Competition Terms

Smoke on the water full terms

Food hand in
All entries must be presented in a 9×9 inch clamshell container which will be provided to the teams at the competition.

  1. The lid on the box must close.
  2. All proteins must be cooked from a raw state, on site and wholly within the cooking window period.
  3. All entries must be presented within the hand in window of 5 minutes before to 5 minutes after the scheduled hand in time.
  4. Approved garnishes are allowed inside the hand in box, which are strictly and wholly green-coloured parsley, green-coloured lettuce or green-coloured kale.
  5. Only one entry per hand in category per team allowed.
  6. There must be at least 6 clear portions (can be more) in each box totalling 50g or the equivalent of a small handful per portion.
  7. Teams can hand in any combination of allowed cuts for that protein, provided there are at least 6 (can be more) portions in the box, the portions meet the minimum portion size/weight and the allowed cuts are fully adhered to.
  8. No identifying marks are to be present on the hand in box such as deliberate indentations, writing or scratching.
  9. No pooling sauce allowed in the box and all sauce to be contained wholly or predominantly on or mixed in with the protein.
  10. No foreign objects allowed inside the box which includes but is not limited to toothpicks, sauce containers, foil, other food elements other than those contained within the crust/bark or the sauce and wholly or predominantly on or mixed with the protein.
  11. Only approved units which are smokers/pits/barbecues/grills where the heat source comes only from wood or wood products including briquettes and pellets.
  12. Proteins must not be brined, rubbed, marinated or cured before the opening of the cooking window.
  13. Proteins may be pre-trimmed before the start of the cooking window.
  14. Cooking units may be preheated or started before the cooking window but competition proteins cooking processes must not start prior to the cooking window opening.
  15. There is no governed limit to how many team members are allowed per team. However, some Event Promoters will only recognise the first four team members for awards, on-ground attendance or team entry fees and/or other benefits at their sole discretion.
  16. Teams may not sell or distribute food to the General Public unless the appropriate Food License is obtained and only with the consent of the Event Promoter.
  17. One team per cook site only.
  18. Team sites must not be completely enclosed for the duration of the competition; at least one wall of Marquees must be open and facing the walkway/event so head judges, promoters and general public can view the area while the event is open to the public. Enclosed trailers must keep doors open to allow access for head judges and crew access and for safety purposes during the event while the event is open to the public. If the event is not open to the public, walls and doors must be open to crew at least 1 hour before the first hand-in until the last hand-in is complete.
  19. The Head Judge will be the sole arbitrator of any dispute or infraction and their decision on site at the competition will be final. In the rare instance of a data entry or coding error, results may be overturned to reflect the correct scoring and results after the event.


  • Late to hand in. (Window is strictly 5 mins to 5 mins after hand-in time)
  • Wrong entry handed in (eg. Pork handed into Lamb category etc)
  • Using an unapproved method or cooking unit to cook the entry.

Boxed Entry Major Infraction

  • An obvious identifying mark on the hand inbox.

Boxed Entry Penalties

  • Excessive/intentional pooling sauce
  • Incorrect or unapproved garnish
  • Foreign object found in box
  • Handing in less than minimum portion size/quantity

Infractions and Penalties Scoring Guide

  1. Major Infraction
  2. Raw, Inedible
  3. Portion or Garnish Infraction
  4. Minor Object or Sauce Pooling Infraction
  5. Poor
  6. Below average
  7. Average
  8. Good
  9. Very Good
  10. Excellent

Judging &Scoring


  • All entries are judged on Presentation, Texture & Taste.
  • Judges score each element out of 10 on their scorecards.
  • Teams must show a sportsmanlike manner at all times towards head judges on and off the field, any unruly behaviour towards the head judge can result in point penalties or disqualification.

Additional Judging Notes

  • Ties are broken by counting back which team has the highest Taste Score for that entry. If the Taste Scores are tied between the teams, then the highest Texture Score for that entry will prevail. If the Taste & Texture scores are tied, then the highest Presentation Score will prevail.
    Further tie breaks will be applied thereafter including the highest number of 10’s or 9’s scored in each element and so on until a winner is awarded.
  • Judges must not be team members of a competing team at that event.
  • Judges must not be spouses or partners of a competing team at that event.

Prohibited methods of cooking processes

  • Sous Vide, fully submerged poaching or parboiling
  • Deep or shallow frying in oil
  • Heat stamping with branding iron or similar

Prohibited cooking appliances

  • Gas or electric cookers/box warmers (where the heat source comes from gas or electricity) for any process of cooking or holding the protein at temperature. However, gas or electric cookers, may be used for sauces, glazing or starting a chimney or fire only.

Mandatory Items team checklist

  • Sanitiser for general cleaning & hand washing
  • Latex or rubber gloves for food handling
  • First Aid kit
  • Washable cutting boards or trays
  • Esky, cooler or fridge for meat/ingredients storage
  • Paper towel or tea towels
  • Waste bin
  • Washable portable table or preparation station

Food Safety Guidelines

  • This is a General Guide only. Please consult with the Event Promoter for specific ‘Rules’ applicable in the Town/City/State/Country per event as required.
  • Uncooked meats must be stored at or below 4 degrees Celsius at all times.
  • If using ice to keep meats cold, ice should be on top and fully covering the meat at all times.
  • All raw food should be wrapped, covered or placed in sealed washable containers whilst being transported and held at the event prior to cooking.
    • Vehicles and containers used for transportation of food should be kept clean and in good repair and food must be separated from other items such as cleaning materials, chemicals, animals and other non-food items.
  • Thermometers should be available and used to monitor food temperature at any/all times.
  • When handling and preparing foods, gloves should be worn or hands must be regularly washed to limit bacteria and other foreign objects entering the food/cooking process.
  • Safe holding temperatures for hot foods are above 70 degrees Celsius, noting that foods stored at between 5 and 60 degrees Celsius are far more susceptible to bacteria growth and harm to humans.
  • Note the nearest washing up area on site at a competition and regularly clean all used cooking equipment with the appropriate strength cleaning solution or sanitiser.

Personal Hygiene/Food Standards
All teams must adhere to the Australian food safety standards.