A few years ago, my brother-in-law Russ became a certified barbecue judge, which means he’s now fully authorized to officiate at barbecue festivals nationwide. Russ discovered his calling in a Skymiles article about the Kansas City Barbecue Society‘s certification programs, and he and a few friends located a one-day course about an hour north of the city. I don’t think they knew what they were getting into initially, but they quickly realized there was more to certification than just showing up. After learning all there is to know about BBQ–including the “Three T’s of Judging” (tenderness, taste, texture), how sauce is not important, and how to judge a correct “smoke ring”–Russ and his fellow trainees took an exam. Those who passed then took the KCBS Oath, which is worth printing here in its entirety:
“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.”
Wow is right. If you’re interested in joining this League of Extraordinary BBQ Judges, check out the local courses coming up in May.