The Iowa Pork Producers Association competition follows a bracket-style narrowing process like the NCAA Tournament.

March 4, 2024

2 Min Read

March Madness is almost here for college basketball fans, and that means it’s time for Pulled Pork Madness for Iowans who love delicious pulled pork sandwiches. The Iowa Pork Producers Association is accepting nominations for the restaurant that serves up Iowa’s best pulled pork sandwich. The annual contest started Friday.

“This contest is a lot of fun and is great at highlighting delicious pork on menus across the state,” said Hannah Spurr, IPPA consumer outreach director. “It’s also a great way to attract new pork fans and encourages everyone to road trip around Iowa to try different restaurants that are serving up some delicious pork!”

Now in its seventh year, Pulled Pork Madness highlights the best of the best when it comes to serving up delicious Iowa-made pulled pork. Whether your favorite pulled pork is sandwiched between two buns, open-faced, or smothered in cheesy goodness, IPPA wants you to tell them where to find it. The winning restaurant receives $250, a plaque and statewide bragging rights.

IPPA says while everyone enjoys a good March Madness basketball bracket, a pulled pork bracket is a slam dunk. The IPPA competition follows a bracket-style narrowing process like the NCAA Tournament. Based on fan nominations through March 8, the field will then be narrowed to a “Sweet 16”, which represents the top two picks in each of the Iowa Pork Producers Association’s eight districts.

Here is the Pulled Pork Madness timeline:

  • Nomination period open: 8 a.m. March 1 — 11:59 p.m. March 8.

  • Vote for Elite 8 (from “Sweet 16” nominations): 5 p.m. March 11 — 10 a.m. March 15.

  • Vote for Final Four: 5 p.m. March 15 — 10 a.m. March 20.

  • Vote for Final Two: 5 p.m. March 20 — 10 a.m. March 25.

  • Vote for Champion: 5 p.m. March 25 — 10 a.m. March 29.

  • Champion announced on March 29.

Previous winners include The Flying Elbow in Marshalltown (2023); Starbeck’s Smokehouse in Cedar Falls (2022); Smokin’ Butt Barbeque in Davenport (2021); Whatcha Smokin? BBQ + Brew in Luther (2020); Warehouse Barbecue Co. + Brewhouse in Ottumwa (2019); and Moo’s BBQ in Newton (2018).

Past winners cannot be nominated. Pulled pork must be from a restaurant that is typically open year-round with regular hours. Food trucks, concession stands, seasonal establishments and catering businesses are not eligible. No email or social media nominations will be counted.

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