The AAMP 2021 American Cured Meat Championships (ACMC) will be held in Oklahoma City, Okla., July 15-17 in conjunction with the AAMP Convention. A copy of the rules for the American Cured Meat Championships can be obtained by going to

  • Click on Events at top of page
  • Click on American Cured Meat Championships (ACMC)
  • Scroll down to 2021 American Cured Meat Championships (ACMC)
  • Go down to 2021 ACMC Rules – this link connects you with a 20-page copy of the 2021 ACMC Competition Rules that can be downloaded

The ACMC is open to operator members of the American Association of Meat Processors who are registered with a full operator registration (no one-day registrations allowed) at the 2021 AAMP Convention. The 2021 ACMC Competition Rules contain information on all aspects of the ACMC.

There are 29 different classes of products  for the 2021 ACMC including this year’s featured class, Black Pepper Flavored Small Diameter Smoked and Cooked Sausage. The different classes include bacon, braunschweiger, dried beef, frankfurters/wieners, ham bone-in, ham boneless, ham semi-boneless, jerky, luncheon meat, snack sticks, fermented sausage, ring bologna, semi-dry sausage, smoked turkey, small diameter cooked sausage, specialty game meats, summer sausage and several other products.

For each class, the 2021 ACMC Competition Rules contains detailed information on production, thermal processing, and product entry requirements. As outlined in the 2021 ACMC Competition Rules, the number of awards in a class is based on the number of entries in that class. Classes with 15 or more entries will have 4 awards: Grand Champion, Reserve Grand Champion, Champion and Reserve Champion. Classes with ten to fourteen entries will have 3 awards and classes with nine or less entries will have 2 awards. There are certainly many opportunities for meat processors to win awards at the ACMC.

In judging, each exhibit can score up to 1000 points. Exhibits are judged in 3 different areas.

  • EXTERNAL APPEARANCE: includes visual appearance, workmanship, color, uniformity of shape and lack of defects. 
  • INTERNAL APPEARANCE: includes color, uniformity of texture, fat-to-lean ratio, and lack of defects.
  • EDIBILITY: includes aroma, flavor, and texture/mouth feel.

Consult the 2021 ACMC Competition Rules for how external appearance, internal appearance and edibility are evaluated in each class.

The number of points in each area varies from class to class, but the highest points are always in the edibility area. The most important characteristic of any meat product is how much you enjoy it when you eat it. 

After you have decided which classes in the ACMC you are going to enter, thoroughly review and become familiar with the production, thermal processing, and product entry requirements for each of those classes. Be very fussy about the packages of products you select to enter. Sample the products and make sure they are up to your standards. Pretend that you are judging the products and pick out those that do the best job of meeting the requirements of exhibits in that class. Very often there are just minor differences between winners and losers in a class.

For ground and emulsified products be particularly concerned about the following characteristics.

  • EXTERNAL APPEARANCE: good color, uniformity of shape, good particle definition, lack of defects (air pockets, wrinkles, fat caps) 
  • INTERNAL APPEARANCE: uniformity of texture, uniformity of color, fat-to-lean ratio
  • EDIBILITY: aroma, taste, texture/mouth feel.

For solid muscle products be particularly concerned about the following characteristics.

  • EXTERNAL APPEARANCE: eye appeal, workmanship, uniform smoke color 
  • APPEARANCE OF CUT SURFACE: fat-to-lean ratio (bacon), inside color, texture of cut surface
  • AROMA AND FLAVOR: smooth aroma, full flavor

Remember: Read and follow the rules for products you enter in the ACMC. It is very prestigious to win an award at the ACMC.