Welcome to a look behind the scenes of the 2018 American Cured Meat Championships. Independent Processor editor-in-chief Sam Gazdziak spoke with many of the judges to get their insights on what it takes to make a best-in-class cured meat product.

A large, center-of-the-plate item like a smoked turkey needs tremendous visual appeal, to go with a mouthwatering taste. Dr. Liz Boyle looks at how even the small things can make a big difference in a tough competition like the ACMC.