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ribeye steak

2020 Grill Your Ace Off recap

September 4, 2020 spoon 1 Comment

The sun was up and the sky was blue. It was beautiful and so was OMG LOOK AT ALL OF THESE STEAKS! So my singing might need some work but the 2020 Grill Your Ace Off SCA steak competition was another record-setting year. The top prize in each cookoff awarded a Golden Ticket to the World Championship in March 2021 plus $1000. Not a bad day for grilling a steak eh?

tables with ribeye steaks
Steak Selection Table at Grill Your Ace Off 2020

We saw over 60 teams representing 12 states with the long-distance award going to Colorado. Over $5000 will be donated by the host Williams Ace Hardware and did I mention steaks because there were A LOT of them. If you figure over 60 teams with 2 steaks each and most doing both competitions (4 steaks total) plus kids burgers that is serious beef.

Here are your quick facts from the event in case you’re very much TL/DR

  1. Williams Ace Hardware will be donating over $5k this year. 
  2. States represented – PA, OH, WV, MD, NJ, GA, FL, VA, KY, IL, MA, and CO
  3. The total payout was $5925.
    • Steak 1 – $2900, Steak 2 – $2900,  Kids competition – $125
  4. The number of competitors has doubled in size each year.
  5. This was the biggest sanctioned Steak Cookoff Association competition in Pennsylvania AND also the largest Ace Hardware sponsored SCA event.
  6. The next “Grill Your Ace Off” will be Saturday, August 28, 2021.
  7. Certified Judges class was taught by SCA co-founder Brett Gallaway.


I love steak cookoffs because unlike most BBQ competitions you can load in at 8 AM, spend the day with great people and be on the road by 5 PM. They’re very low maintenance (if you want) and have been a very chill day from my experience.

The highlight of the day for me was taking becoming a certified judge thanks to a course taught by co-founder Brett Gallaway. This class is not only excellent for understanding the scoring process but also the amount of information about steak cooking and flavor profiles is priceless.

Check out the gallery of photos from this event on our Instagram Stories or Facebook gallery and if you have the opportunity consider joining us for competition. You don’t have to be a serious griller to enjoy the day and if you place it’s a bonus.

The next local event is this weekend in Ridgeway for the inaugural Elk County Steak Showdown which has a 1st place payout of $1000.

Knowledge is King

How did I do? Well, I didn’t finish last! I set my expectations low for results and I’m happy if I finish middle of the pack. the knowledge I gained from the Judges Class and talking with other competitors I could feel an obsession lighting in me. For the second year, I scored a perfect 50/50 in appearance and increased my score overall from last year in taste and tenderness but I know it can be better. 

I urge you to take advantage of meeting your neighbors and asking questions. Not once was I turned away when asking a question on style, ingredients, or methods to cooking. All of that helps but it’s the cook who makes the difference.

What’s coming in 2021?

Expect to see more SCA events coming next year as these are not only fun but SCA organizers have done an amazing job ensuring they’re ideal for social distancing.

Here is your breaking news so sync up your calendars:

“Grill Your Ace Off 2021” will be Saturday, August 28
DOUBLE Steak Cookoff and Kids Cookoff!
Turkeytown VFD – West Newton, PA

If you’re ready to light the fire for your first competition make sure you check out our “Tips for your first SCA Steak Cookoff competition“.

As always follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for the latest in Pittsburgh BBQ news and Join our Facebook group for the best in local BBQ chatter with pitmasters and enthusiasts. 

Grill on my friends!



One Comment

    May 11, 2021 REPLY

    […] Grill Your Ace Off steak competition – These amazing SCA 1-day events you can get there around breakfast and leave by dinner plus your spots have always been socially distant so you can imagine how these have really taken off in the last year. You’ll meet wonderful people and have a great time. Plus you’re cooking steak so how can that be a bad time? Oh did I mention the top prize of $1000 plus you’re helping charity? Here’s a recap from last year to find out more. […]

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