***UPDATE – Due to another contest geared more toward the pros being on the 8th, we are moving the date back to the 15th.  Here is the updated flyer ***


Last year we had such a good time that we couldn’t help ourselves throwing a second one.  And for this one we plan on cranking up the heat on the event.  We’ll have more to do, more trophies, more swag for the winners, and more raffle prizes for everyone, and most of all, more money for charity.  We also plan on having more teams, but the same basic premise — Only backyard grills.  No custom rigs. Just backyard guys competing with backyard guys.  If the pros want to show, they have to use the grills of us Joes.

Two other things are going up though.  We will increase the amount people can spend on the grills used in the contest to include the Big Green Egg.  It’s not about a couple hundred here or there, it’s about keeping the professionals and their big rigs out.  If they want to compete they have to use the same grills the rest of us use. As long as the grill was under around $1,000, we’ll let you compete.

The other thing that is going up this year is the entry fee.  Last year we charged $50 and after expenses we didn’t have much for charity.  We had planned on giving half of what we brought in after expenses to charity and keep the other half to improve the event for this year, but we wound up giving it all after expenses and even more out of our own pockets because we didn’t feel we were giving enough.

***Update – The sponsors, Hot Shots and Big St. Charles Motor Sports want to make sure everyone who wants to compete can compete and they don’t want money to stand in the way.  They have offered to pick up half the entry fee so teams will only have to pay what they paid last year and they will pick up the other $50. If you have already paid the $100, we will refund the other half on the day of the event.***

This year we will be benefiting Wounded Warrior Project, like we did last year, but will also support Wonderland Camp which provides a fun, educational camp experience at the Lake of the Ozarks for physically and mentally challenged individuals.

Also, the location has changed.  Sylvan Springs Park was great last year, but we couldn’t have more than a handful more teams there.  As you can tell by the logo at the top of this post, this year the folks at Big St. Charles Motor Sports are going to sponsor the event:

I want to party with that guy!?

These guys know how to throw an event and we figure that our audiences overlap quite a bit:

Also sponsoring the event is Hot Shots Bar and Grill.  That’s right.  You remember these lovelies that handed out the trophies last year, right?

The world famous Hot Shots girls will be there all day serving ice cold adult beverages.  Is there anything better than BBQ, beer and ______ (this is a family friendly site, so let your imagination finish that sentence).

Couple little things will change this year in terms of the categories and scoring.  First, I promise not to hose up the scoring like I did last year.  Second, we’re dropping the pork steak competition.  There wasn’t enough variation amongst the pork steaks to justify it.  This year we will be doing a chicken category along with the hold overs from last year: ribs and appetizer.

Did I mention $500 for Best In Smoke and $50 for first place in the three categories?

Or you can click this link to pay online.

If you want to see how our first event turned out you can see some pics here and on our Facebook page.


And we have more things to do than just watch people grill, smell the smoke and sample their wares.  There will be a petting zoo for the kids as well as a guy making balloon animals for the kids.

Here are some pics of what that looked like in the past:

Click below for the rules – Forgive the bad formatting:

Rules for the Second Annual Grillin Fools Backyard BBQ Bash


  1. All cooking must be done on mass market grills under $700.
    1. No large custom rigs
    2. We will permit Big Green Eggs
    3. We will allow UDS’s or Ugly Drum Smokers despite them being custom
    4. Gas grills are allowed as long as they are under $1,000 or so
  1.                                                               i.      The main thing here is no gigantic, over the top rigs.
  2.                                                               i.      This is your chance to get creative.  There is no limitation as to what you use as ingredients as long as the cooking satisfies rule 1.
    1. We would like a brief description of what your appetizer is at least 48 hours before the event.  This will be read to the judges before they sample so please leave anything referring to your team name out.
  3.                                                               i.      You can do legs, thighs or wings.  If you’re bold you could go with the unforgiving breast.  Choose which is best for you.
  4.                                                               i.      We are referring to pork ribs here but not limiting it to spares or baby backs.  You can use either.
  5.                                                               i.      Teams may check in later than 7:00 if they don’t fell they need the full time to prepare their product
  6.                                                               i.      All meat/ingredients must be inspected upon check in to ensure freshness for the safety of the judges.
  7.                                                             ii.      The meat may be marinated, injected, rubbed, or a combination of all, prior to check in, but it must be inspected for sanitary reasons
  8.                                                           iii.      No precooking/parboiling is allowed
  9.                                                           iv.      No food is allowed to go onto a grill until it is first checked by one of the event staff and is approved.
    1. Upon check in and set up, someone will be around to check to make sure the food is sanitary
    2. Failure to comply with this rule will result in disqualification
  10.                                                               i.      We very much encourage the giving away of samples so that the judges aren’t the only ones who get to taste what the competitors have to offer.
  11.                                                               i.      Bottled water and crackers to clear the palette will be provided for the judges
  12.                                                               i.      Entry is submitted after the official turn in time for that category
  13.                                                             ii.      The individual servings are not completely separated
    1. Make sure that each portion is cut cleanly from any other portion.  If 6 ribs are submitted and two are stuck together by some meat then the box will be disqualified.
  14.                                                           iii.      Less than 6 servings are turned in per box
  15.                                                           iv.      Sauce has “pooled” in the bottom of the turn in box
    1. This rule will be waved for the appetizer category as some teams have expressed interest in using a finishing sauce
  16.                                                             v.      Turn in box is marked in some way to identify it and circumvent the double blind system.
    1. If you get something on your box, track down the contest organizers for a replacement.
  17.                                                               i.      The scores will be compared (counting all five judges) for the highest cumulative scores in taste, then tenderness, then appearance.
  18.                                                             ii.      If still tied, then the low score, which was thrown out, will be compared and the higher of the low scores will break the tie.
  19.                                                           iii.      If still tied, then coin toss will be used.
  20.                                                               i.      3:15 for Appetizers
  21.                                                             ii.      4:00 for Chicken
  22.                                                           iii.      4:45 for Ribs
  23.                                                               i.      A small metal shovel is a good idea to bring along to dump charcoal after the event ends.
    1. Metal trashcans will be provided for charcoal disposal.
  24.                                                               i.      Please bring a roll of duct tape as we will need to tape down the entire length of the extension chord to ensure no one trips over it.
  1. Categories
    1. Appetizers
    1. Chicken
    1. Ribs
    1. Best combined score will be named Best in Smoke
  1. Check in
    1. Check in starts at 7:00.
    1. Proper refrigeration is very important.
    1. At check in, each team will be assigned an approximate 18’X18’ plot where all their cooking will be performed.
  1. Selling Food
    1. Selling of food is not allowed.  Giving away free samples is up to the grilling teams and samplers discretion, but for tax purposes and health department rules, the sale of food is not permitted.
  1. Judging
    1. Each team will turn in at least 6 samples of each category to be judged in the Styrofoam boxes provided by the event sponsors
    2. Judges are not allowed to consume alcohol while judging
    1. If we have any husband and wife/boyfriend and girlfriend judges then they are not allowed to be at the same judging table
    2. All samples to go to the judges have to be submitted in numbered Styrofoam boxes (provided by contest organizers) with 6 samples in each.
    3. The boxes will be turned in to contest organizers and renumbered for a double blind system to ensure that the scores are based on the food and not the team that prepared it.
    4. Entries can be disqualified for:
  1. Scoring
    1. Entries will be judged on Appearance, Tenderness/Texture and most importantly Taste in a weighted scoring system with Appearance accounting for 0.5714 of the overall score, Tenderness/Texture 1.1428 and Taste 2.2858.
    2. Once a sample box has been presented, the judges will not be able to talk to each other until all scores are marked down for all the samples in front of them.
    3. Scoring will be done on a scale of 2-9.
    4. All scoring starts at 6 which is average and goes up and down from there as the judge sees fit.
    5. Disqualified entries receive a 1.
    6. The low score of the six scores will be thrown out.
    7. In case of a tie:
  1. Turn in times
    1. First round of judging
  1. Awards:
    1. Awards will be presented soon after the final scores are tabulated
  2. Suggestions:
    1. This is a rain or shine event so some sort of awning or canopy is recommended just in case of inclement weather and to shade from the sun.
    2. Appearance is not just for the food itself, but how it is presented, so think about how each box looks before it is turned in.  Some greenery as a nest for your submissions can go a long way for the appearance score.
    3. While you cannot sell food in any way shape or form it can be given away.  Packing some toothpicks and a serving tray might be a good way to give samples to people in attendance and each other to get a feel for what you are up against.
    4. It will require multiple grills to compete in all categories, plan accordingly
    5. Charcoal disposal at the end of the event needs to be done carefully
    1. If you need electricity, let us know so we can place you near a jack.
  1. Rule Changes
    1. These rules are ever evolving.  We will send out amendments as quickly as possible to all entrants as necessary.




The event will be held at Big St. Charles Motor Sport.


  • Take Highway 70 into St. Charles, take exit 225 (Truman Blvd) and go north
  • Take the very first right on West Clay and follow the signs.
  • Big St. Charles is on the left.
Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas, the Original Grillin’ Fool, was sent off to college with a suitcase and a grill where he overcooked, undercooked and burned every piece of meat he could find. After thousands of failures, and quite a few successes, nearly two decades later he started a website to show step by step, picture by picture, foolproof instructions on how to make great things out of doors so that others don’t have to repeat the mistakes he’s made on the grill.
Scott Thomas

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I may be dumb, and just missed it but what is the entry fee? I see that last year it was 50.00, but wasn’t sure what it is going to be this year. Also a side question, I’m looking for a rib rack such as the one that you use for your ribs, and I’m having no luck. I was wondering where you would suggest to get buy one?



The cost last year was $50/team but after expenses we only had about $600 for charity and we had planned only giving half and using the other half to improve the contest this year. Well even when er gave it all to charity we didn’t feel that was enough so we gave an extra $400 out of our own pockets to make it an even thousand. This year we’re charging $100/team. Most teams were 3-4 guys so that’s $33 or $25 per person this year for an all day event isn’t all that bad in my opinion.

As for the rib rack, I got mine on Amazon.com. Just do a search for rib rack and you should get a few options under $20. If you don’t want to buy it online, any of the local grill shops (St. Louis Home Fires on Manchester or Fireside Shop in Arnold) will carry them. One tip, before you use the rib rack, every time, spray it with Pam or some sort of aerosol oil. Cleaning those things is a huge pain in the ass as the grease is baked on by the time you’re done with it. Without that layer of Pam, it will take a ton of elbow grease to get it clean. Also, try to stagger your ribs so that they aren’t right on top of each other. I there is not enough room to get air in and around the ribs, the rub will be all mealy. If you get some mealy rub, do a quick sear at the end of the cook to firm up the rub…


Yes I ended up finding one at lowes, b/c I needed one right now. I use a chargriller w/o the smoker box, and I had a hard time getting my temp down below 300. Now I know the easy answer would be to just not put that much charcoal in there, but it was only a chimney with about 6 more unburnt charcoal on top. They turned out alright but I was trying to cook them using the 3-2-1 method, and that was just way to hot to be leaving them on for that long. I think they were perfect at about 2.5-3 hours in, but I was set on Smoking/drinking for six hours, and I went against my better judgement and left them on. They were over done, but still good, and the suger in my rub all blackened. Now is there a way to choke that pit down a bit, b/c it is so drafty, and second is there a way to prevent the sugar from blackening so easy? Thanks, and you can email me if it would be easier chrisalferman at gmail.com…may the grill be with you!!! I’m a dork I know.



It is the easy answer. Go with a half a chimney. And forget the 3-2-1 method. It’s too long. Go with the 2-1.5-1 method for spares and 1.5-1-.5 for baby backs at the minimum or go high heat method and go 2.5 hours total for spares and 2 hours for BBR’s. I did the 3-2-1 for years but decided it was too long and adjusted the numbers down and then did away with foiling altogether because I came to like my ribs a little short of fall off the bone and foiling almost guarantees fall off the bone. If I want fall off the bone pork, I’ll do pulled pork for a lot less money per pound. May the Grill Be With You as well and keep us posted…


OK cool, and thanks for the advice, I have learned so much from your site. Now I know there are different size of chimneys. I know a handful of more charcoal can make a world of difference in heat. I just use the cheapo one I can get from dollar general or walmart. Do you use those smaller ones or the bigger nicer ones that a grill manufactuer that shall not be named makes? Again you guys rock, and have brought my cholesterol and my grilling skills to the next level, especially arthur. Meatloaf wrapped in bacon, are you kidding me!!!! It was delicious

Also for my birthday my G/F got me a chicken leg/wing rack, and I haven’t gotten to use it yet, and wanted to know if you have ever used one, and if you like them.



I use one of the larger chimneys from you guessed it. When it rusts out, I’ll go with a different manufacturer. I hear Raichlen has one. And sorry, I haven’t used one of those chicken racks…



I used my chicken rack the other day, and it worked out pretty well. The only problem I had was that the more the legs cooked the smaller they got, and couple of them wouldn’t stay on so I just sat them on the top, and it worked fine.

I brined the chicken legs in the ususal salt water. I didn’t have a onion or fruit so I just added some onion powder, minced garlic, mt dew,and a whatever else I found in the cabinets. I put it in the fridge for about 2 hours, and then set my chargrill up for two zone grilling, and added some cherry smoke wood. They were on there for about 90min or so. I was also brushing it with some cider vinegar, and water (60/40 water vinegar) and some other seasonings I found. I did that every 15 min or so, and then when they were about 25 min away from being done, I brushed on a bbq sauce. Sticky Pig…YUMMMM It might be the best BBQ ever made.

They tasted amazing, and the meat was real juicy, and tender. That was the first time that I have ever brined the chicken. The only complaint I had was the skin. It was tough to bite through not burnt by anymeans, because they weren’t black. They had a nice brown color to them. I think next time I’m going to try skinning the legs first.

Just wanted to leave a little feedback for what its worth. I’m going to try using it some more, and see if the rack is really worth it. I does take up a little less space than if not using it.


Only one post all summer? Come on, guys!


Sorry about that. It’s been a very hard summer for all of us and this is just a hobby. We all have day jobs. And as hot as it has been all summer, it’s been hard to get out there and stand by a grill when it’s 100 degrees. This time of year is more of my wheel house. Got some blackened salmon on deck. Just found my notes for the recipe which are sitting on my desk. Don’t worry, we have more coming.

I just registered and paid online. I was only charged $50. Can I pay the rest on 10/15?



We lowered the rate to $50. Hot Shots and Big St. Charles Motor Sports is covering the rest of the fee as a tax deduction to a charity since it will be going to Wounded Warrior Project and Wonderland Camp. Thanks for registering, I look forward to meeting you…


Ok…I see when the 2nd annual contest is…..where is it though??? DId I miss something in the ad? Thanks!



The second contest is at Big St. Charles Motor Sports in St. Charles. I think it’s the 5th exit off 70 across the Blanchett Bridge…. I hope you can make it…


Is it too late to register?



Not at all, we have a couple open spots on the grounds just for you and anyone else who wants to get in late…


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