There's a lot of talk about barbecue in just about every place you go across the United States, with varying claims of how one state's BBQ is better than any other, who makes the best sauce, and which individual deserves to own the title of best BBQ grill master in the nation.


When it comes to defining good barbecue, the way it is prepared, the way it was smoked, or not, whether the meat should be sweet and the sauce smokey (or the other way around), if pecan, oak, hickory or mesquite is the best wood to use, and are pecan, apple or cherry smoking chips good to use or not...there's a lot different opinions. Seems like nearly every griller has an opinion and he or she is willing to stick by it.


In spite of being born native Texans who cut their teeth on chewing brisket instead of sucking on a pacifier when we were really young, we don't claim to know better than any passionate lover of tasty BBQ what the right answers to all those questions would be -- though no doubt we could intensely argue the our case if asked.


But since no one asked us, we've decided to remain neutral by simply passing the buck to a group with more solid credentials than us, at least when it comes to BBQ.  For 42 plus years now judges of the World's Championship Bar-B-Que Contest/Cookoff chosen from hundreds of contestants to name winners deserving national recognition and fame for their grilling artistry. The three day event represents the pre-party leading up to the official opening of the 2016 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on Mar. 1.


This year's championship marks the 33rd year for the big gala, which attracts large crowds anxious to kick off the world's largest rodeo and livestock show season. In addition to the drama of the competition, revelers will also be treated with live music performances under several tents and a central gathering area, the Gardens, will serve as a night location for dancing and dining to fit the mood.


The Bar-B-Que Contest will be open Thursday, Feb. 25, from 5-11 p.m.; Friday, Feb. 26, from noon to 11 p.m.; and Saturday, Feb 27, from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.


Net proceeds benefit the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. With each ticket purchased, visitors are treated to a complimentary chopped beef sandwich plate. Guests will get the opportunity to enjoy their complimentary meal on the porch-style area at The Chuck Wagon.


According to the contest's website, The Garden is located in the center of the World's Championship Bar-B-Que Contest, provides live music all three days of the contest for a fun family event.



Also visit The Rockin’ Bar-B-Que Saloon, where you and your friends can dance the night away to live music and DJ. Or, if you prefer, take a seat and relax on the outside patio area and enjoy a cold beverage. Either way, this venue is a must for the World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest visitors. Free admission to the public once you are on the Contest grounds – no tent pass needed. The saloon is located on the north side of the World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest (intersection of Astrodome Way and Chuckwagon Way in southwest Houston).


Entertainment includes:

Thursday, 7:30 p.m.: Texas Renegade

Friday, 7:30 p.m.: Bri Bagwell

Saturday, 7:30 p.m.: Bri Bagwell


Drink Tickets

Redeem World's Championship Bar-B-Que Contest Drink Tickets to purchase drinks. Tickets are $2 each.

Soda/water: 1 ticket

Beer: 2 tickets

Craft beer, 16 oz: 4 tickets


Chuck Wagon at the Saloon

With the cost of admission to the Contest, enjoy a chopped barbecue beef sandwich plate with chips and beans in the public food tent, The Chuck Wagon, located inside the Rockin' Bar-B-Que Saloon.


For more information, visit the official website.