Memphis in May 2011, Competition Chicken thighs, Robyn MEdlin, Grill Grrrl, Eddie Medlin, Robyn Lindars, Robyn Medlin Lindars, Grill Girl

Chicken Turn in box on a nice “putting green” of parsley.

Wow, what a crazy month of competition BBQ! We competed in three cook-offs (two KCBS and one SBN). We had some highs, 10th in chicken out of 94 teams in Greenwood, SC; and some lows with not so good pork scores at all three events.

Cooking all of these contests back-to-back and watching Amy spend hours preparing the turn-in boxes; I thought this would be a great time to divulge in more detail about what a turn-in box is and how to make them. For the SBN (Southern BBQ Network) event, they do not want any type of garnish in the box. Which makes Amy very happy, but puts more pressure on me to fill the box with even more awesome food. KCBS events do not require garnish, but I do not know of any teams that don’t use any.

There are many different ways you can garnish your turn-in boxes. We have found that a solid bed of parsley works best because you can quickly place your food on the parsley, make sure there isn’t sauce everywhere, and send it in to the judges.

To achieve the “Putting Green” as some call it, you will need fresh bunch parsley, romaine lettuce, and a lot of patience. For a four category KCBS contest we buy six bundles of parsley and two heads of romaine lettuce.

You’re going to laugh when you see how simple this is:

Wash all of the parsley and romaine lettuce in cold water-


Ok, coarsely chop the heads of romaine lettuce, removing anything that is dark green-


Place a thick layer (no white showing on bottom of the plate) of the romaine lettuce in each box-


Now take sprigs of parsley (removing the majority of the stem) and place them on top of the romaine lettuce-


Keep placing the sprigs of parsley in the plate until you have a solid, thick layer of parsley in the plate.


BAM! You just prepped your first comp box!


Now, the placement of food- you want the judges to see that there is garnish so that it looks pretty. Check out the photos below:














There are other ways to do turn-in boxes where you place whole pieces of romaine on the bottom of the plate and put your meat in, then put parsley around it. I don’t think this looks good at all. See for yourself below.

par 12











Questions? Email me!


Happy happy happy smokin’….Y’ALL!