Deadline to register:  July 22, 2019


In the chicken barbecue contest, participants have 2½ hours to barbecue three chicken halves. They are judged on their cooking skills and control of the fire. The participants submit two of the halves for sensory evaluation.

In the turkey barbecue contest, participants have 2½ hours to barbecue two turkey breast fillets. Again, they are judged on their cooking skills and control of the fire. The participants submit one of the turkey breasts for sensory evaluation.

For more information on the contests refer to Factsheet 4AJ-03P0 on the Kentucky 4-H Poultry Barbecue Contests.

All Kentucky 4-Hers wishing to participate in the state chicken and turkey barbecue contests may do so, provided they register through their county agent. Participants do NOT have to have a poultry project to be eligible to participate.

The senior winners of the state chicken and turkey barbecue contests will be given the opportunity to represent Kentucky at the National 4-H Poultry and Egg Conference which will be held in Louisville, KY on the third Thursday in November. They will each receive $300 to cover travel expenses for the national event. An illustrated presentation, including factual information about broilers or turkeys, is required for the state senior level winners who proceed to the national event. Participants will be allotted a maximum of 10 minutes for presentation. Judges will have up to 3 minutes for questions directed to participants. Easels or Powerpoint presentations may be used. This is not required at the state level.

4-H poultry barbecue programs qualify for SNAP-ed hours and funding.

BBQing contest


  • To develop leadership talents and to work toward achieving the broad objective of developing sound character and effective citizenship
  • To acquire scientific knowledge and improved understanding of the economy, versatility, and nutritional value of chicken broiler/turkey meat and its relationship to human nutrition and health.
  • To learn the basics of food safety
  • To help youth develop skills in the preparation and use of chicken or turkey and to acquire the ability to express their ideas through participation in projects, talks, discussions, demonstrations, and exhibits.


Participants will be scored for cooking Skills and sensory evaluation.

  1. Each participant will prepare four 1¼ to 1½ pound chicken halves or two turkey breast fillets provided to them by the event monitors. The fillets will each consist of a ½ breast with tenderloin removed (Pectoralis Major muscle). The skin may be left on or off both fillets or one of each. Chicken and turkey will not be available to participants prior to event starting time.
  2. There will be a 2½ hour time limit for the preparation of the chicken and a 2½ time limit for the preparation of the turkey. One point will be deducted for every five minutes late. Fires cannot be lighted prior to the start of the event.
  3. Charcoal, lighter fluid, and all other equipment and supplies, including sauce, must be furnished by participants. Self-starting charcoal or automatic fire start blocks will not be permitted. Participants may use a meat thermometer. Commercial devices for the covering of meat on the grill will not be allowed. Participants may wrap meat in aluminum foil; however, aluminum foil must be removed one hour prior to the end of the time limit. Chicken halves may not be placed in baskets to aid in turning. Sauce may be a commercial or private recipe. Recipe must be provided to judges.
  4. Chicken/Turkey shall not be marinated prior to the start of the event. A participant may not inject any fluid or sauce into the chicken/turkey.
  5. Each participant will present two barbecued chicken halves or one turkey fillet to the panel of judges. No garnishes will be permitted on plates when submitted to the judges.
  6. No participant will be allowed to have any means of identification as to name, county, or area represented.
  7. Participants will work alone, except in case of an emergency, as determined by event monitors.
  8. Tie scores of the top five participants will be broken in descending order by:
    • Highest score in the "Finished Product Quality" portion.
    • Highest score in "Barbecuing Skill" portion.
    • A method will be decided by the event committee.
  9. Use the 4-H Chicken & Turkey Barbecue Project Book 4 AJ-02PO as a reference guide. A minimum of one practice must be held before the state event.
  10. Past state winners of the Chicken/Turkey Barbecue Event at the senior level cannot participate in the Chicken/Turkey Barbecue Event again. However, the past state winner of the Chicken Barbecue event at the senior level can participate in the Turkey Barbecue event and vice versa.
  11. Past state winners of the Chicken/Turkey Barbecue event at the junior level can participate in the Chicken/Turkey Barbecue event at the junior and/or senior level providing they meet age restrictions.
  12. If, for any reason, registered participants are unable to attend, please cancel with the State 4-H Office by letter or phone, so we do not waste chickens/turkeys.


UK Publication 4AJ-03PO - Kentucky 4-H poultry: Barbecue contests

UK Publication 4AJ-02PO - 4-H Chicken and Turkey Barbecue Project Book

National Chicken Council

Eat Chicken website

Turkey Federation


Chicken barbecue

Abbrielle Robinson placed 6th in 2018

Robert Bowling placed 6th in 2017

Laura Flannery placed 5th in 2016

Dakota White placed 10th in 2015

Harley Tabor Placed 3rd in 2014

Cody Mayew placed 3rd in 2013

Kristine Gillenwater placed 7th in 2012

Kaitlin Lemaster placed 5th in 2011

Rhonda Tharpe placed 12th in 2010

Katherine Gillenwater placed 11th in 2009

Amanda Tharpe placed 6th in 2008

Seth Tooley placed 3rd in 2007

Jennifer O'Banion placed 2nd in 1997

Kandi Erwin placed 2nd in 1996

Steven Craycraft III placed 1st in 1992

Jeremy McLaughlin placed 3rd in 1991

Dana Curliss placed 2nd in 1989

Turkey barbecue

Robert Bowling placed 7th in 2018

Dakota White placed 10th in 2016

Laura Flannery placed 8th in 2015

Cody Mayhew placed 3rd in 2014

Kristine Gillenwater placed 5th in 2013

Carolyn McGee placed 3rd in 2011

Katherine Gillenwater placed 6th in 2010

Rachelle Wilson placed 8th in 2009

Jennifer O'Banion placed 3rd in 1998

Elissa Hoots placed 3rd in 1996

Steven Craycraft III placed 1st in 1993

Jennifer Bedford placed3rd in 1990

Teresa Craycraft placed 1st in 1989

Joe Stucker placed 1st in 1988

Event Type: 4-H, Poultry

  • Jul 27 2019 - 1:00pm
  • Madison County Extension Office


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