Cookbook | Rules & Regulations

The American Angus Auxiliary-sponsored All-American Certified Angus Beef® Cook-Off and Chef’s Challenge contests are held during the National Junior Angus Show.

Memo: Helpful hints and tips from Certified Angus Beef, LLC

All-American CAB® Cook-Off

There are two ways to enter the CAB Cook-off.

Online Entry Form


Download Entry Form


1. All teams will use the same CAB product in their respective categories - no choices!
  • Steak - Top Sirloin (4 steaks)
  • Roast - Tri-Tip (3 to 4 pounds)
  • Other - Fresh Ground Chuck (2 pounds)
2. No teams may receive the CAB product until 8 am on contest day. Please do not choose a recipe that requires overnight marinating or cooking time over 5 hours.
3. Grills are strongly encouraged for preparation of beef and judging /scores will reflect that.
4. Teams are not allowed to bring their own extension cords - if an extension cord is needed please indicate that on your entry form. An extension cord approved by the hosting facility will be provided.

Guidelines for All-American Certified Angus Beef ® Cook-Off

Cooks of all ages should bring their chef’s hats, aprons, beef recipes, and flair for preparation to the Certified Angus Beef ® Cook-Off this summer. The event, sponsored jointly by the American Angus Auxiliary, National Jr. Angus Association, American Angus Association and Certified Angus Beef LLC, is held annually during the National Jr. Angus Show.

The cook-off is judged by a panel of judges. Winners in categories in showmanship and recipe as well as overall excellence will be awarded special prizes. There will be steaks, roasts, and other beef item categories. There will be divisions for NJAA member teams (two to six members of a state junior Angus association.) There will be an overall winner announced at the award ceremony.

The event is educational, competitive and fun! Among junior teams in particular, the cook-off has fostered a cooperative spirit. The cook-off is an excellent way to educate and entertain non-participants, while promoting the ultimate end product—the Certified Angus Beef ® brand.

Judging Criteria

Each entry will be evaluated by a panel of 3 judges. See score sheets for explanation.

Steak category scorecard | Roast category scorecard | Other beef category scorecard

  • Taste – 30 points
  • Use of CAB® and secret ingredients – 25 points
  • Originality – 25 points
  • Technique and preparation – 10 points
  • Plating – 10 points


  1. There will be a division for NJAA member teams.
    1. Any person over 21 years of age may participate in the adult division of the Chef’s Challenge. There is no limit to the number of adult entries from a state.
    2. The NJAA member contest is open to NJAA members only.
      • Adult supervision is strongly recommended, however, food preparation and presentation is to be done by the junior members.
      • The contest will be divided into three age categories: 9-13; 14-17; and 18-21. All ages will be determined as of January 1. Mixed teams may be entered, but will be classified by the oldest member of the team.
      • State Junior Associations may each field only one team of two to six members in each division.
    3. In addition to age divisions there will also be a Steaks, Roasts and Other Beef Items Division. The same number of teams per division will apply to each meat division.
  2. All entries must use Certified Angus Beef® brand product in the recipes.
  3. No alcoholic beverages may be used in the recipe(s), presentation or be presented to the judges; an exception is the use of cooking with wine in the recipes.
  4. All entries in Steaks, Roasts, or Other Beef Items will be evaluated on the two separate and distinct categories of Showmanship (presentation of the dish) and Recipe (taste of the dish). Winners will be named in both the Showmanship and Recipe categories, as well as Overall Excellence. Awards will be presented in all areas.
  5. All names of cook-off participants, age, birth date, and address, along with a typed copy of the entry’s recipe, should be submitted to the cook-off official by May 15.
  6. Certified Angus Beef® specifically designated steaks, roasts, fresh ground beef and other beef items will be provided and will be provided after 8 a.m., July 8 (list of beef items available can be found on the back of your entry form.) The contestant must furnish all other ingredients.
  7. Beef will be kept in refrigeration, and will not be available until after 8 a.m. on July 8.
  8. Grills will be provided and due to facility limitations, entrants are strongly encouraged to utilize them. Other types of cooking units may be used but must be furnished by the contestant. (Please note type of cooking unit on entry form.) if an extension cord is needed, one will be provided, and must be noted/reserved on entry form.
  9. In keeping with the “creative” aspect of this contest, entrants are encouraged to choose a theme, dress accordingly, and serve the beef in a manner keeping with that theme. Participants should use imagination and creativity in choosing a theme and serving the “dish” in that style.
  10. Cooks may begin preparations anytime they deem necessary to be ready for judging at the designated time on contest day.

The Chef’s Challenge

The Challenge: Prepare and serve a unique entrée using a specified cut of Certified Angus Beef® item and secret ingredients provided by the contest. Contestants will be notified of the beef cut and secret ingredients by 9 am the day before the contest. New rule change below.

Online Entry Form

Download Entry Form

Download Scorecard

Participant qualifications

  1. There will be two age divisions in the contest
    • ADULT (age 21 and over)
    • NJAA members age 18-21
  2. 1 or 2 people per entry, individuals and teams of 2 will compete together.
  3. NJAA members may not participate in the “Challenge” if they are members of a state Cook – Off Team
  4. Challenge contest will be limited to 10 entries- ideally 5 adult and 5 NJAA, determined by receipt of entry (postmark or fax, email date/time.) Multiple entries from the same state will be accepted in each division.
  5. Registered contestants only may participate in the preparation and cooking of the entry.
  6. Entry deadline is May 15; completed entry form must be postmarked, faxed or emailed to the contest chairpersons by May 15. Contestants will receive entry acceptance by June 15.

Contest Rules

  1. Contestants will receive a Certified Angus Beef® cut suitable for grilling and 2 to 3 other ingredients that must be used in the preparation and presentation of the dish.
  2. All contestants will receive the same Certified Angus Beef® cut and portion size, along with same kind and amount of the other secret ingredients. Secret ingredients may be the following: vegetable, fruit, herb, spice, condiment, regional favorite.
  3. Contestants are responsible for any other ingredients, garnishes and spices used in their entry. (Do not use alcoholic beverages with the exception of products labeled cooking wine or wine vinegar)
  4. Contest will provide a workspace table for each entry. Grills will be available.
  5. Contestants must provide their own cooking and preparation utensils, bowls, pots, pans, cutting boards, foil, etc. If cooking method or appliances other than a grill or microwave oven is needed, contestants must furnish their own. (Example- fryers, electric skillet/wok, griddle, blender, etc.) Contestants may choose to furnish their own grill.
  6. Contestants must present 3 separately plated servings of the finished product to the judges. Points will be given for attractive and creative presentation and plating. Contestants must provide their own plates and flatware/steak knives appropriate for their dish when serving to the judges. Table setting/tablescapes and extra side dishes should not be included in the entry.

Contest Procedure

  1. Entries due to contest chairpersons by May 15
  2. Contestants will be notified of the CAB product and secret ingredients by 9 am on the day before the contest.
  3. Contestant order will be determined randomly and posted by 4 pm on the day before the contest.
  4. Contestants will have a maximum of 1 hour to prepare their entry.
  5. ALL contestants must be present at no later than 1 pm on contest day in the designated contest area at their designated workspace with all of their ingredients displayed, with the exception of their CAB product and secret ingredients. Contestants will meet the judges at this time and should be prepared to tell the judges what they are preparing and answer question about preparation, recipe, cooking method, etc.
  6. Contestants will receive their CAB product and secret ingredients in 10-minute intervals beginning at 12:50 pm, at this time the contestant may begin preparation and cooking. Contestants will serve their completed entry to the judges in 10-minute intervals beginning at 2:30 pm. Example Contestant(s) #1 receive CAB and secret ingredients at 12:50 pm, serve to judges at 2:30 pm; #2 at receive at 1:10 pm serve at 2:40 pm ; # 3 at 1:30 pm serve at 2:50 pm. With maximum number of entries of 10, # 10 receives at 2:30 serve at 4 pm.
  7. Judges may observe and ask questions of contestants during preparation.
  8. Contestants must present three (3) separately plated servings of the finished product to the judges. Contestants must provide their own plates and flatware/steak knives appropriate for their dish when serving to the judges (see # 6 under contest rules.)


The first place entry in each division will receive a Certified Angus Beef® logo jacket and a $100 cash prize. 2nd and 3rd place entries in each division will receive an award. Winners in the Chef’s Challenge will not compete for the All American Certified Angus Beef® Cook- Off Black Kettle Award.

Submitting entries online is preferred. NJAA members competing on state teams members should check with and coordinate entries through their state junior Angus association advisors.

Entry deadline is May 15. For complete rules, information and entry form visit the National Junior Angus Association website, or contact Anne Patton Schubert, 4040 Taylorsville Road, Taylorsville, Kentucky, 40071. Phone: (502) 477-2663; Fax: (502) 477-2637; or Anne Lampe at (620) 872-3915.