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Washington Post BBQ Sauce Contest

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The Washington Post is holding its 2nd annual Smoke Signals Barbecue Sauce Recipe Contest.

If you think you have “Q” acumen it takes to win this contest, then fire up the email baby. There is still time left to enter by the May 2nd deadline because let’s face it, your sauce is already perfected and all you need to do is type it up and send it in to the Post.

As was aptly observed in the today’s Washington Post article by Jim Shahin, “Unlike the French, who define what they call the “mother sauces” with precision, Americans don’t bother with definitions. We’re a crazy, individualistic bunch. If we call something a barbecue sauce, it’s a barbecue sauce.”

BBQ Sauce on brush

(photo by Deb Lindsey/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

So what are you waiting for? Pull your suspenders out with pride and show off that lip-smacking, yummy-sound-inducing BBQ sauce.

BBQ Sauce Contest Rules

from the Washington Post Website

Again this year, we’re looking for finishing sauces, the kind you use to glaze grilled meat, fish or vegetables just before serving or to serve on the side. We do not want recipes for marinades, rubs or mop sauces that are used early in the cooking process.

Otherwise, the BBQ sauce can be any style, including but not limited to:

●Kansas City-type thickish, tomato-based sweet sauce.

●Eastern North Carolina thin, vinegar-based pepper sauce.

●South Carolina mustard-based sauce.

●Alabama mayonnaise-based white sauce.

●The wide array of exotic sauces that include fruit, coffee, etc.

The BBQ sauce recipe can contain no more than 10 ingredients, none of which can be a commercial barbecue sauce. This year, red sauces, mustard-based sauces and alternative sauces will be judged in separate categories.

We’re looking for entries from amateur home cooks, not professionals. That means no restaurateurs or caterers. No commercial bottlers. No one who otherwise makes a living cooking or preparing food. And no employees of The Washington Post or their spouses or immediate family members.

Recipes must be original, the sole work of the entrant.

Measurements and directions must be precise and easy to follow, and should include:

●A brief description of the BBQ sauce and what it pairs with best.

●A list of ingredients, using numerical values for measurements; for example, 1 cup ketchup, 2 teaspoons Tabasco.

●Clear directions on how to make and use the sauce.

Include your full name as you would like it to appear in the newspaper. Also include your phone numbers, your home address (not to be used in the paper, but to verify your information) and your e-mail address. Put your name and contact information at the top of the e-mail.

The BBQ sauce entry deadline is May 2, 2012. Prizes will be revealed at a future date; the winning recipes will be published in the May 23 edition of Food.

E-mail your entry to, with the words “SAUCE CONTEST” in the subject line.

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