bring it the heat

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo heats up Bar-B-Que Contest with new twist

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo adds new twist to Bar-B-Que Contest

World's Championship Bar-b-Que Contest
A new Open Contest is coming to cookoff. Photo courtesy of Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

Heads up, grill and smokemasters: The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is heating up competition for one of the biggest draws of the year. 

A new category is coming to the 2022 World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest, an event that draws some of the best grilling and smoking talent from across the U.S.

Along with the traditional categories — brisket, ribs, chicken, Go Texan, and Dutch Oven dessert — the new Open Contest category will allow barbecue teams to prepare anything they can concoct. The only exception is desserts, a release notes.

“The Open Contest category gives barbecue teams the opportunity to flex their cooking skills in a creative way,” said David Stone, chairman of the Rodeo’s World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest Committee. “Whether it’s chili, macaroni and cheese, or surf and turf — winners will receive a trophy and bragging rights.”

This new Open Contest will be held Friday, February 25, 2022, which is the second day of the three-day contest (the contest is scheduled for February 24–26, 2022). Top three highest scoring entries will be announced at the awards ceremony Saturday, February 26 at 7 pm.

Known as an invitation-only competition, the contest sees more than 250 barbecue teams from across the state of Texas and the world. Despite the invite-only status, rodeo visitors can enjoy public venues, including The Garden, Rockin' Bar-B-Que Saloon, the Chuckwagon and the carnival. The Garden Stage boasts some of the best up-and-coming and established artists in Texas country.

Meanwhile, the Rockin' Bar B-Que Saloon offers live and DJ music, and has an outside patio; inside the saloon is the Chuckwagon, where visitors can grab complimentary sliced brisket plate.

Tickets for the World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest — and all event venues — go on sale in January 2022 online.