You’ve got questions about Whole Hog Barbecue Series. We’ve got the answers.
Don’t see your question here? Email us at info@WholeHogBarbecue.com.
Can I eat the barbecue at a Whole Hog Barbecue Series cook-off?
Yes! Unlike many other barbecue competitions, you can eat the barbecue at most of our events. Our judges will only judge a hog if it’s been cooked under proper conditions, and to the proper temperature, ensuring that the meat will be safe to eat and incredibly tasty! After all the hogs are judged, the meat is chopped and combined and sold in plates or sandwiches, to benefit local charities.
What are the rules and regulations for the Whole Hog Barbecue Series?
While there are rules which govern all N.C. Pork Council-sanctioned contests, you should check with the organizers of an individual contest to learn any specific rules for their events. If you’d like to read the official rules and regulations for the Whole Hog Barbecue Championship, click here.
How do I become a judge?
All Whole Hog Barbecue Series judges must be trained and approved by the N.C. Pork Council. A successful judging candidate must:
- attend an in-person training;
- shadow cooks to gain an understanding of what goes in to cooking whole hog barbecue;
- shadow a training judge at at least one event to get first-hands experience.
- Submit the WHB Judge Training Requirements form to the NC Pork Council office.
Once these three steps are completed, judges will be placed onto the judges list. Judges need to attend in-person training at least every five years.
How can my contest become sanctioned by the N.C. Pork Council?
To become a sanctioned Whole Hog Barbecue Series cook-off, your event must include at least 10 cooks, meet the standards set forth by the N.C. Pork Council, and utilize N.C. Pork Council-trained judges and scoring. The good news is that, unlike many other cook-off networks, we won’t charge you a fee to become an officially-sanctioned event. Want to become a part of the Whole Hog Barbecue Series? Email info@WholeHogBarbecue.com or submit your event to be included on the website.
Who is eligible to compete in the Championship?
Think you’ve got what it takes to be the top dog of whole hog barbecue? Our annual Whole Hog Barbecue Championship takes place in the Fall. Here are the specifics on who’s eligible and how to officially enter:
- The local contest must have at least 10 cooks in the contest in order to be eligible to participate in the Whole Hog Barbecue Championship Cook-off.
- Cooks who are one of the top three winners of a NCPC sanctioned local contest with less than 40 cookers are eligible to participate in the Whole Hog Barbecue Championship Cook-off.
- Cooks who are one of the top five winners of a NCPC sanctioned local contest with 40 or more cookers are eligible to participate in the Whole Hog Barbecue Championship Cook-off.
- Cooks who are eligible to compete in the Whole Hog Barbecue Championship Cook-off can compete for two years.
- Every contest will have an eligible winner to send to the Whole Hog Barbecue Championship Cook-Off. If the top winners have already qualified for the Championship, the next person on the winners list can represent the contest.
Wild Card Rule
The backyard / non-professional winners at the Kinston Festival on the Neuse and the Pigskin Pig-Out competition in Greenville and the natural source winner at Smoke On the Water are eligible to compete if there is space available at the state competition. The wild card winner cannot take the space of an eligible cook.
How are Whole Hog Barbecue Series cook-offs scored?
N.C. Pork Council-trained judges use the same scoring system and scoresheet at every competition. Once the judges determine that the hog has been cooked properly, they award it a score in six different categories:
- Skin Crispness
- Meat & Sauce Taste
Click here to view the official on-site scoresheet.
What ingredients can I use in competition?
This is easy. There are only five ingredients that can be used in cleaning and cooking your pig.
- THE PIG (obvs)
- Water (you’re gonna want to use hot water to clean your pig)
- Baking soda (for cleaning and drawing out the blood)
- Salt (plain salt – table, kosher or sea salt. No seasoned salts allowed. Skin side only.)
- Oil (optional on the skin side only)
The Whole Hog Barbecue Series highlights amazing barbecue and perfect technique. A well-cooked pig needs no seasoning other than the sauce, which the judges dip the meat into.