Games Get Taste With Cook-Off



Dennis Fendler/Roundup

There will be no pot calling any kettles black in the Payson Mountain High Games Dutch Oven Cook-Off. The games are June 3 through June 5, with the cook-off set for 1 p.m., June 4.

The Dutch Oven Cook-Off is giving some taste to the Payson Mountain High Games. The games are Friday, June 3 through Sunday, June 5, with the Dutch Oven Cook-Off slated to start heating up at 10 a.m., Saturday, June 4.

Cooking begins at 10 a.m., with judging starting at 1 p.m., and tasting by games guests following.

The Cook-Off is sponsored by the Town of Payson and the Arizona Chapter of the International Dutch Oven Society, so entrants must be members of the IDOS.

The event is a three-pot contest and the winner will be eligible to enter the World Championship Cook-Off 2011 in Utah.

The three pots that entrants must prepare are a main dish, a dessert and a bread, which can be yeast rise or sourdough. All dishes must be prepared with only charcoal.

The judges will award points for presentation, cleanliness and taste.

Cooks as young as 12, if IDOS members, may participate. However, a limit of 12 teams will be allowed in the contest, but the teams may have up to three members each.

The dessert must be ready for judging by 1 p.m.; bread by 2 p.m.; and main dish by 3 p.m.

Cooking will be done over a charcoal fire up off the ground, and ingredients must be prepared from scratch on site, including cutting of meat, vegetables, other ingredients and marinating.

Participants must keep their cook site clean and presentable during cooking and leave the area spotlessly clean. Each team must have a wash station and fire extinguisher on hand.

First place for each dish will win $75, second $50, and third $25.


Dennis Fendler/Roundup

Competitors in the Mountain High Games Dutch Oven Cook-Off will not have the “cushy” environment of a Rumsey Park ramada for their contest Saturday, June 4. Instead, they will be working at the Payson Event Center, using charcoal and following some strict rules.

Rules and Cooking Instructions

Contestants may choose their own cooking area from among those available on a first-come, first-served basis before the cook-off begins.

All food, charcoal, pots, utensils, etc., to be used, must be furnished by the competitors. Hot water and soap will also be the responsibility of the cook-off contestants for cleaning of dishes and utensils.

Participants are to not to bring things to eat while cooking, however, beverages are permissible. Cold soft drinks will provided contestants by the cook-off.

Food ingredients cannot be precooked and must be combined during the cooking preparation, with the exception of canned foods, marinades and sourdough starter. Other exceptions may be approved by the committee.

In addition to traditional cast iron dutch ovens, aluminum dutch ovens may be used, however no add-ons or additions inside the oven are allowed, such as racks, trivits, aluminum foil or pans. Use of such items will result in reduction of points in judging.

Only food for competition may be cooked in the cook-off area to reduce confusion and simplify judging tasks.

Grub boxes and other such accessories are allowed, but they must be of a size that can be easily contained in the contestant’s own preparation area and should be necessary for the preparation of entries.

The size of each cooking area is about 10-feet-by-10-feet. At least one member of the team must be in the cooking area at all times, unless it is that of a solo participant. The field judges will be watching for interaction with spectators, as well as the cleanliness of the area and will give appropriate points for the work.

Health Department rules mandate that no home-processed foods by used in the competition. This includes meat, vegetables, fruit, sauces, etc. These must be commercially purchased or made on site.

Ice chests or coolers should be used for all perishables and kept at a 40-degree temperature or below.

Teams will be judged on cooking technique, team dress and spectator interaction, adherence to all contest rules, cleanliness, presentation and appearance and taste of entry.

Presentation of prizes is scheduled for about 3:30 p.m., Saturday, June 4.


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