Arizona BBQ Events, Competitions & Festivals

bbq-eventsSo you came here looking for a BBQ event in Arizona?

Unfortunately for us locals, BBQ events around Arizona aren’t as popular as you would think. We have sunshine year-round, plenty of BBQ lovers in the state and over 70 BBQ restaurants in Arizona willing to offer up their barbecue to the masses, but even with all the barbecue love, there is only a handful of true barbecue events each year and even less BBQ competitions.

Often the largest and best events to keep an eye on are KCBS sanctioned BBQ competitions and events that have BBQ competitions going on in tandem. Visit the KCBS website to view upcoming BBQ events or continue to check back here as I feature the best BBQ events and festivals around Arizona.

Upcoming Arizona BBQ Festivals

Nothing upcoming in Arizona!


Past Arizona BBQ Events

2016 World BBQ Festival – Peoria 


  • Type: International food and music festival with KCBS BBQ competition and steak cookoff competition
  • When: November 4-5, 2016
  • Where: Centennial Plaza Park, 9875 N. 85th Avenue, Peoria, AZ 85345
  • Why go: When else are you able to taste international BBQ fare in one spot? Pair that with various bands, vendors and drinks to top it all off – and it’s only $5.
  • How much is this gonna cost? Seriously, only $5 and children under 12 are free.

2016 Taste of Arizona Festival – Mesa


  • Type: Arizona food festival with BBQ competition, proceeds going to Boy Scouts of Phoenix
  • When: December 3, 2016, 11 am – 6 pm
  • Where: Mesa Riverview Park
  • Why go: Dance around to music provided by local bands why you get a taste of Arizona from over 60 AZ restaurants. Stick around for the BBQ competition, beer garden, wine tasting, Dutch Oven cookoff and more!
  • How much is this gonna cost? $7 pre-sale, then $10 at the gate. Kids 11 and under are free. VIP package is $45.
  • Purchase tickets on their Eventbrite page

Southern Arizona Smokin Showdown BBQ – Tucson


  • Type: Public BBQ competition supporting Steele Children’s Research Center
  • When: June 4, 2016, 6-9 pm
  • Where: Hotel Congress, Tucson, AZ
  • Why go: Tucson-area BBQ restaurants compete for top honor while proceeds from the event and donations support charity
  • How much is this gonna cost? $35 and $25 of that is tax deductible
  • Purchase tickets on the UA Foundation website

2016 Great American Barbeque and Beer Festival

  • Tchandler-bbq-festivalype: BBQ Festival
  • When: March 19, 2016
  • Time: Event starts at noon – late
  • Where: Downtown Chandler, AZ
  • Why go: Features 60+ Arizona BBQ pitmasters serving an abundance of outrageous BBQ creations.
  • How much this gonna cost me? $10 admission at your local valley Bashas’ or online for $12. $15 at the gate. $125 VIP admission, limited to 150 people. Kids 12 and under are free.
  • What if it rains? Bring an umbrella. This is a rain or shine event.
  • I want more info. Cool – here’s their website. 

2016 Arizona BBQ Competitions

The Queen Creek BBQ Battle – Queen Creek


  • Formerly named: Eastmark at the Great Parks BBQ Bash
  • February 19-20, 2016
  • NEW location as of 2/10/16: Queen Creek Library near Ellsworth Loops and Rittenhouse Road.
  • Grand Canyon State BBQ Association Team of the Year Event
  • Official Flyer     KCBS Info / Results 

Sam’s Club National BBQ Tour Local Event – Tucson


4th Annual BBQ Throwdown – Show Low