Skip the commercial sauces. Make your own for the Smoke Signal's Barbecue Sauce Contest. (Jim Shahin for The Washington Post)

The contest was announced last week in the paper. Although bragging is reason enough to compete, Smoke Signals now gives you one more: prizes!

Oh, Vanna…

Third place: A collection of sauces from Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company and Pork Barrel BBQ, a copy of “Paul Kirk’s Championship Barbecue Sauces” cookbook and two tickets to the Safeway National Capital Barbecue Battle.

Second place: All of the preceding, plus a one-day, behind-the-scenes tour of Hill Country, Rocklands and Pork Barrel restaurants led by yours truly. The tour will feature a discussion with the pitmasters about their methods.

First place: All of the third place prizes, plus a trophy presentation onstage at the Safeway National Capital Barbecue Battle. You also get to enter your winning creation in the battle’s national sauce contest while serving as an honorary barbecue judge at the contest.

I know you know, but in case someone is reading over your shoulder, let me point out that the Safeway National Capital Barbecue Battle, on June 25 and 26, is one of the country’s leading barbecue contests, with teams from around the country competing for more than $40,000 in cash and prizes.

Okay, now that you are stoked to win, here are the details:

We’re judging finishing sauces, the type you serve on the side or glaze onto your smoked or grilled foods just before serving. We’re not judging marinades, rubs or mop sauces used during the cooking process.

Make any style you want: Kansas City tomato-based sauce, North Carolina vinegar-based pepper sauce, South Carolina mustard-based sauce, Alabama mayonnaise-based white sauce. Or skip the regions altogether and go exotic, using coffee or fruit or whatever strikes your fancy.

To enter, you must be an amateur home cook. No commercial bottlers. No restaurateurs. No caterers. No one who makes a living preparing or cooking food.

Not eligible: Washington Post employees, their spouses or immediate family members.

Recipes may include no more than 10 ingredients. You may not use a commercial barbecue sauce as part of the recipe.

Your entry must be original, the sole work of the entrant.

Measurements and directions must be precise and easy to follow. They should include:

* A brief description of the sauce and what it pairs with best;

* A list of ingredients, using numerical values for measurements; for example: 1 cup ketchup, 2 teaspoons Tabasco;

* Clear instructions on how to make and use the sauce;

* Include your full name as you would like it appear in the newspaper. Also include your phone numbers, your home address (not to be used in the paper, but to verify your information) and your e-mail address. Put your name and contact information at the top of the e-mail.

The entry deadline is Sunday.

E-mail your entry to, with the words “SAUCE CONTEST” in the subject line.

The three winners will be announced in the Smoke Signals blog post on Tuesday, May 24, and in the paper’s Food section on Wednesday, May 25.

The deadline is Sunday. So e-mail your DIY sauce before you forget. Smoke Signals — and perhaps the world — is waiting to taste your creation.