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info, rules and regulations

Who? Anyone who loves to fire-up BBQ is welcome to compete in this friendly neighborhood cook-off. Just fill out the application and get ready! And, please, amateur cooks only--REMEMBER, if you have ever made money cooking you are considered a pro! 


Where, How and When? The Blast area will be on Vaughn drive between West St. and Jefferson St., and this area will be open for your use at 6:00 am, Friday, August 16th. You must bring your own BBQ rig. Spaces will be approximately 12' x 12' and teams will have more space between then than usual. Please bring a fire-retardant, approved canopy if you wish. We think charcoal and wood tastes best! There will be a cook's meeting with any special instructions late in the afternoon. At that time, you will be instructed how and when to provide samples for judging. Prizes will be handed out during a break in the music Friday evening.

What? Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places in these categories: Ribs, Pork, Beef, Poultry, and Game/Other Meats (rabbit, goat, venison, etc.). Special prizes will also be awarded to the best Original Sauce, Best Original Spice Rub, and the Best Team Awards. If you wish your sauce and/or rub to be judged, a container will provided for you.


Why? What could be more fun than cooking up some delicious BBQ and listening to great blues music, meeting new people, and generally having a great town party on the Ohio River! We'll see you there!

Turn-in Schedule 

  • 6:20 pm  -Ten minute warning

  • 6:30 pm  -Chicken turn-in

  • 6:45 pm  -Ribs turn-in

  • 7:00 pm  -Pork turn-in

  • 7:15 pm  -Beef turn-in

  • 7:30 pm  -Game & Other; Meat with special emphasis on Bacon; sauce, spice rub turn-in

  • 9:00-ish pm  -Post cooks meeting

  • 9:30-ish pm  -Awards Ceremony

  1. All BBQ entries must be cooked on site. This means no parboiling at home then finishing onsite. Fires shall be of wood or charcoal, use of electricity to cook is not allowed. Teams with pellet grills, fans, and other similar conveyances may use their own self-contained electricity. This means no generators or other noisy, polluting and/or foul contraptions!

  2. If you purchase your wristbands when you make your Backyard Blast application by July 1st, you will receive 10 food/drink tickets per wristband, WHILE SUPPLY LASTS. How bad can that be?

  3. Only original sauces and spice rubs qualify for award judging.

  4. All cooking must be carried out in a hygienic and safe manner. All raw meats must be kept on ice if not on the fire. All other safe and accepted practices must be followed.

  5. ​Entrants may enter one or all categories, and must provide the following for judging:

    • Ribs- 1/2 slab (8-10 ribs)

    • Pork- 1/2 lb meat (chopped, pulled, sliced, etc)

    • Beef- 1/2 lb meat (chopped, pulled, sliced, etc)

    • Poultry- 1/2 chicken (in whatever form available)

    • Game- 1/2 lb meat (chopped, pulled, sliced, etc)

  6. ​All samples for judging should be ready according to turn-in time schedule. Turn-in starts at 6:30 pm.

  7. All samples for judging must be cut into 6 or more pieces. Those that are not will be judged in the same manner as the KCBS- essentially disqualified.

  8. Entrants (or their designee) must be present to receive their award Friday night.

  9. Teams that share their recipes and cooking methods may be featured in an article by The Madison Courier.

  10. Teams will not be allowed to set-up before 6:00 a.m. Friday. Teams should line up on either West St. or Jefferson St. No one is allowed past the barricades until placed by a volunteer. If anyone drives or walks onto the site to claim a spot before being placed, their food will be eaten by the volunteers, the BBQ equipment auctioned, and we'll keep your truck.

  11. The judges’ decisions are final, whether you agree with them or not!

To review the IN State Fire Marsha rules, click below:

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