BURNET (KXAN) — Pitmasters-in-training from across the state will spend the next few weeks preparing for their next competition – the National High School Barbeque Championship.

Over the weekend, 57 teams made up of Texas high school and middle school students competed at the State Championship in Burnet. Each team prepped and presented their best dutch-oven dessert, fajita/taco, pork chop, chicken and ribs… recipes they’ve spent all year perfecting.

The State of Texas High School BBQ Championship originated at Burnet High School

Given an overall score based on taste, appearance, and tenderness, 40 teams earned their spot at Nationals to be held this summer in Hutto.

One student tends to her chicken on the barbeque

For every category, 1st-10th place was announced, in addition to a Grand Champion, Reserve Grand Champion & 3rd place. Team members who earn Grand Champion go home with the title, a banner to hang at their school, belt buckles, a set of knives, scholarships and more.

Awards given out to local high schoolers for best dessert, taco, pork chop, chicken and ribs

This year, Cowboy Smokes of James Madison High School earned Grand Champion. The Reserve Grand Champion (2nd place) went to Burnet FFQ BBQ of Burnet High School. Rounding out the top 3 was Kickin Ash from Rankin High School.

Burnet High BBQ teams with the First Lady of Texas
High school student checking in on barbeque dish

To learn more about the High School BBQ Association and the upcoming competition, click here.