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Can I eat the barbecue at a Whole Hog Barbecue Series cook-off?


Yes! Unlike many other barbecue competitions, you can eat the championship barbecue at all of our events, including the Championship. 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, often 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. The next training is Feb. 24, 2018 at the NC Barbecue Summit

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

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 be NCPC sanctioned and have at least 10 cooks in the contest in order for the winners to be eligible to participate in the Whole Hog Barbecue Championship.
• For NCPC sanctioned local contests with:
— 10 to 39 cookers, the top three winners are eligible to participate in the Whole Hog Barbecue Championship.
— 40 or more cookers, the top five winners are eligible to participate in the Whole Hog Barbecue Championship.
• Each sanctioned contest can send at least one competitor. If the top winners are already eligible to participate, the next person on the list is eligible.
• Cooks who are eligible to compete in the Whole Hog Barbecue Championship can compete for two years.
• Only the first 28 cooks to submit their entry form and fee will be allowed to compete. Forms are processed in order of postmark date

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:

  • Appearance
  • Brownness
  • Skin Crispness
  • Moisture
  • Meat & Sauce Taste
  • Completeness

Click here to view the official on-site scoresheet.


Unless noted otherwise, all photos and videos on this website were shot by Raleigh photographer Stuart Jones.