College News

Students taste success in CCCC-KCBS barbecue judging class

Click to enlarge Students taste success in CCCC-KCBS barbecue judging class

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Scott Cobb, of Chesapeake, Va., savors a piece of barbecue while learning how to judge various types ... (more)

Click to enlarge Students taste success in CCCC-KCBS barbecue judging class

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Students in Central Carolina Community College’s June 11 Barbeque Judging class raise their ... (more)

Click to enlarge Students taste success in CCCC-KCBS barbecue judging class

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Don Harwell, vice president of the Kansas City Barbeque Society and class instructor, holds up the ... (more)

06.15.2011College & CommunityCollege GeneralContinuing Education

LILLINGTON — Joan Haverson drove 200 miles to take part in Central Carolina Community College’s Certified Barbeque Judging class June 11.

She said the trip from Charlottesville, Va., was worth it.

“The class was well done, lively, interesting — and delicious,” she said with a smile.

Haverson and more than 50 others from North and South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Georgia, and Florida gathered at the Miriello Building at the college’s Harnett County Campus to learn how to judge barbecue and become Kansas City Barbeque Society-certified competition judges. Class members included competition barbecue and backyard cooks, as well as people who just love to eat barbecue. 

Don Harwell, KCBS vice president and class instructor, shared his expertise on judging barbecue. The KCBS is the official sanctioning body of barbecue cooking competitions and judges must be KCBS certified. 

During the more than four hour class, participants learned about the types of meats used in a competition, how they are cooked and presented for judging, the rules cooks and judges must follow, and how to judge the meat by KCBS standards. 

Then came the delicious part — tasting samples of barbecued chicken, pork, ribs and brisket and judging them by KCBS standards. Class members then discussed the ratings they gave each entry, from 2 for inedible to 9 for excellent, based on appearance, taste and tenderness. Actual KCBS judging sheets were used by the students to score each sample. 

Scott Holder, of Dunn, received his class enrollment as an early Father’s Day present from his wife. He enjoyed it so much, he’s already hoping the college will offer another one in barbecue judging.

At the conclusion of the class, each participant raised an arm to the square and recited the KCBS Official Oath for Judge Certification. Ardie Davis (also known as Remus Powers), a long-time judge on the barbecue circuit, wrote the oath in 1984 and then donated it to the KCBS for use by its judges:

“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.”

Then, still savoring the taste, smell, and texture of barbecue, the class dispersed, many looking forward to actually judging competitions. That’s Haverson’s plan: She’s already signed up to be a Certified Barbeque Judge (CBJ) for a July 16 competition in central Virginia.

In response to the great interest shown in the class, CCCC’s Continuing Education Department has put barbecue judging on its list of classes to be offered again.  

“It was a big success,” said Len Royals, CCCC director of Continuing Education in Harnett County. “More people signed up than we anticipated because those from out of state found out about it from the national KCBS web site. We had Continuing Education staff and helpers firing up the grills at 6 a.m. to cook all the meat for the class, but it was worth it. We will definitely be offering this class again.”

For more information about Continuing Education classes, visit the CCCC Web site at and click on “Continuing Education.”