LILLINGTON — Learn to judge barbeque — that’s with a “q”, according to Don Harwell, vice president of the Kansas City Barbeque Society — at Central Carolina Community College’s Certified BBQ Judging Class.
“Most who participate in the barbeque contest circuit generally use the ‘q’ when talking about what they cook,” he said. “They smoke the meat low and slow and the result is succulent barbeque, or Que, or BBQ, or just Darn Good meat.”
Harwell, a certified KCBS judge, will be at the college’s Harnett County Campus June 11 to teach a class in judging barbeque. By the end of the class, students will be prepared to judge KCBS-sanctioned competitions around the country.
“In a half-day’s time, those taking this class will learn how to grade world-class chicken, pulled pork, ribs and brisket — and taste them during the learning process,” Harwell said. “Tasting is always the favorite part of the class and it truly is hands-on — no forks are allowed when eating barbeque at a KCBS contest.”
The class takes place from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, June 11. The cost is $85, which includes a one-year KCBS membership. Current KCBS members will receive an additional year of membership. To sign up, call Barbara Avery, (910) 814-8823. Sign up early — the class is expected to fill quickly.
The first two hours of the class will be lecture, along with questions and answers, covering the types of meats used at a contest, how they are cooked and presented for judging, the rules cooks and judges must follow, and how to judge the meat by KCBS standards.
The second half of the class will be hands-on. Students will be presented with entries in four categories (chicken, pork, ribs and brisket). Each will judge the entries and share their reasoning for scoring them as they did.
Harwell said many people mistake grilled meat for barbeque. Grilling is done over the direct heat of a fire to sear the outside and concentrate the juices on the inside. Barbeque is cooked slowly with dry heat, with smoke from a source such as wood, charcoal or pellets, until it is tender. Sauce is optional.
“People will enjoy this class if they like to eat and especially if they like to eat barbeque,” Harwell said.
The Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) is the world's largest organization of barbeque and grilling enthusiasts with more than 14,000 members worldwide. KCBS sanctions more than 300 barbeque contests coast-to-coast throughout the United States. Through cooking, judging and volunteering, KCBS members offer assistance to civic and charitable organizations that organize these events.