(the Beef Checkoff Program Rights of Copyright included)

Funded in part by The Beef Checkoff

Download the rules

On behalf of the Beef Checkoff Program, and the American National CattleWomen, Inc., a contractor to the Beef Checkoff Program (collectively, the Promotion Parties) present the 2013 National Beef Cook-Off (Contest). Participation in the Contest constitutes full and unconditional agreement to, and acceptance of these Official Rules. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN.


The 2013 National Beef Cook-Off (NBCO or Cook-Off) wants home cooks from across the country to create and submit their best beef-focused recipes for a chance to win $25,000. The NBCO is a bi-yearly recipe contest, ranked one of the top three recipe contests in the county. The Cook-Off seeks recipes that meet the tastes and techniques of the home cook while demonstrating the benefits and versatility of cooking with beef.


This year's contest theme is 'Making the Most of MyPlate', which will encourage delicious, nutritious recipes from a variety of food groups. Entrants are asked to develop an original and tasty beef-focused recipe that includes broadly appealing ingredients from the fruit and vegetable, grain products and dairy products groups.


Recipes can be submitted in the following categories: 

Belt-Tightening Beef Recipes – Home cooks will create nutritious and affordable beef recipes that are great values to prepare. Recipes should include a maximum of nine ingredients including beef, and flavorful, low cost ingredients from the fruits or vegetables, grain products and dairy products food groups.

  • Recipes may include a less-tender steak cut from the chuck, round, plate or flank such as shoulder steak, top round steak, bottom round steak (Western Griller), eye round steak, sirloin tip side steak, skirt steak, or flank steak) that require a tenderizing marinade before cooking using the grill, broiler or stovetop. 
  • Recipes may include a less-tender roast such as a chuck pot roast, shoulder tender petite roast, eye round roast, bottom round roast, rump roast, or brisket that require a moist heat cooking method, such as braising or using a slow cooker appliance, paired with hearty ingredients to develop flavorful results. 
  • Recipes may include 95% lean ground beef prepared in a one-skillet meal, casserole, or meatloaf.

Semi-Homemade Beef Recipes – Home cooks will demonstrate how easy it is to cook with beef when they combine any fresh beef cut, and fresh ingredients with prepackaged food products. Recipes should include a maximum of six ingredients including the beef, and fruits or vegetables, grain products and dairy products food groups, and be prepared and cooked in 30 minutes or less.

  • Recipes may include pre-packaged food products such as any frozen vegetable or vegetable combination product, fresh produce convenience product, fresh deli product, any shelf stable dinner mix, salad dressing, marinade or salad dressing mix, prepared soup or soup mix, prepared sauce or sauce mix, packaged rice mix, baking mix product, or seasoning blend product.

Real-Worldly, Real Simple Beef and Potato Recipes – Home cooks will create original easy-to-make lean beef and fresh potato centered recipes that feature international flavors and maintain a nutritious profile. Recipes should include no more than ten commonly available and affordable ingredients including the beef and potatoes, along with at least one other ingredient from the fruits or vegetables, grain products or dairy products food groups. Recipes should be prepared in no more than 15 minutes and cooked in 30 minutes. 

  • All ethnic cuisine will be considered.
  • Extra points will be given for tasty innovation without extravagant calories.
  • Latino cuisine may include Caribbean, Mexican or South American recipes.
  • Mediterranean & European cuisine may include Greek, French, Spanish or Italian recipes.
  • East-Asian cuisine may include Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese or Korean recipes. South-Asian cuisine may include Pakistan recipes. South-East Asian cuisine may include Philippines, Indonesian, Malaysian, Thai, or Vietnamese recipes.
  • Middle Eastern cuisine may include African, Lebanese, Turkish, Israeli or Jewish recipes.

Craveable Fresh Beef and Fresh California Avocado Recipes – Home cooks will produce easy recipes using all fresh ingredients, featuring one of the lean beef cuts and at least one fresh California avocado. Recipes should include no more than eight ingredients, including the beef and avocado, along with at least one other ingredient from the fruits or vegetables, grain products or dairy products food groups, and be prepared and cooked in 30 minutes or less.

  • Recipes may focus on California cuisine, marked by the fusion of contrasting cooking styles and ingredients, and preparation with strong attention to presentation. Fresh ingredients should be simple and commonly available. 
  • Recipes may highlight one of the latest trends in California cooking, such as 'Fine Dining Burgers', 'One Big Plate for Two to Share', 'Good Food for Our Well-Being', or "L.A.'s Culinary Melting Pot',
  • Recipes may feature a more creative take on Fresh California Avocados and how they pair well with beef.


  • Recipes must be original, nutritious, demonstrate great taste, and include ingredients with broad consumer appeal and simple preparation techniques.
  • Recipes must fall into one of the "Making the Most of MyPlate" recipe categories, be beef- focused and include ingredients as directed within the specific recipe category incorporating the fruit or vegetable, grain products and dairy products groups.
  • Recipes must use one the appropriate cooking methods for the featured beef cuts listed in the "Matching Cooking Methods to Beef Cuts" chart posted on www.beefcookoff.org.
  • The name of each recipe submitted must be five words or less.


You are eligible if you are a home cook and legal United States resident, residing in one of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia, and are 18 years of age or older as of January 15, 2013. If you are submitting a beef recipe entry using wine, beer or spirits as an ingredient you must be 21 years of age or older as of January 15, 2013.

You are not eligible to enter and will be disqualified if:

  • You are a 2011 National Beef Cook-Off Contest finalist or winner.
  • You are a food professional such as a chef, food writer or someone who creates recipes for pay.
  • You own one or more head of beef or dairy cattle for commercial use, are a member of any local, state or national beef or dairy industry organization, are a member of the California Avocado Commission or United States Potato Board, are a member of their immediate family (parent, children, siblings, spouse, regardless of where they live), or live in the same household of any of these members.
  • You are an employee of any state or national beef or dairy industry organization, the California Avocado Commission, United States Potato Board, their agencies, program contractors, member of their immediate family (parent, children, siblings, spouse, regardless of where they live) or live in the same household of such employees.


  • To enter a recipe, participants must visit www.beefcookoff.org and use the online entry form.
  • All online entries must be submitted between January 15, 2013 and April 15, 2013.
  • Contest participants may submit multiple recipes to all of the various recipe categories.

All entries and all legal rights and interests in them, including the rights of copyright, become the exclusive property of the Beef Checkoff Program who reserves the right to edit, adapt, copyright, publish, transfer and use any or all of them, without compensation to you or any third party and will not be acknowledged or returned, or any portion thereof.

Use of automated processes and devices to submit online entries are not permitted. The National Beef Cook-Off Promotion Parties, their Sponsors and their agencies are not responsible for any changes or effects caused to the entrant’s computer system as a result of submitting online entries, or entries that can’t be processed due to telephone, network, electronic or computer hardware or software failure, or technical failures of any kind.


All entries must meet the requirements of the recipe category entered. Recipe entries not meeting contest entry criteria will be disqualified. Entries must be the original recipe of the entrant.

  • Twenty-one finalists will be selected in June.
  • Initial judging and selection of 20 finalists will be done by food marketing and culinary professionals.
  • Consumers will have the opportunity to select the 21st finalist recipe from among other entries judges place online at www.beefcookoff.org for a period of two weeks during the spring of 2013. Consumers will be able to vote only once for the recipe they prefer. The recipe that receives the most votes will become a finalist. In the event of a tie, judges will determine the finalist.
  • A panel of food experts will do final judging.

The following criteria will be used to judge the recipes:

Convenient Preparation and Cooking
Includes Ingredients from the MyPlate Food Groups

Judges will disqualify previously published recipes, such as but not limited to those in cookbooks, in magazines and newspapers, from food companies, on food or recipe websites and winners in cooking contests, unless the recipe features changes considered significant by the judges.

The Promotion Parties may prohibit any individual from participating in the Contest or winning a prize if, in their sole discretion, they determine that said individual is attempting to undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest by cheating, hacking, deception, or to other unfair practices; violates the Official Rules; or acts in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner at any time during the Contest, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person.

Finalists will be required to certify, on information or belief, that their recipes are their original creation and have not been published or publicized and have not won a cooking contest.

Judges reserve the right to assign entries to the recipe category they deem appropriate despite the entrant’s designation of a different category. Decision of the judges is final in all matters relating to this Contest.


Selected Finalists will be required to sign a notarized affidavit of eligibility, a confidentiality agreement, and a liability release/assignment of rights and return these documents to Promotion Parties within 48 hours of receipt. Failure to return the Affidavit, Confidentiality Agreement and Release in the time permitted or if notification of Finalist status is returned as undeliverable, entrant will be disqualified and an alternate selected. Selected Finalists also agree to return any prize received if the representations made herein or in the Affidavit or Release prove to be untrue and to further indemnify and hold harmless the Promotion Parties, their Sponsors, and their agencies against any and all claims, damages and expenses, including attorney’s fees incurred as a result of any such misrepresentation. Entrants release the Promotion Parties, their Sponsors, and their agencies from any liability whatsoever for any claims, costs, injuries, losses or damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with participations in this Contest, or the downloading or accessing of Contest or entry materials, or the acceptance, possession or use/misuse of any prized awarded herein.

Selected Finalists will also be required to sign a consent and release giving the National Beef Cook-Off Promotion Parties, their Sponsors, and their agencies full rights to the use the finalist’s name, likeness, image and voice, and personal information in any media relating to their participation, for publicity, including such usage on the Internet, promotion, advertising and other purposes, in unedited or edited form and without further notice or additional compensation to promote the Contest, the recipe and beef (the Consent); and shall further assign to the Promotion Parties or any of them, of all rights of ownership, including copyright, in any such recipe and return the Consent within forty-eight (48) hours of receipt of notification.

Selected Finalists may be required to make themselves available for publicity interviews or promotional appearances between June 15, 2013 and December 31, 2013. The Grand Prize Winner may be asked to travel and attend The Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show in Washington, DC in November 2013 at the direction of Promotion Parties. Promotion Parties may also request that the Grand Prize Winner make additional promotional appearances. Method of travel and accommodations for such appearances shall be chosen by Promotion Parties and at their expense. Winners will be posted on www.beefcookoff.org. Promotion Parties will advise finalists of further contest procedures and policies, and all finalists agree to comply with such procedures.

It is expressly understood that Promotion Parties, their Sponsors, and their agencies are under no obligation to the Finalists or winners other than as expressly set forth in these Official Rules. The winners are solely responsible for all federal, state and local taxes and fees associated with the receipt of any prize.

Entrants agree that: (i) any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Contest or any prize awarded shall, if not resolved by agreement, be resolved individually, without resorting to any form of class action, and exclusively by the United States District Court for the State of Colorado, or the appropriate Colorado State Court located in Denver, Colorado; (ii) any and all claims, judgments and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering this Contest but in no event attorneys’ fees, costs, punitive, incidental or consequential damages; and (iii) to the extent not prohibited by applicable law, entrants waive any right to a jury trial in any forum in respect to any issue, claim or cause of action arising out of or based on the subject matter hereof. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, or the rights and obligation of the entrant and the Promotion Parties in connection with this Contest, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of Colorado without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules (whether of the State of Colorado or any other jurisdiction) which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of Colorado.


Seven (7) $1,500 regional winners will be announced in July 2013.

The regional winners will be selected from these seven regions:
Region l – Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, Maine, Vermont, New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Washington DC
Region ll – Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana
Region lll – Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri
Region lV – Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas
Region V – Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado
Region Vl – California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Hawaii, Alaska
Region Vll – North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas

One (1) different $25,000 grand prize winner will be announced, from the remaining 14 finalists in November at the Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show in Washington, D. C. The grand prize winner will be selected based on the highest overall scoring recipe.
The 2013 National Beef Cook-Off is sponsored by the Beef Checkoff Program, 9000 E. Nichols Ave., Ste. 215, Centennial, CO 80112, California Avocado Commission, 12 Mauchly, Ste. L,
Irvine, CA 92618 and United States Potato Board, 7555 E. Hampden Ave., Ste. 412, Denver, CO 80231.