Steak cook-off coming to Downtown BBQ Fest!

JONESBORO, Ark. – While the Downtown Jonesboro BBQ Fest will be, of course, BBQ focused, a cook-off scheduled for the Friday before will raise the stakes for the weekend.

The Sam’s Club Steak Cook-Off will be Friday, Sept. 29 in Downtown Jonesboro. Steak cook-off organizer Darren May told NEA Report it is a new contest for visitors to the event this year and it will kick-off the evening before. 

“Basically, it is a new contest,” May said. “It has been gaining popularity over the past couple of years.”

The cooks are set to meet at 5 p.m. Friday, and after a short time, they’ll get two rib-eyes to begin the grill wizardry with. They’ll turn in the juicy, cooked cuts of meat from 8:00 to 8:30 p.m. Awards will be presented at 9:15 p.m. with some big cash prizes for those who plan to contend.

Unlike BBQ cook-offs, which are often swayed by professional teams, the steak cook-off will be an even playing field, May said. Anyone can hook their grill up, drive downtown, and get involved.

“It’s different from the BBQ contest because these folks in the BBQ contests, for the most part, they’re cooking and they’ve got the big rigs, big smokers and all the other stuff,” May said. “A steak-contest, the fella brings his grill on his pick-up truck and he’s just cooking a steak. It’s an even playing field. It’s really something that anybody who feels like they cook a great steak can come out and be a part of.”

There’s another reason to be part of this contest – prize money. The top winner can walk away with $1000.

Steak Payouts
1st Place $1000
2nd Place $750
3rd Place $500
4th Place $250
5th Place $100

The entry fee is $125.

You must register online for this competition, May said. The registration website is and we’ve linked directly to the Jonesboro event’s page, here, to make it easy.

May said register by Wednesday, Sept. 27, to be sure supplies are available. For more information, contact Darren May at 870 336-7364 or at

“This is the first year that we’ve done it,” May said. “It has really gained in popularity. We’re really hoping it’ll be something people will want to get out in and participate in. If we have good participation this year, then we can make it bigger and better next year.”

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