Recognizing Excellence

Posted By: Vic Clevenger NBBQA Latest News,

Now is the time to begin considering your entry for this year’s Awards of Excellence. Every year the NBBQA reaches to the BBQ community to enter their best BBQ focused product which we recognize at our annual conference. This year the conference will be in Louisville, Kentucky April 1-4. The window for entry into the Awards of Excellence will be January 1st, so you can see why now is the time to begin getting your entry ready.

 In his book, Good to Great, Jim Collins opens with this simple phrase, “Good is the enemy of great.” When reading this for the first time, the reader could easily be confused on how ‘good’ could be the enemy of anything, much less the enemy of ‘great,’ then he explained. When we say, “Ah, that’s good enough” we are settling for simply being good at what it is we do without putting forth the extra effort it would take to be great. He also couples this with resting on your laurels citing examples such as AP Grocery and Woolworths (in recent history think Toys R Us and Sears). Companies satisfied with ‘good enough’ or resting on past success should be enough to convince us that ‘Good’ is indeed the enemy of ‘Great!’

Then he comes out with the phrase. “Great is the enemy of Excellence!” Just when the reader was all set to put forth the effort it takes to be great, he asks why you would settle for being great when you can be excellent. WOW! This should hit the reader like a ton of bricks. Because in all that we do, why not strive for excellence, making the effort to excel in what we do? Being excellent doesn’t come easy nor is it cheap and I’m not talking just money, but time, sweat and tears all go into this. The experiments with flavors to get the right pork rub only to discover it would be better on fish. So back to the test kitchen you go.

The National BBQ & Grilling Association recognizes what it takes when you aren’t willing to settle for great but to strive for excellence. In the past, we focused on rubs and sauces then came along other products like packaging. Over the last few years, media has entered the contest with journals and podcasts devoted solely to the outdoor cooking life. With the advent of Instagram, digital magazines and books on Kindle, it isn’t any wonder the NBBQA wants to acknowledge the variety of excellence seen in the BBQ world. There are seven major categories which are then broken down into sub-categories giving those in the business of BBQ several opportunities to add “award winning” to your marketing campaign.

Take a look at these brief descriptions then go to for more details and to enter.

  Sauces Category

  Under this category is eight sub- categories for many of the different types of BBQ sauces          there are. What excellent sauce did you create?  Fruit, spicy, original and the list goes on.         With eight different types, there is a place for yours.

  Rubs Category

  We all use them and we all have our favorites. Many discerning cooks have a different rub   for  different types of meats and the same will be true for this category. Some are brand new   to the market giving us a unique choice with some creative packaging.


Foods Category

Five sub-categories make up the category. This isn’t a catch-all category but rather the recognition of the diverse products within the business of BBQ. Gift Packs, Sausage, Marinades, Injections, and BBQ snacks make this one of the more varied groups.

Equipment Category

How can we get along without all the equipment we use in our pursuit of BBQ cooking excellence? Here we have four separate sections including a new group called, “Barbecue.” This is the section where, if you have a new grill, smoker or other vessel used for outdoor cooking, you can enter and get the word out about your new cooker.

Digital Media Category

  With the continual evolution of live fire cooking in the digital age, it’s a no-brainer that we   recognize the excellence found in BBQ focused digital media. From podcasts to websites to video,   there’s a lot of excellent material out there to elevate your BBQ knowledge.

 Publications and Literary Works

  Did you get your cookbook published this year or have an article printed? Maybe you’ve had   some great marketing material for your BBQ business. If this sounds like you then you need to   investigate the Publication and Literary Works category.


Pictures capture snippets of every aspect of our lives from grandkids to celebrations to the latest cookoff we’ve attended. This category is for those who have captured that BBQ moment of time which in many cases evoke emotions, memories and highlights the photographer’s ability to encompass a glimpse of what we love, turning it into art.

As mentioned above, the window to enter will open January 1st with the deadline being January 17th (post mark date) and the judging will take place February 8th, 2020. So, when you visit you will discover just where your submission or submissions will fit as you continue to pursue excellence in your business of BBQ. But hurry because the window to enter will be open before you know it.

NBBQA is continually in the pursuit of recognizing excellence in the business of BBQ.