Why only commercial sauces in the Sauce Championship?

Understandably, many cooks would like to submit their homemade sauce in a competition but, find that all mail-in competitions require that the entry be a commercial sauce and labeled with a UPC. There are several reasons for these requirements.

First, there is food safety

There is no way to determine the process used to create a sauce, the bottling of the sauce or the sanitation followed in the creation of the sauce. Every cook has different standards. At competitions, we have all seen someone lick their fingers or wipe their fingers on a dirty cloth and touch food to be submitted and think nothing about it. Tasting sauces at homes and competitions usually involves sticking a little finger into the sauce licking it as though that finger is somehow cleaner than an index finger for this purpose.

Luckily, we all have plenty of acid in our digestive system and other protection against many pathogens and, for the most part, these actions are fairly safe. In particular, a sauce newly cooked would normally be free of live bacteria and other pathogens making it acceptable and safe to consume. Sauce that is bottled and stored for weeks or months poses a different problem.  Given time, any live bacteria that only numbered a few hundred at the bottling stage multiple into the millions.

Salmonella, Campylobacter, E. coli and Listeria bacteria in food cause food borne illnesses.
Staphylococcus and Clostridium botulinum bacteria produce a toxin (or poison) as a byproduct of growth and multiply in food and cause food intoxication.
Clostridium perfringens can multiply in food to cause food poisoning.

At at sauce competitions, the entries are tasted by dozens of judges. If only a single entry is contaminated, there is the potential for many people to become ill or worse. This risk is reduced by allowing only commercially available sauces for the competition.

Second, the common standard prohibits unknown submissions

We dislike this part as much as the next person but, submissions from individuals in unlabeled or homemade labeled containers present a risk that is no longer acceptable. There is very little that can be done to verify the identity of a person submitting a sauce. The risk of unintended contamination is sufficient to require commercial preparation but, the risk of intended contamination must be considered.

At a competition, the teams are personally present, have experience preparing sanitary food and have their reputation on the line. These small differences are enough to address the concerns of safety and altered products. With a mail-in competition, these safeguards are not present and the risk is greater.

For these reasons, all submissions to mail-in BBQ sauce competitions are usually required to be commercial sauces. Our Sauce Championship follows these same standards. We hope that competitors understand and, at competition, in your home, at your smoker, we will gladly taste and enjoy all your cooking, spices and sauces.

Illinois Barbecue Society Meeting and Dinner Oct. 20, 2015

Mark your calendar, the Illinois Barbecue Society is holding its 4th quarter IL BBQ Society meeting on October 20, 2015, 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Food at 6:00 p.m.

Open to both members and non-members but, you must preregister in order to attend. Sign-up opens Sept. 1st. $24 per person/$8.50 per child. This is a kid Friendly event. This event is limited to 100 people.

2016 Sauce Championship Entry Forms Now Available

The Sauce Competition Entry Form are now available. The Entry Form must be returned with any bottle submitted to the Championship.

The Illinois Barbecue Society is holding  the 2016 IL BBQ Society Sauce Championship in conjunction with the Illinois Barbecue Society 2016 Expo.

The Sauce Championship is conducted under a strict oversight with blind judging and pursuant to the Sauce Championship Rules. The 50 judges of the Sauce Championship will include nationally recognized restaurateurs, BBQ judges and competitors, and industries professionals. If you would like to be considered as a judge, please fill out our Sauce Championship Judge’s application.

Charboy’s BBQ Sauce – Made in Illinois Series

Char Boy’s carries a wide range of sauces and BBQ items. See Charboys.com for the full line. As far as we can tell, this is an Illinois company but, getting the back story has been a bit difficult. CharBoys2

The bottle states that the sauce is made by the International House of Sauces & Seasonings. We took a look but could not locate an active company. We could be wrong and the Illinois Secretary of State could certainly have the incorrect or out of date information. We did find the company representative’s name and an interesting article about Pamela Jones at Crains, Chicago Business. Ms. Jones was featured in the 2012 Annual Report of Accion.

Charboy’s specialty is a century-old family recipe for a spicy barbecue sauce. They also offer a wide range of products in their CharBoy’s line.