4th Annual Ham Jam BBQ Cook-Off


These official rules apply to ALL Contestants.  Rules are subject to change according to the guidelines of the Onslow County Health Department. 

Awards will be given as follows:

1st Place BBQ: $350 Cash + Trophy

2nd Place BBQ: $200 Cash + Trophy

People's Choice BBQ:  Trophy

Best of Wings: $50 Cash + Trophy

Best of Ribs: $50 Cash + Trophy

Best of Brisket: $50 Cash + Trophy

Best of Portobello Mushroom: $50 + Trophy 

Judges Overall Winner: (if you enter at least  meat categories):  Trophy 

1.) The Chief Chef named on the application is in charge of the tent and cooking area at all times and is responsible for the conduct and actions of his team members. 

2.) The Team's Chief must attend a MANDATORY meeting with the Head of Competition at 7pm, April 9th.  This meeting will run thru the basic rules and how judging will take place. Your (2) Pork Butts will also be selected by drawing numbers.  Any extra pork butts will be passed out as well to anyone who would like to volunteer to cook extra BBQ for sampling purposes. 

After the meeting, you will be allowed to set up your space.  A porta potty will be provided for your use. You will also have access to water.  

3.) A copy of the Judging Sheet will be issued at meeting.  This is a BLIND judging event. Judges will have NO knowledge of who has cooked the meats. 

4.) TWO Parking Tags will be issued, please place these in the dash of your vehicle.  Other vehicles must park in the public parking field.  If you plan on bringing an RV or large trailer please inform us in advance. 

5.) Competition areas are "as needed." We have a large field reserved for this event.  POWER may be limited.  Its best to have a generator as back-up. 

6.) Contestants may not sell any food or drinks during the sampling period, but MAY sale their own bottled BBQ sauces IF these sauces meet NC Health Inspections/Approved laws. You are responsible for collecting and paying your own sales tax, and your Sales ID # must be present. 


7.) Access roads - both entrance, exit and access road to Vendor Parking, must be kept clear of any obstruction at all times so emergency vehicles or festival vehicles may pass through.

8.) All meats must be cooked in above ground cookers.  

10.) All teams must provide and use their own grease drip pans. Grease is to be collected and disposed of OFF SITE.

11.) All spaces must be left clean and debris free, to include any meat droppings, wood, charcoal, etc. Do NOT empty any grease, charcoal or wood embers on the ground.  Bring appropriate containers to carry this type of debris OFF SITE for disposal.

12.) Open fires (not meant for cooking) will be allowed in portable fire pits with lids ONLY.  Absolutely NO open flames should be left unattended at any time.  These fire pits can only be used during the night time hours while cooking and for safety reasons, must be completely extinguished prior to the gates opening to the public at 11:30am. 

13.) All gas cookers are required to meet safety standards.  

14.) Smaller gas tanks must be placed in a container so they do not tip over. (milk crate, plastic container, etc)

15.) ALL booths will require a certified fire extinguisher that is up-to-date. 

16.) Judging Containers:  you are responsible for supplying your own clam-shell or container which you prefer to use for judging purposes. We will have back-ups on hand.   

19.) Each booth must have, for sanitary reasons:  a) water  b.) soap  c.) hand sanitizer  d.) paper towels  e.) container or bucket to catch gray water.

20.) Judging will start promptly at the following times for the following meats:

10am for Chicken Wings and Mushrooms

10:30am for Ribs

11:00am for Brisket

11:30am for BBQ and Sauces

***Keep cooking times in mind according to judging times, so all meats will be properly cooked.  

21.) Sampling:  Once you have entered your BBQ/sauce for judging, you may begin prepping the remaining meat for sampling. Sampling is free to everyone between 12pm-2pm, *while supplies last.  If you have a large amount of meat leftover, we request you bag it in the provided ziplock baggies to donate to the Marine Volunteers.  *(not mandatory)  This sampling period is YOUR time to talk up your meats, explain your cooking techniques, allow people to sample extra sauce, etc. 


22.) People's Choice:  There will be a table with bags marked with each Team Name and Team Number.  Guests will be given a single ticket to vote for their favorite.  

23.) Winners, Trophies and Prize Monies will be announced on the Small Stage at the Little Red Barn, Saturday at approx 2:30-3pm. (or as soon as samples have run out)

24.) If for some reason a competitor needs to withdraw from the Judging, please notify the Festival's Head of Competition AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

24.) When serving samples to the public, please prepare sample cups from your rear table or back table due to the lack of sneeze guards, if possible.  Hot holding equipment must maintain a food temperature of at least 135 degrees F.  

24.) The use of sanitary gloves is required at all times while handling food. Individuals are responsible for cleanup of their site once the competition has ended.

25.) Meats:  You may enter one meat or all four meats to the competition. The $45 Entry Fee is for (2) Pork Butts only. Competition meats for wings, brisket and ribs is to be supplied by the competitor, but you only have to cook enough meats for judging. We do NOT expect you to cook/provide enough for samples. 

26.) Once all sampling has been completed or 2pm arrives, whichever comes first, you may start packing up.  PLEASE be aware of festival goers as you move and pack up your vehicles. 

29.) Best of Sauce:  If you plan on entering the Best of Sauce Judging, all sauces must be in a numbered, lidded container which will be provided at the Competitor's Meeting.  All sauces must be turned in with the BBQ to be judged.

30.) Any meat deemed "undercooked" will be disqualified. We highly suggest you use a meat thermometer if you are unsure. 

31.) The final judging scores will be provided, as requested, after the announcement of winners. A copy can be emailed upon request. 

32.) The 4th Annual Ham Jam at the Farm Coordinators, or the Head of Competition, reserves the right to refuse any contestant the right to compete.  If a competitor or his team is the source of arguing, profanity or a major disturbance at any time during the event, you will be disqualified and may be asked to leave the festivals grounds. 

33.) Decisions of the Judging and People's Choice Votes are FINAL. 

34.) Any violation of any of these rules and conditions may be grounds for disqualification and removal from the event.