Coals heat up at the chuck wagon & dutch oven cook offs

Nov 4, 2011
by WLJ

True cowboy cuisine doesn’t require any electricity. The Arizona National Livestock Show (ANLS) will hold the Ninth Annual Chuck Wagon Cook Off on Dec. 30, 2011, and the First Annual Dutch Oven Cook Off Dec. 31, 2011, at the Arizona State Fairgrounds.

Chuck Wagon camps travel from all over the Southwest to fire up some good cowboy grub. The “camps” consist of an authentic oldstyle wagon and a crew that will be doin’ the cookin’ with cast iron pots. Thirty-two hundred dollars will be awarded in prize money for the categories of Best Trail Wagon, Best Ranch Wagon as well as the best meat, beans, potatoes, bread and cobbler. Come on over awhile and chat by our fires. Make sure you get your tickets early and beat the stampede, as tickets are limited! Chuck Wagon meal tickets are $10 per person, which includes a beverage, and they will go on sale Dec. 1. Bring your family and experience a part of the Old West!

The Dutch Oven Cook Off is a different type of event than the Chuck Wagon Cook Off, consisting of three dishes. This event will take place Dec. 31. Each team will submit their recipe prior to the cook off for the dessert, bread and main dish they will be preparing. They will be working with charcoal, while the Chuck Wagon teams who would like to also compete will be able to use hardwood coals. This style of cooking leads to the heat management of the coals, which you might think is something easy to do, but there is an art to this tech nique to make sure your dish comes out just perfect! Purchase a tasting plate for $5 to enjoy the amazing dishes! You will also have an opportunity to walk around and watch the teams preparing their dishes for the competition as well as attending demonstrations throughout the day to learn more about the cooking process which might intrigue you to start cooking in a Dutch oven at home.

The Dutch Oven Cook Off is sanctioned by the International Dutch Oven Society. The winner from this cook off will be eligible to enter into the World Championship Cook Off, which is held in March 2012 in Utah as part of the International Sportsman’s Expo.

Entries for the Chuck Wagon Cook Off are due Nov. 15 and the Dutch Oven Cook Off entry deadline is Dec. 1. For more details on how you can enter the competition, visit

The Chuck Wagon Cook Off is just one of the many exciting events taking place during the 64th ANLS, Dec. 29-31, 2011. Admission to ANLS is $10 per car, which includes parking and admission. Chuck Wagon Cook Off tickets are limited and sell fast, so don’t wait.

The Arizona National Livestock Show, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting youth and educating the public about the importance of agriculture and livestock through the presentation of a premier livestock show. For more information, visit, or call the office at (602) 258-8568. — WLJ