• Home
  • Blog
  • Ozarks BBQ Fest – Event History, Coverage & Results

Ozarks BBQ Fest – Event History, Coverage & Results

3 comments

This year’s Ozark BBQ Fest started off with much anticipation and actually had great weather, BBQ, and entertainment. Sadly, what we’re missing were the crowds that 2021 had seen. Oddly enough, the attendance at this year’s Ozark BBQ Fest was less than what you’ll see at any given strip mall on a Friday night. Perhaps it might have been economic or perhaps it was a lack of interest.

How did the competition turn out?

KCBS competition

As this event is sanctioned by KCBS, you would expect plenty of competitive pitmasters crossing state lines. This year sadly saw just 31 BBQ teams enter this competition. Well, all we can say is that at least the weather was great, and wasn’t a tough race to the finish for these seasoned pros. The top three winners who took in some seriously easy cash this time around include the following 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners.

  • 1st Place: Gettin’ Basted (Grand Prize Winner $20,000)
  • 2nd Place: Man Meat BBQ
  • 3rd Place: Go Pig or Go Home

This was followed by the Chicken, Pork, Pork Ribs, and Brisket competitions, with some added competition fun for the best margarita, best bloody Mary, and best dessert. As for the full info for the Steak Cook-off that happened on Friday night, check the bottom of this list.

Chicken

  • 1st Place: Awesome Racks Cooking Crew
  • 2nd Place: Talegate Guys BBQ
  • 3rd Place: Gettin’ Basted

Pork

  • 1st Place: Go Pig or Go Home
  • 2nd Place: Crossfire BBQ
  • 3rd Place: Man Meat BBQ

Pork Ribs

  • 1st Place: Getting’ Basted
  • 2nd Place: Man Meat BBQ
  • 3rd Place: 2 Drunk 2 Cue

Brisket

  • 1st Place: Bone Maker Outdoors
  • 2nd Place: Getting’ Basted
  • 3rd Place: Double Barrel BBQ – OK

Steak Cook-Off Results

  • 1st Place: Nick Copeland
  • 2nd Place: Kevin Davis
  • 3rd Place: Brent Howard
  • 4th Place: Travis Harms
  • 5th Place: Mark Steele

How about the entertainment?

Live music Stage in Ozarks BBQ fest

This year saw some neat bands on stage that were very entertaining. They included Paralandra, We Three Thieves, Honkytonk Renovators, Bad Mojo, and the main stage headliner Jon Stork. One thing about the live music and dwindling crowds, there was plenty of room for dancing, and felt more intimate than overly packed BBQ festivals usually do.

There was great build-up and promotion, but one look at the Facebook page and you can see how it was ultimately a smaller cook-off venue feel. Not exactly the type of KCBS barbecue event we often hear about. However, there is a good silver lining to the results of the Ozarks BBQ fest. The winners of this event will be able to be invited to the very next KCBS BBQ competition.

Luckily, all the winning BBQ teams will be allowed to attend these various events that are happening throughout the year. This is one of the many perks that enable a BBQ team to travel to nearby states and enter a BBQ cook-off based on their status within the KCBS as a member. As you can see from this extensive list, there is no short supply of competitions that are available all over the US. Let’s hope we can see this year’s winners at the next big BBQ festival showing off their finest pitmaster skills.

Ozarks BBQ Fest 2022 – What to Expect

Ozarks BBQ Fest

There is nothing like the fun and entertainment that comes from barbecue festivals, and we should know! Here’s the latest news on a neat little shindig that’s scheduled for 2022 for all of you BBQ lovers out in the Ozarks and beyond, that is sure to start your mouth watering.

The 2022 Ozarks BBQ Fest

Ozarks BBQ Fest Event

Now in its third year, the Ozark Empire Fair Foundation is proud to host the 3rd annual Ozark BBQ Fest on April 22-23, 2022 in Springfield, Missouri. It’s a great chance to sample local BBQ from pitmasters all over the state and even across state lines. There will be live music, food and drinks, and of course the BBQ competition that’s sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS). It’s also joined by the SCA (Steak Cookoff Association) who will judge the BBQ events.

There’s also $20,000 in prize payouts for the best awards including the Steak and/or Bacon competition and more. Categories for other BBQ entrees also include pork ribs, brisket, pork, chicken, and even whole hog! Of course, there will be categories that are open for those 21 and over and categories for little cooks who are at least 13 years old. All those who are looking to sign up or get more details need to sign up soon since space is limited.

list of teams competing in 2022
Confirmed teams for 2022

How Did The Ozarks BBQ Fest Begin?

Rock’n Ribs Festival canceled due to covid-19

With the highly successful Rock’n Ribs Festival that was scheduled to celebrate its 21st year at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds, 2019 would be their last year due to the COVID-19 restrictions in 2020. This festival was a huge success over the years and drew in crowds and pitmasters from well over a 100-mile radius within the Springfield area alone. When the news was announced that Rock’n Ribs festival was canceled, many fans were outraged.

This is when the Fairgrounds event manager Larry Krauch made a bold move to organize the very first Ozarks BBQ Fest as an attractive replacement. His event team received so much positive response from previous competing teams and possible judges, they pushed to get this off the ground before it was even greenlit. Obviously, the main focus of the old event was to be just as charitable for several children’s charities for this April-based cookoff.

Sadly, 5 of the local Rotary Clubs within Springfield did not want to be involved in the new Ozarks BBQ Fest. Luckily, the regional Ozarks YMCA backed with the Ozark Empire Fair Foundation would be a suitable starting point. Without hesitation, the SCA and SCBS were more than happy to be involved. It simply made sense to start a new BBQ festival that would bring back BBQ, camping, local crafts, craft beer, entertainment, and live music.

Since then, the interest has been steadily climbing, but not because of the COVID-19 restrictions. Despite the first year in 2020, it still managed to draw in crowds who were just as interested to return in 2021. It seems that there is still a lot of appeal for good BBQ and local entertainment that can’t keep people away.

What Makes The Ozark BBQ Fest Different

Steak Cookoff Association

If you’re a BBQ fan, you’ll certainly miss one aspect of this cookoff which includes a steak competition like no other. Thanks to the SCA, fans of steak aren’t going to get a taste of the highly competitive steak cookoff competition that’s part of the Ozark BBQ fest unless BBQ competitors bring their own select cuts. We’ve uncovered some very interesting rules that only apply to judge selections that you might not know about.

What does this include?

Rules for cooking steak are very strict and are based on the SCA regulations for judging steak competitors. It’s interesting to know that steaks must be a boneless choice rib-eye steak. These steaks that are provided by the promoters are allowed to be used by the competitors for this competition. The minimum must be 1 1/8 inches (3cm), but not specified by overall thickness.

These steaks will be subjected to icebox inspections too, which makes cheating almost impossible. All cooks must be members of the SCA by the end of the cooks meeting to be part of the competition. Steaks that are provided can be trimmed lightly, but not after being cooked. A steak can be grilled and cooked in any method, but cannot have anything branded onto the surface excluding natural grill marks.

There is no limit to seasonings or compound butter added over the steak in the end before it gets submitted. Any method for cooking is allowed but does not specify using meat injections or vacuum marinade methods. This is another reason that many talented pitmasters might never talk about, however, these are highly guarded trade secrets nonetheless.

If you’re in the area for this BBQ event, we encourage you to check out this event to see what is happening and taste the best of what Missouri BBQ flavors are all about.

How Did The Ozarks BBQ Fest Begin?

Rock’n Ribs Festival canceled due to covid-19

With the highly successful Rock’n Ribs Festival that was scheduled to celebrate its 21st year at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds, 2019 would be their last year due to the COVID-19 restrictions in 2020. This festival was a huge success over the years and drew in crowds and pitmasters from well over a 100-mile radius within the Springfield area alone. When the news was announced that Rock’n Ribs festival was canceled, many fans were outraged.

This is when the Fairgrounds event manager Larry Krauch made a bold move to organize the very first Ozarks BBQ Fest as an attractive replacement. His event team received so much positive response from previous competing teams and possible judges, they pushed to get this off the ground before it was even greenlit. Obviously, the main focus of the old event was to be just as charitable for several children’s charities for this April-based cookoff.

Sadly, 5 of the local Rotary Clubs within Springfield did not want to be involved in the new Ozarks BBQ Fest. Luckily, the regional Ozarks YMCA backed with the Ozark Empire Fair Foundation would be a suitable starting point. Without hesitation, the SCA and SCBS were more than happy to be involved. It simply made sense to start a new BBQ festival that would bring back BBQ, camping, local crafts, craft beer, entertainment, and live music.

Since then, the interest has been steadily climbing, but not because of the COVID-19 restrictions. Despite the first year in 2020, it still managed to draw in crowds who were just as interested to return in 2021. It seems that there is still a lot of appeal for good BBQ and local entertainment that can’t keep people away.

2022 Ozark’s Fest Archive

Here’s our previous promotion coverage leading up to the 2022 Ozarks BBQ Fest, archived for reference.

latest news on a neat little shindig that’s scheduled for 2022 for all of you BBQ lovers out in the Ozarks and beyond, that is sure to start your mouth watering.

The 2022 Ozarks BBQ Fest

Ozarks BBQ Fest Event

Now in its third year, the Ozark Empire Fair Foundation is proud to host the 3rd annual Ozark BBQ Fest on April 22-23, 2022 in Springfield, Missouri. It’s a great chance to sample local BBQ from pitmasters all over the state and even across state lines. There will be live music, food and drinks, and of course the BBQ competition that’s sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS). It’s also joined by the SCA (Steak Cookoff Association) who will judge the BBQ events.

There’s also $20,000 in prize payouts for the best awards including the Steak and/or Bacon competition and more. Categories for other BBQ entrees also include pork ribs, brisket, pork, chicken, and even whole hog! Of course, there will be categories that are open for those 21 and over and categories for little cooks who are at least 13 years old. All those who are looking to sign up or get more details need to sign up soon since space is limited.

list of teams competing in 2022
Confirmed teams for 2022

What Makes The Ozark BBQ Fest Different

Steak Cookoff Association

If you’re a BBQ fan, you’ll certainly miss one aspect of this cookoff which includes a steak competition like no other. Thanks to the SCA, fans of steak aren’t going to get a taste of the highly competitive steak cookoff competition that’s part of the Ozark BBQ fest unless BBQ competitors bring their own select cuts. We’ve uncovered some very interesting rules that only apply to judge selections that you might not know about.

What does this include?

Rules for cooking steak are very strict and are based on the SCA regulations for judging steak competitors. It’s interesting to know that steaks must be a boneless choice rib-eye steak. These steaks that are provided by the promoters are allowed to be used by the competitors for this competition. The minimum must be 1 1/8 inches (3cm), but not specified by overall thickness.

These steaks will be subjected to icebox inspections too, which makes cheating almost impossible. All cooks must be members of the SCA by the end of the cooks meeting to be part of the competition. Steaks that are provided can be trimmed lightly, but not after being cooked. A steak can be grilled and cooked in any method, but cannot have anything branded onto the surface excluding natural grill marks.

There is no limit to seasonings or compound butter added over the steak in the end before it gets submitted. Any method for cooking is allowed but does not specify using meat injections or vacuum marinade methods. This is another reason that many talented pitmasters might never talk about, however, these are highly guarded trade secrets nonetheless.

If you’re in the area for this BBQ event, we encourage you to check out this event to see what is happening and taste the best of what Missouri BBQ flavors are all about.

About the Author

Follow me


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

  1. Get ready for the best Barbecue! Join us on June 25 & 26, 2022 on America’s Main Street Pennsylvania Ave. in DC for America’s Food & Music Festival, The 30th Annual Giant National Capital BBQ Battle. It’s 2 days of Food, Live Music on 3 Stages, Cooking Demos, Lot’s of Free Food Samples and all things BBQ!

  2. Join us on June 25 & 26, 2022 for The 30th Annual Giant National Capital BBQ Battle in DC featuring 30 Bands on 3 Stages performing Rock, Reggae, Jazz, Blues, R&B and DC’s own GoGo. Ticket for kids 12 and under are free.

  3. Join us on June 25 & 26, 2022 on America’s Main Street Pennsylvania Ave. in DC for America’s Food & Music Festival, Lots of bands will be playing on our Pepsi Lays Soundstage, Pepsi Stronger Together Music Stage, Pepsi Restaurant Rebuild, Pepsi Stronger Together Empowerment Zone

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}