Whole Hog Barbecue State Championship puts the focus on the cooks

Exciting changes are coming to the Whole Hog Barbecue Championship this fall during the Wide Open Bluegrass festival in downtown Raleigh. Instead of selling sandwiches throughout the day after judging is complete, festival goers will have the opportunity to purchase a wristband to sample directly from each cook and help select a people’s choice winner.

The Whole Hog Barbecue Championship is the culmination of a series of barbecue cook-offs held throughout the state using North Carolina Pork Council-sanctioned rules. The winner of each local cook-off is invited to the state championship to compete for coveted trophies and cash prizes, not to mention bragging rights. In addition to the on-site culinary trophy for best whole hog barbecue, there are also trophies for best sauce, crispy skin and a blind-taste judging.

“We are excited to make changes to the State Championship that will allow the public to interact with our amazing group of pitmasters,” said Jen Kendrick of the N.C. Pork Council. “For years, people have asked to try the barbecue of the winning pig. Now they can try all of them and select which is the winner for themselves.”

Proceeds from the wristband sales will be donated to the InterFaith Food Shuttle and the IBMA Bluegrass Trust Fund, a non-profit organization that provides assistance to bluegrass professionals experiencing financial emergencies

Information about how to buy a wristband will be coming soon.

Application for eligible cooks (PDF)