WEST DES MOINES, IA - May 18, 2010 - For the 47th year, the best grillers in Iowa will gather to compete for the title "Iowa Cookout Champion" at the Iowa State Fair. The contest showcases the state's best outdoor chefs working their culinary magic with some of Iowa's finest meat products.


The search for a new champion begins this summer when county Farm Bureaus host local contests to determine winners in several categories. Local finalists will compete for the state title on Iowa Farm Bureau Day at the fair, Tuesday, Aug. 17, on the Grand Concourse of the Iowa State Fairgrounds.


The first local contests will be held in June. A list of the county cookout contests will be updated regularly on the Iowa Farm Bureau website, http://www.iowafarmbureau.com. Interested grillers and attendees should also contact their county Farm Bureau office for more details and information on rules and contests in their areas.


"The cookout contest is about sharing the best of what Iowa has to offer: its people and the food raised on our farms," said Iowa Farm Bureau cookout coordinator Denny Harding. "Every year hundreds of grillers compete in local competitions for a chance to showcase their best for state fairgoers."


Contestants will compete in six categories: beef, pork, lamb/goat, poultry, turkey and combo/specialty. Entries in the beef category will be limited to chuck or round primal cuts, including ground chuck or ground round. Combo recipes combine two or more meats from the five other categories. Specialty recipes may feature venison or any other Iowa domestically raised product. All wild game is excluded.


Creations will be judged on taste, appearance and originality. Special recognition will also go to contestants in showmanship, youth and team cooking categories. Youth grillers must be between the ages of 13 and 18 years, as of Aug. 1, 2010. Farm Bureau or affiliated company employees are not eligible to compete.




Editor's Note: To view and download photos of last year's Cookout Contest, click on the following link: http://tiny.cc/eymm1. Photos from other Cookout Contests can be viewed and downloaded by clicking here: http://bit.ly/cmZlHD. Photos should be credited to Joe Murphy, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation.