Online Cook Teams Registration and Rules

Cook teams registering after 1 p. m. Thursday, April 12, 2018 will be added to a waiting list. Cook teams are encouraged to register and we will call if an opening becomes available.

Chief Cook
Chief Cook
Phone (Home)
Phone (Home)
Phone (Mobile)
Phone (Mobile)
l will be cooking with a natural source (wood, charcoal, etc.)
Sponsor Name as it should appear on the sign.
Sponsor Physical Address
Sponsor Physical Address
Sponsor Billing Address
Sponsor Billing Address
Sponsor Phone Number
Sponsor Phone Number
Please enter the name and telephone number of the person approving the sponsor.

Judging will be based on three categories: Showmanship, Backyard and Professional on-site judging
•    Backyards and Professionals will be judged together in the Showmanship Category.
•    To be considered in the Backyards category, since May 5, 2017, you:
    - Have not won or placed in a N.C. Pork Council-sanctioned barbecue cooking contest
    - Have not participated in two or more N.C. Pork Council-sanctioned barbecue cooking contests
Barbecue Cook-off Committee will make final determinations on Backyard/Professional status

Carolina BBQ League – Natural Source Winner
* The Carolina BBQ League organization is sponsoring this award to the top Cook Team using a traditional heat source, i.e. wood, charcoal, etc.

1.     All cooking spaces will be numbered and pre-assigned by the festival director. No changes will be allowed

2.     A festival official will direct you to your site. Each team is required to be checked in no later than 7 p.m. on Friday, May 4, 2018

3.     Teams will be permitted to begin setting up their equipment anytime after 12 noon on May 4, 2018. Neither the Chamber nor the City of Kinston shall be responsible for any cookers or equipment brought to the grounds before this time

4.     Each cooking space will be limited to a 20-feet by 24-feet area. For each 20-feet by 24-feet area, one pig must be cooked. There will be room for your tent and one vehicle parked beside it

5.     At 7 p.m., an Introduction of teams and sponsors (followed by the chief cooks briefing) will be held at the Herritage Street Main Stage. Attendance is mandatory

6.    Each cooking team shall have one person designated as chief cook. The chief cook shall be the only person permitted to present the pig during the judging process

7.    The festival will provide a 125-135-pound pig. pigs will be distributed on Friday, May 4, 2018 between 8 and 10 pm and the contest will officially begin at that time

8.    All pigs must be cooked in an above-ground cooker. Should a gas cooker be used, it must meet the safety standards, such as proper regulator, tanks must be secured to prevent accidentally being overturned and any other requirements the festival director deems for safety precautions


10.    Cooking teams are requested to keep their cooking area free of trash. Please use the trash containers provided at various locations. Each team is responsible for site cleanup at the end of the contest. All team spaces will be checked prior to leaving the cook team area. Any Team leaving before the official check out will be subject to forfeiture of prize winnings and a potential ban from future contests

11.    All cooking teams are requested to be discrete with any alcoholic beverages consumed on festival premises. Law enforcement officers will be present. Cups will be provided in limited quantity

12.    All cooking teams are requested to respect the rights of others in attendance for the festival, with special emphasis from each team member relating to loud music, loud or profane language or infringement on adjoining sites with any equipment, cookers, cars, campers, vans, pickups, etc. Curfew for quiet time will be midnight. Security will be provided throughout the evening

13.    There will be musical entertainment on Friday evening, May 4, 2018. Food and beverages will be available

14.    Gloves are not mandatory, but a basin of water and soap is mandatory for cleanliness purposes

15.    Cooks are no longer allowed a pass

16.    A festival staff person will be assigned to accompany the judges while the pigs are being judged. The staff person will collect score sheets. The score sheets will contain no information that will in any manner identify the cooks or sponsors. The festival staff or secured CPA, not the judges, will total and grand total the score sheets

17.    Pigs should not be sauced inside or out. Those pigs that have been sauced will be disqualified

18.    No external heat source may be used other than the grill. Some examples might include, but are not limited to heat guns and torches. Cook teams using external heat sources will be disqualified  

19.    Injecting pigs will not be allowed. Some examples might include, but are not limited to, sauce and product drippings. Cook teams injecting pigs will be disqualified 

20.    Following the on-site judging, the pigs shall be kept warm until picked up by festival staff.  All pigs must be turned in whole, except for the ribs, which may be removed with permission of the staff, following judging. Contestants must remove the cooked pork from the grill and place in the provider container for pick-up. Contestants not turning in whole pigs or removing cooked pork from the grill will be disqualified

21.    In the event of a tie, festival staff will refer back to the judging sheets and the winner will be awarded by the highest points in the meat taste category. If there is still a tie, then the higher skin crispiness score will count, then moisture

22.    Festival staff maintain the decision to distribute or mail the score sheets, following the announcement of winners. Score sheets will be given or mailed to the chief cooks

23.    Contest winners will be announced at approximately 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 5, 2018, or as soon as judging is completed and results are calculated

24.    All checks for product quality and showmanship will be given to the chief cook the day of the festival. Trophies will be presented to the chief cook on Saturday, May 5, 2018

25.    Upon request, each team will receive four complimentary BBQ plate tickets

26.    All cookers and equipment must be removed no later than 6 p.m., May 5, 2018, unless special permission is granted. Neither the Chamber, nor the City of Kinston shall be responsible for any cookers or equipment left on the premises after 6 p.m., May 5, 2018


For more information contact, 
Tammy Kelly, Chair, Hog Happenin’ at
North Carolina Cooperative Extension
(252) 527-2191