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BBQ with Broward 4-H!

Broward County 4-H proudly hosted its third annual barbecue tailgate competition in November 2019. We are grateful to Mission BBQ, Magic Cow Ice Cream, the Broward 4-H Association, and our many parents and volunteers who made the event possible (and Mr. Roger Lew for contributing these photographs for this blog!). In this event, youth competitively grilled their protein of choice, interviewed with judges, and received scores and valuable feedback.

Why Barbecue?

Providing youth with the skills to barbecue teaches a few valuable lessons. First, barbecuing allows youth to become more independent. Cooking on a grill can be as simple, or as complicated, as you want it to be. Also, barbecuing promotes eating healthy proteins; our barbecue competition allowed for beef, chicken, pork, seafood and even a veggie burger! Plus, grilling on a barbecue teaches responsibility and time management. Youth must maintain food safety, fire safety, and produce a delicious dish!

How to teach your youth to BBQ

There are many resources out there to learn how to barbecue, or to teach your youth to barbecue! In Broward 4-H, we start with food safety. Knowing how to handle food safely ensures everyone stays healthy and can enjoy the barbecue from beginning to end (and for days afterwards!). Fight Bac is a helpful resources, as is our Family & Consumer Science Extension office.

When youth understand food safety, we move on to how to start a grill, manage a grill, and cook to perfection. UF/IFAS Extension has provided several videos on fire safety, cookout tips, and how to grill. Florida 4-H hosts District and Statewide barbecue competitions, which our Broward 4-H members love to compete in! Finally, practice makes perfect! Our interested 4-H clubs hosted several club workshops with experienced grill masters to practice and learn together before the competition.

The Broward 4-H BBQ Tailgate competition

Our competition took place in 2019 at Plantation Heritage Park. We hosted a Family Fun Day, with lawn games, hotdogs, and an ice cream social while our youth competitors grilled. Our competitors made display boards of their recipes and grilling knowledge, and then had two hours to grill. When their food was grilled to perfection, they presented their dishes to our volunteer judges. These judges had been observing the youth’s grilling technique and then interviewed them on the process. This competition not only instilled independence and healthy eating in youth, it helped them with their presentation and interview skills (just like our Fair does!).

2 Comments on “BBQ with Broward 4-H!

    • Thank you for your question! Due to covid-19, our BBQ competitions have all been cancelled for the time being. Our competitions are generally only open to youth active in 4-H community clubs or school clubs. If you had a high school group who wanted to learn about BBQ as a 4-H project and then compete in the competition, we could arrange for that. You can email me at if you want more information on how to start a 4-H club at a school.