The American Royal
When someone thinks of competition barbecue, world championship barbecue and The World Series of Barbecue, three words should instantly come to mind – The American Royal. Located in the Barbecue Mecca of Kansas City, Missouri, The American Royal is without doubt the ultimate barbecue competition and event. The American Royal is to barbecue as what The Super Bowl is to football, what The Stanley Cup is to hockey and what The Finals are to basketball. The World Series of Barbecue at The American Royal is where barbecue pitmasters, cooks and chefs all battle to prove to the world that they are worthy of being crowned Grand Champion. The World Series of Barbecue at The American Royal has many different categories and many different contests which all provide an amazing and unique way for the participants to show off their individual, and team, style and expertise in the art of barbecue!
Usually held in late September and early October, The American Royal World Series of Barbecue is the proving grounds for amateur and professional pitmasters. This is the largest barbecue contest in the World! The American Royal is held in Kansas City’s “Stockyards District” and is huge – the event covers over 20 acres! This year, the main invitational event, The 34th Annual American Royal World Series of Barbecue KC Masterpiece Invitational, will feature over 100 Champion Teams from all over the US competing in four different meat categories – chicken, ribs, pork and brisket – and the Grand Champion title (last year, Big Poppa Smokers took the Invitational Grand Champion title). There is a total announced prize pool of over $31,000.00 for the Invitational, so each and every team is showing up to win! They have their eyes not only on the Grand Champion title but also titles in each category.
Along with The KC Masterpiece Invitational, The American Royal hosts Joe’s Kansas City Open Contest. There are over 500 entrants in this event and there is always plenty of action (along with some absolutely incredible barbecue)! The Grand Champion of Joe’s Kansas City Open Contest will be awarded $12,500.00 and a lifetime of fame. These two “feature events” aren’t the only things happening at The American Royal. There are several other events and contests that each provide an extremely fun and distinctive way for just about everyone to get involved.
Some highlights of The American Royal include a Certified Kansas City Barbecue Society judging class where anyone who meets the guidelines and requirements can take the four hour class to become a certified KCBS judge. Those that show up at The American Royal to focus on fun can take in the petting zoo, watch the rodeo, observe some of the finest horse shows, listen to world class live music, catch the evening fireworks or shop at the BBQ Marketplace and BBQ Sauce Store. There really is something for everyone at The American Royal and many have said that they come specifically for the Marketplace and Sauce Store!
Although The American Royal World Series of Barbecue Invitational is the headliner, there are plenty of other contests to get involved with. Kids can get involved with The American Royal Junior World Series of Barbecue, also known as “The Kids Que”. There are two age categories, ages 6 – 10 will compete against each other and ages 11 – 15 will compete in a different category. The younger age group will compete by cooking hamburgers and the older age group will compete by cooking steak. The participants in The Kids Que are the future Grand Champions of The American Royal and the Junior World Series of Barbecue has become a great tradition. Along with The Kids Que, there is a barbecue sauce contest that is known as the best sauce contest in the World. Sauces are entered into five different categories – tomato/hot, tomato/mild, vinegar, mustard and specialty. Winners are each awarded a Blue Ribbon from The World Series of Barbecue which is becomes instant bragging rights for the chef that created it!
There is so much to do, to see and to compete in at The American Royal that this article can barely even begin to explain the importance and entertainment value of the event. With The KC Masterpiece Invitational and Joe’s Kansas City Open, The American Royal has firmly established itself as the single most meaningful and decisive barbecue competition anywhere. The World Series of Barbecue is simply something that anyone and everyone should add to their bucket list so that they can say that were part of The Greatest Barbecue Event and The Greatest Barbecue Competition in the World!
To visit the American Royal Events Schedule Click Here