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19 Texas schools battle it out at High School BBQ Cook-off in Graham

Published: Nov. 15, 2021 at 3:11 PM CST
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GRAHAM, Texas (KAUZ) - Over 70 students from all across Texas competed in a Texas High School BBQ Cook-off at the downtown square in Graham Texas.

There were 19 high schools that participated in the cook-off and for some this was their first time, but others have been masters of the grill for years.

“These are actually extracurricular programs and not agriculture or a culinary program in the school. However you’ll have a mixture of agriculture students, culinary students and just students in general now that come out and cook with us,” said Chuck Schoenfeld, president of High School BBQ Inc.

“I like cooking chicken because it looks so pretty when it comes out of the grill and then you just glaze it with sauces,” said a student from Graham High School.

“I’m cooking the brisket and currently it’s sitting in the smoker over there. He’s the chicken guy, he’s the rib guy for the day but he’s also our pit master,” said a student, Canyon High School.

The group from Canyon said they put their team together in just a month after approaching their school about starting a BBQ club.

“We tried to start it but our principal couldn’t get it done. She went up to the superintendent and we fought for it all the way up there and eventually they finally approved us,” said a student from Canyon High School.

Chicken, brisket, ribs, desserts and beans were judged by volunteers on appearance and of course taste.

“They rate the product on excellent all the way to poor. So there’s different levels of rating and if they rate it as anything less it less than excellent it asks them why,” said Schoenfeld.

Mansfield Ben Barber Innovation Academy won the first place prize of a $3,000 scholarship to the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in Austin. The Graham Smokin Steers won the second place prize of $2,000, and the 205 Pit Masters Culinary School in Rockwall, Texas came in third with $1,500. These teams along with seven others also qualified to go to the state championship. Over 500 students will travel to Round Rock, Texas in April for that competition.

“It’s very beneficial to some people who want to become a chef in the future. I want to become a chef and Auguste Escoffier that donates the money is a great place to learn how to cook,” said a student from Graham High School.

To find out more information on Texas High School BBQ Inc. visit their website.

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