the product at this time. Thighs may be presented either intact or boneless, however, all submitted thighs must be presented the same whether either intact or boneless. The contestant is to have turned in the product by the end of the stated cooking time. Contestants will be notified 15 minutes prior to the end of the cooking time. Cooking skills will be evaluated using the chicken cooking skills score sheets.  
  15. Each contestant will present three (3) barbecued chicken thighs to the panel of judges at the conclusion of their cooking time on plates or containers provided.  
  16. No garnishes, dips, or additional items shall be presented on the plates or submitted to the judges. Note that one recipe card or cooking outline card for the sensory judges must accompany the product. The product will be evaluated using the chicken sensory score sheets.

The Aussie Walk-A-Bout Portable Charcoal Grill is used and features folding legs and a locking bowl and hood.  There are 332 sq. in. cooking area cooking space, a chrome-plated cooking grid, hood and vents, and on this grill bowl and lid.

Aussie Grill


  1. An illustrated presentation, including factual information about meat chickens, will be made by each contestant (see score sheet). The participant is to demonstrate their knowledge in the following areas:
    1. The chicken meat industry in the United States and its economic importance
    2. General food safety, including safe storage and handling of chicken (uncooked and cooked) with particular emphasis in preparation by grilling.
    3. Nutritional value of chicken meat and its role in a balanced diet
  2. Contestants will be allotted a maximum of 10 minutes for their presentation. Judges will have up to 3 minutes for questions directed to contestants. Questions may be related to statements made by the contestant during their presentation that the judges feel might need further explanation or more related to important information that may be missing from the presentation. No contestant will be allowed to have any form of identification as to name or state represented, including from in the PowerPoint presentation content, posters, or from the tabletop graphics utilized during the oral presentation.
  3. Easels will be provided for those using posters. PowerPoint presentations using a computer and computer projector can be used. A Windows-based laptop computer and computer projector will be available. PowerPoint will be installed on the computer and contestants should have their talk on a USB flash drive device. Information on which version of PowerPoint will be used in the current year will be posted on the contest website. If a PowerPoint presentation is planned, the presentation is due in the final form for submission at the time of the contestant briefing held the evening before the contest. PowerPoint presentations are cannot include audio. The order of presentation and contestant number will be determined at the contest briefing.

NOTE: In case of a tie following tabulation of contestant scores, the tie scores of the top five contestants will be broken in descending order by:

  • Highest score in Sensory Evaluation
  • Highest score in Barbecue Skills portion
  • A method determined by the contest committee