Wanted: Iowa’s Best Backyard Barbecuers to Show Off Pork-Cooking Skills

April 4, 2023

The Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) is partnering with the Iowa Cubs and Cactus Cares to host the inaugural BBQ & Brew at the Ballpark. The event will feature a Backyard BBQ Competition, with proceeds benefiting local food pantries. Amateur grill masters from across Iowa are invited to showcase their skills cooking high-quality Iowa pork. More than $10,000 in cash prizes are available. The event will take place on Saturday, July 15, at Principal Park in Des Moines, and is open to the public.

“We take great pride in promoting delicious Iowa pork and are excited to work with the Iowa Cubs and Cactus Cares to put together this fun, charitable event to see who is the best backyard barbecuer in Iowa,” said Trish Cook, IPPA president. “We all know an Iowan who is handy with the grill. This is their chance to step up to the plate, compete for some great prizes, and help us fill Iowa’s food pantries with high quality pork.

”The entry fee for competitors is $150, and the contest is limited to 30 participants. Judging will be based on the Iowa Barbeque Society’s scoring system in three categories: pork belly, pork ribs, and pork butts. IPPA will provide all the meat for the competition. A portion of the entry fee will be used to provide pork to Iowa food pantries.

Tickets to the BBQ & Brew at the Ballpark will go on sale soon to the general public. Attendees will be able to sample delicious Iowa pork, beer from local Iowa breweries, and attend a Pork BBQ Bootcamp to learn the best methods for cooking their own top-notch barbecue. Music, food vendors, and other entertainment will be provided.

Cactus Cares is pleased to partner with the Iowa Cubs and the Iowa Pork Producers Association on the 2023 BBQ and Brew at the Ballpark,” said Rod Leman, development coordinator of Cactus Cares. “This event is a great opportunity for the public to sample pork barbecue from Iowa barbecue competition teams, while raising money to provide pork protein to food-insecure Iowans.”

Cactus Cares is a nonprofit organization that supports local food pantries.

To register to compete in the BBQ & Brew Backyard BBQ Competition and get more information, click here.