This is a three-pot cook off, consisting of a main dish, a dessert and a bread.
Bread is defined as a corn bread, biscuit type bread, sour dough bread, or yeast bread/rolls. Corn breads or biscuit-type breads are considered less difficult and may not be scored as high as a sourdough or yeast type bread. Stuffed breads are defined as bread filled with meat, cheese or vegetables. Stuffed breads are not allowed. Sweet rolls are not considered to be stuffed breads or desserts and are allowed. Banana, pumpkin and other quick breads are not allowed. These are considered snacks or desserts and will not be judged as bread. All breads must be in a roll or loaf form with all meats, cheeses and vegetables blended into the dough. Cheese, herbs, spices, or fats/oils may be added on top as a garnish.
Main dish is a protein-based dish such as chicken, beef, pork or seafood. All meats must be USDA inspected. Beef, Pork, Ham, Veal and Lamb must be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees. Chicken and Turkey must be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Tuna must be cooked to an internal temperature of 125 degrees, and other seafood until opaque and flakes easily. Meats can be removed from the heat when the internal temperature is 5 degrees below the minimum, if the dish is to rest at least 10 minutes prior to serving. Field judges can test the temperature of all meats before presentation to the judges. Field judges will also be available with digital thermometers to test the temperature of our meats for you if needed.
Only one dish per category is allowed. You cannot, for example, cook two desserts and turn in the best one.
You will need at least 3 copies of each recipe. One will be turned in at the cooks meeting prior to the competition, one will be turned in with your dish for judging, and one will be your copy. Additional copies can be handed out to the public if you wish. Recipes should list all ingredients in order of use, and complete directions, including the final meat temperature. All copyright recipes must include the source.
All ingredients must be mixed, chopped, sliced, and marinated on site. This includes all garnishes. Everything, with the exception of excess gravies or sauces, must be turned into the judges. Field judges will inspect your ovens to insure you are complying with this rule. Removing burned or undercooked sections of your dish will result in disqualification. Side items such as butters or sauces must be listed in your recipe in order to be presented with your dish. These items must be prepared on site.
Coolers with ice must be utilized to keep all perishables at a temperature below 40 degrees.
With the exception of digital thermometers and digital scales, no electric or battery powered devices are allowed. You are allowed to use a smart phone for a timer.
All cooking must be done in a factory made dutch oven. With the exception of parchment paper and trivets under meats, no other items are allowed inside the dutch oven. No liners or smaller pans are allowed. All dishes are to be presented for judging either in the pot or on the lid. No fabric is allowed for presentation, but paper doily-type items are allowed.
Garnishes should be simple and complement the dish. All garnishes must be edible. This is not a garnishing contest. Judges will be instructed to judge ONLY the dish being presented.
Only competition dishes can be cooked during the cookoff. Do not eat or smoke in your cooking area. No drinking of alcoholic beverages in the cooking area. Water and sodas are allowed. Please keep hydrated – it can get hot over those coals!
Teams will consist of one or two members. If one team member is under 18, the other must be an adult. No team member can be a professional chef or cook. Only team members are allowed in cooking area, and one team member must remain in your booth at all times. If you are a one-person team and need to leave your booth, a field judge will remain in your booth until you return.
Each team will be given a 10 x 10 space to work in. All equipment must stay within this space. Since you will be cooking outdoors and the weather can be unpredictable, a canopy is recommended for your comfort. Each team will provide all their own equipment.
All cooking must be done on a table or stand at least 18” off the ground. Propane torches are allowed for lighting coals. Propane stoves can be used for lighting charcoal or for heating hot water. All cooking is to be done over charcoal. Ash cans will be provided for disposal of hot coals and ashes.
Practice safe food handling procedures. Teams are expected to keep their areas clean and to exercise proper cleaning procedures of all utensils and food prep areas. Hair should be restrained or under a hat. Food service gloves should be worn for preparation of all food that is to be served raw (including garnishes). ABSOLUTELY NO FINGER LICKING! Field judges will be checking for compliance.
All dishes must be turned in on time or be disqualified. The decision of the judges is final.
Interaction with the public is expected and encouraged. Share your love of dutch oven cooking! Registration in this cookoff is considered a release statement for all photographs and recipes that are used in the competition. Registration in this cookoff also states that you understand and will abide by these rules of competition for the cookoff.
Most of all, relax and have fun!