Mercer Zimmerman Rib Competition – Omaha

mercer zimmerman Rib Competition

The Mercer Zimmerman Rib Competition will be held on Friday, April 21st in the west end of our parking lot located at 8526 F Street in Omaha.

6:00 am Parking Lot Opens

12:00 pm Turn in Ribs for Judging

1:00 pm Winner Announced

12:00 - 4:00 pm Lunch and Open Networking

Omaha Rib Competition Teams 2023


Team Registration

There is an entry fee of $100 per team. 50% of all registration fees will go to Touch Fund, the Mercer Zimmerman non-profit dedicated to anonymously supporting local individuals and families in need. The other 50% will be awarded to the winning team.


Between 6:00 – 8:00am Friday, April 21st. Two parking stalls will be reserved per team. Teams must provide their own tents, tables, grilling equipment, and chairs. There is no electricity available, however, teams are welcome to bring their own generator if needed. All grilling station equipment must fit within a team’s designated space. Teams will have access to running water.

Cooking Specifications

Each team will provide and cook St. Louis Style pork ribs. All meat will be cooked on site. Cooks are to prepare and cook in a safe and sanitary manner. Food service gloves must be worn at all times while preparing food. Each team must have a good supply of clean towels, paper towels, and cleaning supplies. Do not dump anything onto the ground. Use trash containers for disposal of all grease, charcoal ash, and food and paper waste.

Blind Judging

The official turn-in time will be 12:00 pm. All competitors will be provided with a 9” x 9” Styrofoam food container for judges. Cooks will turn in six (6) St. Louis Style pork ribs in the official contest container. Each container will be numbered so that the judges do not know which team’s food they are tasting. The container must be able to be closed completely. No garnish is allowed.

Judging Requirements

All contest entries will be judged in the following 3 categories: Appearance, Taste, and Tenderness. Contest entries will be scored using the following scoring system (2-9):

9 – Excellent
8 – Very Good
7 – Above Average
6 – Average
5 – Below Average
4 – Poor
3 – Bad
2 - Inedible

Appearance (texture, color, fat to lean ratio, burnt meat) – (15%)
Taste (sauce too hot, mild or excessive vs. a pleasing blend of sauce and meat) – (60%)
Tenderness (moist and tender vs. dry and tough) – (25%)


The winner will receive the Grand Champion trophy and 50% of all entry fee money received.