Official Rules

Iowa’s Best Burger Contest Official Rules - 2024

The Iowa Beef Industry Council (IBIC) and the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association (ICA) are proud to announce the 15th Annual Iowa’s Best Burger Contest. Nominations will be taken from Monday, February 12 to Tuesday, March 12, 2024. 

Anyone may nominate a hamburger from an Iowa restaurant. To be eligible for the contest the hamburger must meet the following guidelines:

  1. To qualify as a hamburger, the burger must be 100% beef although other ingredients may be added to the patty (such as spices, vegetables, etc.)
  2. All burgers must be composed of a formed ground beef patty/patties served on a bun or other bread product (such as biscuits, focaccia or tortillas). Burgers may include any combination of condiments (such as ketchup, mayonnaise and mustard), sauces (such as barbeque or hot sauce), cheeses and toppings (such as bacon, onions, tomatoes and lettuce). Every component of the burger must be placed between the bun or bread pieces, or served open-faced on a bread product. 

Official Rules

  1. Entries will be accepted online between February 12, 2024 and March 12, 2024. Voting will end at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 12, 2024. 
    • To enter online: Visit Click on “Best Burger Contest”. Follow the on-screen directions to submit your nomination. 
  2. Burgers must be available on the nominated restaurant’s regular menu. 
  3. Restaurant must be open for business by the beginning of the nomination period – February 12, 2024 and must be open year-round. 
  4. In celebration of the 15th anniversary of the contest, all previous Iowa's Best Burger winners are eligible to compete and win the 2024 Iowa's Best Burger Contest.
  5. The Sponsors (IBIC and ICA) retain the discretion to make all decisions regarding the interpretation of these Official Rules. All decisions of the Sponsors are final and discretionary. 

To follow Iowa’s Best Burger Contest, LIKE the Iowa Beef Council on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. You are encouraged to post a photo of your favorite burger on social media using #IABestBurger. 

Selection of Finalists 

Ten (10) burgers will be selected as finalists from throughout the state based on the number of nominations each restaurant receives. The Sponsors (IBIC and ICA) retain the discretion to make all decisions regarding the selection of these ten finalists. All decisions of the Sponsors are final and discretionary. 

  • All burgers nominated from a single restaurant will be included in that restaurant’s final nomination total. 
  • Restaurants who receive nominations for multiple locations will be counted per individual location not as a total. 

Judging Criteria 

Selection of the 2024 Iowa’s Best Burger will be conducted by an anonymous judging panel. Judges will not announce their presence at your restaurant or request a free meal. Decision of the judges is final. 

The following guidelines will be used in judging:

  • Taste (of burger patty) – 50%
  • Appearance and Presentation – 30%
  • Proper cooking temperature / degree of doneness – 10% o Medium doneness, internal temperature reaches 160° F. 
  • Overall – 10%