Click here to download the 2016 Cookout Contest Recipe Book

Local cookout contests open around the state

Did you know that 80 percent of Americans own a grill or smoker? If you’re one of these Americans, looking to be crowned king or queen of the grill, get your spatulas ready! The Iowa Farm Bureau is giving you the chance to show off your world famous ‘secret’ recipes, Tuesday, August 16, during Farm Bureau Day at the Iowa State Fair for the 53rd annual Farm Bureau Cookout Contest.

The title chase begins at various Farm Bureau county cookout contests across the state. Individuals can enter one of six meat categories, where the winner in each category advances to the state competition.

This contest also includes a team and showmanship category as well as a special youth division category where the winner will receive a gas grill donated by the Iowa Propane Gas Association (valued at $1,000). All individuals in the youth category must be between the ages of 13 and 18 as of August 1, 2016. First and second place winners in each of the other categories receive cash prizes.

Don’t worry if you’re not much for grilling; all fairgoers are welcome to follow the sweet and savory smells of the grills to find the contest, just south of the Grandstand on the Grand Concourse, where they can pick up some grilling tips, meet celebrities, snag some recipes, and taste some of the day’s creations.

“The Iowa Farm Bureau cookout contest is not only a great opportunity for Iowans to show off their grilling skills, prize winning marinades, and unique recipes,” said Denny Harding, Iowa Farm Bureau cookout coordinator. “But this is also the perfect opportunity to showcase the hard work of Iowa farmers and the nutritious quality meats they produce.”

The six meat categories in the contest include beef, lamb, pork, poultry, turkey, and combo/specialty. Entries in the beef category cannot include brisket due to time constraints, while combo recipes must combine two or more meats from the other five categories in order to be eligible.

Not seeing anything that is really your style? How about a specialty recipe that highlights the domestically raised products in Iowa today, such as venison or fish? “With 30 aquaculture producers currently calling Iowa home, a seventh place national ranking in beef production and top marks for both poultry and pork production, the possibilities of this cookout contest and Iowa agriculture are endless. I look forward to see what’s sizzling come August,” said Harding.

For more information on how to enter a local competition, contact your county Farm Bureau office or check out the list of participating county competition dates and locations (updated frequently).