Who we are -- What we do

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Who we are

We're just a bunch of down-home folk, a lot like you. We're carpenters, salesmen, business men and women, home-makers, lawyers, plumbers, engineers and about every other profession in between. We're a diverse group that has one thing in common -- we enjoy real barbecue, fun and sharing “Q” with new friends.

We formed a club called the California Barbecue Association ("CBBQA"), a non-profit tax-exempt corporation to benefit needy children. We’re run by our members, our finances are open, and no one gets paid – we volunteer because we enjoy BBQ, enjoy sharing it with our friends, old and new, and use our love of BBQ as a way to help needy children in many ways -- with picnics, parties, fund raisers, and other events.

Our members share an interest in barbecue in a wide variety of ways. Many are backyard novices and students, eager to learn new techniques and styles. Others enjoy the thrill of competition, entering cook-offs. Many learn regional styles and the nuances of flavor, and they volunteer as certified judges at sanctioned contests. Others just enjoy the ambiance.

What we do

We like to sit around the barbecue pit, watching the smoke rising out of the stack, drinking a Dr. Pepper or maybe an adult beverage and pondering barbecue, the size of the universe, the meaning of life and other matters of importance.

We also, from time to time, if the feeling strikes us just right, will impart our "Q" knowledge to new barbecue friends so that they too can produce real barbecue. So join us for some fun, food and friends! Who knows, you might just learn a thing or two, help out kids who really need a hand up and have some fun along the way.


Several times a year, we organize barbecue festivals (“Q-Fests”) at parks or campgrounds. We smoke some meat, bring a potluck dish and have ourselves a very nice weekend. In addition, we put on seminars and demonstrations relating to barbecue and cooking.


We help promote and provide information about sanctioned BBQ contests in California and the Southwest. We even promote contests across America like the American Royal in Kansas City and the Jack Daniels Invitational in Tennessee. Many of our members have become actively involved in promoting new contests in California.


We are a family oriented group and enjoy having children of appropriate ages at contests and other functions. We also help out at picnics, barbecues and parties for various charities. These efforts are targeted at helping children and their families. Often we lend a hand with events related to our troops and their families, foster children, kids with serious illnesses and at-risk youth.

Charity Events

We are a 501c(3) children's charity and we put a tremendous focus on raising funds for children's charities. At many of the contests we support, we run vending booths donate the proceeds to a specified charity. We encourage our members to look for opportunities to be of service in this manner and to involve other members in these activities. If you are involved with or simply have knowledge of a charity that could benefit from our involvement, do not be afraid to post about the opportunity in our forum. Many of our members are on the lookout for ways to contribute their time and talents to a good cause.

CBBQA Supported Charities

BBQ for the Troops

CBBQA members have donated time and cooking skills for many different BBQ for the Troop events. In California, we have cooked for the Marines at 29 Palms and Camp Pendelton, the Navy SEALS on Coronado, and the Marines at Miramar. CBBQA members have also cooked for the troops as far away as Texas and North Carolina. These are things we do every year, throughout the year and are incredibly rewarding experiences.

Backyard Events

A few times a year we have informal, free, one day "backyard competitions" where new teams can learn about what it is like to compete in a more relax, non-threatening atmosphere while getting some tips and mentoring from more experienced teams.

Education -- Cooking Low 'n Slow

Barbecue is part of our heritage as Americans. It is an authentic American cuisine with history and tradition that rivals that of any other. Real barbecue is cooked at a low temperature for a long duration allowing for the meat to take on unique characteristics in terms of moisture, tenderness, and above all flavor. A live fire using charcoal or wood or a combination of the two is a necessary component and the key to producing something truly spectacular. We call this type of cooking "low and slow".

The "low and slow" method of barbecue developed in the Southern U.S. and requires wood (or wood charcoal) to cook meat (or fish and vegetables) at a relatively low temperature. Most cooks will keep there barbecue pit between 200º and 275º depending on the type of meat they are cooking. These temperatures are critical to getting the right results. Patience is the order of the day, but it is definitely worth the wait. While a brisket might take take 18 hours to cook, the finished product is a life changing bite of meat. Whether it is beef, chicken, pork or ribs you are cooking, the use of low temperatures, with indirect heat and wood smoke, will produce an appearance, taste and texture in meat that is unmatched by any other cooking method.

By contrast, commercially available barbecue in most restaurants is not prepared using this painstaking artisanal approach. This is a double edged sword. Once you learn to cook your favorite barbecue meats using traditional methods, you will never be satisfied with what you used to love to order at your local barbecue joint.

Why Join ?

As to why you should become a CBBQA member, there are many reasons:

  • We are a 501c3 children's charity, so if you believe in our mission, it's a no brainer to support the cause with a tax deductible membership.
  • Significant discounts from our business members:

These discounts can completely offset the $36 (Individual Annual Membership) cost of joining!

  • A subscription to our newsletter and the National BBQ News (it's a physical newspaper, not virtual)
  • BBQ educational and community building opportunities at Q fests, Meat ups, and Backyard competitions are included in membership.
  • Many opportunities to get involved as a volunteer in your community in a fun and meaningful way that has a positive effect on the lives of children. Doing good can be very addictive!
  • Did I mention it was tax deductable?

Sign Up Now

We hope you will decide to join us and look forward to meeting you at our next event!!

If you already have a user account here on the system you can join CBBQA Membership Levels, if not you can register for a new account and sign up as a member (select CBBQA or Business Member - under paid subscriptions) all at the same time CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP. It takes less than 2 minutes to sign up.

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