Steak contest new at this year's BBQ Fest

If you’ve got a magic touch with grilling steaks, the ninth annual Smoke on the Plains BBQ and Music Festival event at High Park has a competition for you.

For the first time, it’s holding a steak-cooking contest. The event, organized by city staff, has room for 30 contestants and as of last week, there were 12 entries. Their is a $30 entry fee, but there’s a chance to get that back – and much more – for the winners.

That’s because there’s a $250 prize for first place, followed by $200 for second and $100 for third.

The cookoff is set to begin at 6 p.m. June 7 with a meeting for the instructions along with the steak selection. Cooking gets underway right after that and the final product is due by 7:30 p.m. A panel of local celebrity judges will rate the contestants’ handiwork.

Several of those judges have been confirmed, with a full list to be released later, said Kristy Bansemer, director of communications for the city.

The timing of the awards will depend on who enters. If all the entries are teams that also are registered in the barbecue competition, the awards will be on Saturday. If there are others, the awards will take place right after the judging.

The competitors will most likely cook in front of the Zimmerman Shelter, depending on the number of non-team entries,

Steaks will be provided by the competition, and that is the one that must be cooked and turned in.

Competitors must supply their own grills, charcoal, cooking supplies and seasonings.

There are a number of specific rules. Among them:

  • No other beef is to be present, if other beef is found, the team will be disqualified.
  • All steaks are to be handled in a sanitary manner, including use of plastic or latex gloves.
  • Team turn-in times are not flexible and late turn-ins will be disqualified.
  • All entries must be prepared onsite.

Bansemer is asking that contestants ensure that their grills are clean as unclean grills will be rejected. Also, cooking teams are responsible for providing tables and chairs for their cooking area.

And if cooks want to season their steaks, that’s fine as the contest allows garnishes.

Smoke on the Plains runs from June 6-8. It’s a family oriented event and there is no charge to attend. There are fees for the carnival rides and barbecue-tasting kits.