• Hometown: Bristow, Virginia

  • Competing Since: 2012

  • Pits: Backwoods Smoker G2, Jambo, Gateway Drum Smoker

  • Sponsors:

Big Poppa Smokers, The BBQ Guru, Blues Hog, Smithfield, BBQData.com, Gunter Wilhelm, Mister Brisket

  • Other Hobbies/Interests: Golf, Reading, & all things Unicorns

  • Favorite BBQ memory: Winning World BBQ Champion at the World Food Championship

  • Who is your biggest rival? The rest of the NBBQL

  • Partner In Crime: Lil' General

luke darnell, PITMASTER

2017 KCBS CHICKEN TEAM OF THE YEAR

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  • Hometown: Lubbock, Texas

  • Number of Years Competing: 3 years

  • Pit: Yoder Cimarron, Yoder YS1500, Gateway Drum Smoker

  • Sponsors: B & B Charcoal, Yoder Smokers, Compart Family Farms, Kosmos Q, Butchers BBQ

  • Hobbies/Interests (other than BBQ): Snowboarding, Hunting and Fishing

  • Favorite BBQ memory: Getting our pit back after it was stolen for 7 long months. That's also how we got our name, because she Boomeranged right back to us.

  • Who is your biggest rival? Who would you love to beat? Brad Leighninger (Gettin' Basted) AKA Beefy Jesus!

matt and sarah walker, PITMASTERs

2018 RESERVE GRAND CHAMPION KCBS TEAM OF THE YEAR

2018 RIBS AND CHICKEN KCBS TEAM OF THE YEAR

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  • Hometown: Kansas City, Missouri

  • Competing Since: 2011

  • Pit: Jambo

  • Sponsors: The Kansas City BBQ Store, Yeti Coolers, Kosmo's Q

  • Hobbies/Interests (other than BBQ): Hunting, Fishing, Racing

  • Favorite BBQ memory: Our first GC, which was at a Sam's Club Qualifier in Overland Park, KS

  • Who is your biggest rival? Who would you love to beat? I really love to beat Shake 'n Bake BBQ, but it rarely happens.  Also, any teams in the National BBQ League.

RYAN & KAren Murphy, PITMASTERs

 2018 1st PLACE PERFECT, PERFECT BRISKET AT THE AMERICAN ROYAL INVITATIONAL

2017 2nd PLACE BRISKET IN KCBS TEAM OF THE YEAR

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  • Hometown: Alvarado, Texas

  • Pit: Jambo J3

  • Hobbies/Interests (other than BBQ): Watching all kinds of sports and fishing

  • Favorite BBQ memory: Going overseas and cooking for the military and being the first person to win the Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational two times.

  • Who is your biggest rival? Who would you love to beat? All the other cooks at a contest.

johnny trigg, PITMASTER

GRAND CHAMPION OF TLC'S BBQ PITMASTERS, SEASON 3

2000 & 2003 GRAND CHAMPION OF THE JACK DANIELS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

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  • Hometown: Kansas City, Missouri

  • Competing Since: 2012

  • Pit: Traditional Offset

  • Sponsors: 

Blues Hog, Royal Oak, Kosmo's Q

  • Hobbies/Interests (other than BBQ):

I love golf and all sports. I own a 1979 Mark Twain Boat that I don't get to use because of BBQ, but I love having a boat!

  • Favorite Memory:  Finishing 2nd Overall on TV Show BBQ Pitmasters

  • Who is your biggest rival?

If I had to pick one team I want to beat on a regular basis it would be…..EVERYBODY!

joe pearce, PITMASTER

APPEARANCE ON HIT TV SERIES: BBQ PITMASTERS

2018 RIBS AND BRISKET NBBQL CHAMPION 

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  •  Hometown:   Branson , Missouri

  • Competing Since: 2012

  • Pits: Gateway Drum Smokers

  • How did you start?

At one point we were out smoking in the backyard and we just decided our BBQ is the best and we were going to go out an prove it 

  • What do you love about competition BBQ?

You think you've seen it all after a couple hundred contests but you run into something new every week

  • Sponsors:

Smithfield, Blues Hog, Gateway Drum Smokers

brad leighninger, PITMASTER

2018 KCBS TEAM OF THE YEAR

2018 KING OF THE SMOKER GRAND CHAMPION

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  • Hometown: Yukon, OK

  • Competing Since: 2012

  • Pits: Jambo & Gateway Drum Smokers

  • Sponsors:

    • The Kansas City BBQ Store, EAT Barbecue, Snake River Farms, Kosmo Q, Vaughn Wood Products, Cimarron Docs

  • Hobbies/Interests (other than BBQ):

    • Harley Davidson Motorcycles and Cars​

  • Favorite BBQ memories:

    • My kids winning their own Kids Que contests​

Travis Clark, PITMASTER

AMERICAN ROYAL CHAMPION

2017 & 2015 KCBS OVERALL TEAM OF THE YEAR

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  • Hometown: Omaha, NE

  • Competing Since: 2013

  • Pits: Jambo Porch Model, 55 gal Gateway Drum Smoker

  • How did you start?

Growing up in Texas, you are born smoking brisket!

  • Favorite BBQ memory:

My 11 year old son competed in his first backyard contest against 48 adult teams and took home Grand Champion.

BLANE HUNTER, PITMASTER

2017 AMERICAN ROYAL WORLD SERIES OF BBQ OPEN CHAMPION

2017 KING OF THE SMOKER CHAMPION

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  • Hometown: Desoto, Kansas

  • Competing since: 1990

  • Claim to fame: Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que & The Kansas City BBQ Store

  • Inducted into the American Royal BBQ Hall of Fame in 2017

Jeff stehney, PITMASTER

 AMERICAN ROYAL WORLD SERIES OF BBQ  INVITATIONAL AND OPEN GRAND CHAMPION

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  • Hometown: New Haven, MO 

  • Competing Since: 2012

  • Pit: Gateway Drum Smokers

  • Sponsors: 

Blues Hog, Gateway Drum Smokers, Smithfield

  • Hobbies/Interests (other than BBQ):

DJ'ing (aka "DJ Shake"), Basketball

  • Words to live by:  "If you're not first, you're last!" - Talladega Nights

  • Who is your biggest rival?

It's always great to beat Gettin' Basted!!

Tim SCHEER, PITMASTER

2017 KCBS TEAM OF THE YEAR RUNNER-UP

2017 AMERICAN ROYAL PORK CHAMPION

2016 KCBS PORK TEAM OF THE YEAR

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  •  Hometown:   Gardner, KS

  • Competing Since: 2012

  • Pits: Myron Mixon Smokers and Green Mountain Grills

  • Sponsors: GMG, Miller, BBQData.com, BBQ Guru, Trails West, ACE, Smoke Me BBQ Wood, Smithfield, Royal Oak, Kosmo's Q, Design4Sports, LocalTickets.com

  • Hobbies/Interests (other than BBQ): The Florida Gators, tattoos, concerts and of course my family!

  • What do you love about competition BBQ: The challenge, the comradely, and the rush of cooking competitively.

richard Fergola, PITMASTER

APPEARANCES ON HIT TV SERIES:

BBQ PITMASTERS

CHOPPED: Grill Masters

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  •  Hometown:   Saint Louis, Missouri

  • Competing Since: 2009

  • Pits: Ole Hickory Double Wide CTO

  • Sponsors: Royal Oak Charcoal and Ole Hickory Pits

  • How did you get into competition BBQ?: I started with a restaurant and then went to Memphis in May and was hooked after that.

  • What do you love about competition BBQ: I really love seeing and hanging out with friends the most.

  • Biggest Rival: I'd love to beat everyone in the NBBQL as they are more experienced than me in competition BBQ. I am however sneaky good at challenges that's where I have a chance! 

Mike johnson, PITMASTER

APPEARANCES ON HIT TV SERIES:

BBQ PITMASTERS

OWNER OF SUGARFIRE BBQ

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  •   Hometown:   Overland Park, Kansas

  • Competing Since: 2007

  • Pits: Gateway Drum Smokers

  • Sponsors: Challenge Butter, Kansas City BBQ Store, YETI 

LOREN HILL, PITMASTER

WORLD FOOD CHAMPION 2015

AMERICAN ROYAL INVITATIONAL GRAND CHAMPION 2015

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  •   Hometown: Weslaco, TX

  • Competing Since: 2012

  • Pits: Jambo Offset Pit

  • Sponsors: Western Wood, Big Poppa Smokers, Midland Meat Co., Smithfield

  • What do you love about competition BBQ?  l love the spirit of competition. Although we are all trying to beat our competitor and come out on top no one hesitates to help another team if they need something. The friendships garnered and the memories made are priceless.

  • Hobbies/Interests: Fishing, Hunting. and Golf

  • Favorite BBQ Memory: Winning World Food BBQ Champion 2017 in Orange Beach, AL. 

fred robles, PITMASTER

WORLD FOOD BBQ CHAMPION 2017

IBCA TOP COOK OF THE YEAR 2016,2017

PERFECT PERFECT BRISKET AMERICAN ROYAL 2017

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LIVE COMPETITION EMCEES

  •   Hometown:   Lee's Summit, MO

  • Competing Since: 2008

  • Pits: Cookshack FEC 100 and PG 500

  • Sponsors: Cookshack, BBQr's Delight, Fireboard, Brand Ambassadors for Duluth Trading Company and Weston Products

  • Favorite BBQ Memory: Hoisting our 2nd place Memphis in May trophy up over the Mighty Mississippi River; signifying Kansas City is here to play! 

jASON & mEGAN DAY

CHOPPED GRILL MASTERS CHAMPION 2017

3RD OVERALL MEMPHIS IN MAY WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2018

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PARTNERS

477 WW INDUSTRIAL PARK DR.

washington, mo 63090

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