Grill skills: showdown to determine the greatest German grillmeister of them all

Grill skills: showdown to determine the greatest German grillmeister of them all
Franziska Kraufmann/ DPA
Grillen - the German word for barbecue - goes with summer just like lakes, beer and World Cup football. While the latter didn’t work out so well in 2018, this weekend’s German Barbecue Championships gives one lucky team the chance to bring home some silverware - and a cool €12,000

We’ve all got that friend who comes to the barbecue and likes to commandeer the grill, grabbing the tongs out of someone else’s hands to show everyone how it's done. If you love barbecues but can’t think of someone in your group of friends who fits that description, then that person is probably you. 

This Sunday will see the crowning of the Deutsche Grillkönig – the German Barbecue King – at the 23rd German Grilling and Barbecue Championships in Fulda. Forty teams – separated into professional and amateur divisions – in total will complete for the crown.

The professionals are required to prepare six courses – fish out of the local lake, pork steak, beef brisket and chicken breast, a vegetarian option and dessert – while the amateurs will only need to prepare the four meat dishes.

Each team are provided with the same amount of meat, fish and chicken to ensure that only the grill skills on the day determine the eventual champion. 

In what might just be the best job going around, the winners will be decided by a 130-strong jury panel who are tasked with grading the team’s efforts. 

The Championships are held annually by the German Barbecue Association which lists its goal as to “promote grilling and barbecue culture in Germany and to cultivate the high recreational value of grilling as a cultural asset”. Oh don’t we know it. 

But there’s plenty more than just pride at stake for these budding grillmeisters. The winners will earn themselves a cool €12,100 for their trouble along with a trophy, medals and a fair dose of pride to last them through the long German winter.

Last year’s Grillkönig Martin Schulz – not the one of SPD fame – returns this year to defend the title he won by creating a Bavarian pork belly meets Asia fusion burger. 

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Unfortunately for those who might fancy themselves as an outside chance for the crown, registration for the event was held in January – but that means you’ve got five months to get your team together, dust off your apron and suit up for the 2019 championships.


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