Awards of Excellence Entry Rules

General Entry Rules

To enter, all products, media, and similar must be commercially available. Unfortunately, homemade and short batch items, not meeting the FDA requirements, are not eligible.

Should a category receive insufficient entries to warrant judging, the NBBQA may choose at its discretion, to cancel or combine one or more categories.  We will notify the entrants if this happens.

Once a physical product is provided for entry to the Awards of Excellence, the NBBQA becomes the rightful owner of the items entered, unless otherwise agreed to prior in writing.

Once a non-physical item is provided for entry to the Awards of Excellence, the NBBQA gains permission to publish and share it within the context of the NBBQA Awards of Excellence but does not gain any ownership rights or similar. All ownership, copyright and similar remain the property of the owner/submitter unless otherwise agreed to prior in writing.

Your completed entry constitutes your agreement to be bound by the rules and conditions. Failure to comply with these rules and conditions will result in entries being judged accordingly. 

Category Entry Rules

Physical Items being shipped

Including barbecues, accessories, hard copy publications, and apparel, sauces, rubs, injections, marinades, cured meats, and sausage 

  • You may enter the same product in a different sub-categories.
  • All product entries must be commercially available to the general public through wholesale, retail, website, or direct market outlets. Therefore, judging starts with the guest in mind.
  • Food Product Entries must be professionally labeled with the product name, ingredients and all current FDA required nutritional information.
  • Entries must be properly processed and sealed. Any entry received with a broken seal will not be eligible for judging.
  • All shipments must be packed carefully with cushioned shipping materials to avoid damage. No different than you would ship to a customer.  Any shipments received containing broken components, damaged, or similar will be presented for judging in this state. 
  • The following minimum quantities must be provided for judging 
    • BBQ Tool/Accessory - a minimum of one
    • Apparel - minimum of one
    • Publication and Book - a minimum of three copies
    • Marketing Material - a minimum of three items/color copies
  • The following food minimum quantities must be provided for judging in their commercial sealed packaging:
    • Sauce – minimum 12 oz
    • Rubs – minimum 6 oz
    • Marinade - minimum 6 oz
    • Sausage/Cured Meat - minimum  1lb
    • Gift Pack - a minimum of one item only

Digital Items

Including websites, blogs, photos, and articles

  • You may enter a multiple pieces of material per sub-category, and the same material for any other sub-category as long as it meets the qualifications of the category.  
  • All product entries must be available to the general public, this includes 'personal' photos and social media categories that are shared in a public forum such as social media, gallery, or publicly displayed.
  • Published in 2024 when referring to series means
    • that at least three of the episodes were released within the 2024 calendar year,
    • if a fix count series spanning two years and it was not previously entered in the awards of excellence in a previous year
    • if an ongoing series with no formal 'season' such as an ongoing YouTube channel, podcast or similar, then the only episodes broadcast in 2023 for the first time may be entered
  • All media will be electronically provided via email - it is the entrant's responsibility to ensure the email is received and the attached documents, images, and/or links are correct and functioning.  Email all information to
  • The following minimum quantities must be provided for judging 
    • photos - one electronic copy of the image
    • websites/blog - a minimum of 3 links to the website/blog
    • writing/article - one electronic copy and/or link to the writing/article
    • audio/video series - a minimum of 3 links to various episodes within the series

AOE Entry Process:

All physical shipments go to:

National Barbecue & Grilling Association
336 Phelps Road
Douglas, Georgia 31533

For any questions, please email

For uploading Digital, Photos, and Marketing submissions, please use