8 Top Barbecue Festivals / Pitmaster Barbecue Competitions 2023 | Champion Barbecue (2023)

You're definitely not alone if you haven't traveled much in recent years and are looking forward to an adventure in 2023. And if you're a barbecue and outdoor cooking fanatic, a Barbecue Festival or Pitmaster Barbecue Competition might tick that box and offer a moment to remember.

It's not too early to start planning a big trip in the New Year, and one of the big annual barbecues is a must on the bucket list (and could make youa great christmas giftfor!).

Where else can you enjoy a variety of different grilled meats and other grilled foods along with great cooking competition, music and generally lots of fun.beer pairingsand whiskey? If yesBecome an Experienced Pitmaster, You can even show off your barbecue game by participating in one of the competitions yourself!

There is definitely no shortage of great barbecue festivals and competitions in 2023! No matter where you are in the country, there's likely to be a big barbecue or barbecue festival happening near you next year. You can even plan to try out several different ones throughout the year and experiment with differentregional grilled stylethat you will find in different parts of the country.

There are also several top-notch barbecue events that are worth going to at least once in your lifetime. These competitions attract some of the best BBQ Pitmasters and Grillmasters from around the world!

So if you're looking for a comprehensive list of the best barbecue festivals and barbecue master competitions in 2023, you've come to the right place! In this article, we've rounded up some of the best barbecue events of the year ahead (in date order):

(*If you are interested in participating as a competitor: The website for the specific competition you are interested in is the best place to get detailed information on how to enter. There you will usually find eligibility requirements, deadlines, rules/guidelines, etc. . )

(**Many of the event websites are in the process of updating the 2022 event content to the 2023 event content. Keep an eye on the websites and associated Facebook/Instagram pages for the latest updates.)

Beer, Bourbon and Barbecue Party

Location: First stop is Brooklyn, NY

Dates: The Brooklyn event is scheduled for January 2023 (exact date to be announced)

8 Top Barbecue Festivals / Pitmaster Barbecue Competitions 2023 | Champion Barbecue (1)
Those ones:Brooklyn Beer, Bourbon and Barbecue Festival

Our first festival on the list takes place throughout the year in not just one city, but nine cities across the United States. The 2022 Beer, Bourbon & Barbecue Festival lineup included stops in Brooklyn, NY, Tampa, FL, Atlanta, GA, Wilmington, NC, Timonium, MD, Charlotte, NC, DC Metro, Richmond, VA and Cary, NC. Chances are you won't have to go far to stop on tour in 2023.

Each beer, bourbon and barbecue festival offers an endless variety of barbecue items to try, from whole roast pork to roast pork.Rinderbrustand everything. Plus a huge selection of delicious drinks to go with it and good music to enjoy. As the website describes it, the event is "a hell of a day of beer drinking, bourbon tasting, music, cigar smoking and barbecuing."


With your ticket you will also receive a tasting glass to enjoy the beer after ALL THE TASTEBourbonSo plan ahead for safe travel when you're ready to leave the event.

Keep an eye on the main site for the latest updates/dates for the 2023 charts.

World Championship Bar-B-Que Contest bei der Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

Location: Houston, Texas

Dates: February 23 to 25, 2023

8 Top Barbecue Festivals / Pitmaster Barbecue Competitions 2023 | Champion Barbecue (2)
Those ones:HoustonPress

If you are a true barbecue fanatic, one of the great Pitmaster barbecue competitions that you must check out in person is the World Championship Bar-B-Que Contest imHouston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

This 3-day competition was created in 1974 and takes place every February. More than 250 of the top BBQ Pitmaster teams from across the country compete in a variety of competitive barbecue categories including Brisket, Ribs, Chicken, Go Texan and Dutch Oven Dessert. Additionally, the Open Contest category allows entrants to cook whatever they like on their outdoor stove (except dessert).

While most BBQ team tents are invite-only, there are still plenty of great public spots at this family event. These include the Chuckwagon, Rockin' Bar-B-Que Saloon and Garden Stage, as well as a variety of games and carnival rides. In addition, each ticket includes acomplimentary sandwich platter with sliced ​​barbecue meat.

Two of our Pitmasters featured here at BBQ Champs Academy,Marcus LamberteJoey Smith, were Grand Champions of the event in 2019 and Reserve Grand Champions in 2020.

World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest at the Memphis Festival in May

Local: Memphis, Tennessee

Dates: May 2023 (exact dates to be announced)

8 Top Barbecue Festivals / Pitmaster Barbecue Competitions 2023 | Champion Barbecue (3)
(Mark Lambert at the World Barbecue Championships in Memphis im Mai)

praised byUSAToday's "Most Prestigious Barbecue Competition"Every May, top pitmasters and their barbecue teams descend on Memphis for the four-day competition known as the World Barbecue Cooking Contest (WCBCC), part of theMemphis International Film Festival in May🇧🇷 The Mississippi River Barbecue Contest is just one part of the multi-event festival of which it is a part.Beale Street Music Festival.

(Video) My Favorite BBQ Festival! | Chuds BBQ

Barbecue event teams will compete for prizes worth more than $145,000 and the title of World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest World Champion, the highest title in barbecue competition. (Which also comes with bragging rights)

While theThe competition is the largest pork barbecue competition in the world and includes championships in the ribs, shoulder and whole pig categories. There are also Everything But Pork, Hot Wings and Sauce side competitions.

One of the best pitmasters you usually see at the event every year isMarcus Lambert(and their Sweet Swine O'Mine Competition barbecue team). Mark is 4 times world champion in this event!

Remember that this event is not a food festival, so the barbecue that will be done at the event is primarily for the competition judges, teams and their friends, not the general public. However, there are still some special ticket options available for purchase by the public. This gives you the chance to interact with the grill crews up close, try some championship-level grilling, watch cooking demonstrations, and much more!

Die Giant® National Capital Barbecue Battle

Local: Washington, D.C.

Dates: June 24th and 25th, 2023 (dates to be confirmed)

8 Top Barbecue Festivals / Pitmaster Barbecue Competitions 2023 | Champion Barbecue (4)
Quelle: Giant® National Capital Barbecue Battle

Now in its 31st year, The Giant® National Capital Barbecue Battle will attract thousands of grill lovers and top grillers to Washington, DC this June. This family-friendly barbecue competition and food/music festival spans several blocks along Pennsylvania Avenue.

Sanctioned byKansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS), the competition brings together the greatest world champions of pitmasters in the country to compete and become the Grand Champion. The Giant National BBQ Championship features multiple categories of competition, including the Smokin' with Smithfield Pork Contest, America's Best Beef Contest, Perdue Sizzlin' Chicken Contest,Heinz "Art of the Hamburger" contest.,and more.

At the event, youYou can enjoy tons of delicious barbecue brisket, pulled pork, chicken, ribs and all.delicious barbecue side dishesgo with something The event also features four different music/performance stages with a wide variety of different bands and cooking demonstrations, as well as multiple food tasting pavilions, interactive exhibits, a DC Sports Zone, tons of kids' activities and much more. !

The event also raises millions of dollars for USO, Boys and Girls Club and other local charities through ticket and food/beverage sales.

Smokeout in the windy city

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Dates: July 13th to 16th, 2023

(Video) World Championship Barbecue Invitational I Tuffy Stone

8 Top Barbecue Festivals / Pitmaster Barbecue Competitions 2023 | Champion Barbecue (5)
Quelle: Windy City Smokeout

The city of Chicago known fora great barbecue stylejust for you, it welcomes thousands of barbecue and country music lovers from all over the country once a year at The Windy City Smokeout. The massive four-day Barbecue Contest and Country Music Festival, slated for mid-July 2023, will take place in the United Center parking lot and features all the delicious barbecue, live music and beer you could imagine.

For the last 12 years, this barbecue competition and festival has been one of the biggest barbecue events in the country and has even earned a name.the best food festival in illinoisfrom MSN. The event features several dozen of the world's best barbecue pitmasters, as well as more than 15 country music acts, including one of the 2023 headliners, the Zac Brown Band. (Stay tuned to the event's website for the full rosters of pitmasters and musical artists for the 2023 event.)

There isGeneral admission, VIP and Platinum tickets availableon sale now, with a portion of the proceeds going to local Chicago charities.

Download the official Windy City Smokeout appLitterorGoogle Playfor the latest updates for the 2023 event.

Die American Royal World Series of Barbecue

Local: Kansas City, Kansas

Dates: End of September 2023 (exact dates to be announced)

8 Top Barbecue Festivals / Pitmaster Barbecue Competitions 2023 | Champion Barbecue (6)
Quelle: American Royal Kansas City

The American Royal World Series of Barbecue is another barbecue event that you should definitely check out. Dubbed "Kansas City's Biggest Party," this five-day barbecue extravaganza is usually held at Kansas Speedway in late September/early October and draws an average of 50,000 spectators.

The 2023 event marks the 43rd year of what is known as the world's greatest barbecue competition. More than 500 competitive barbecue teams from around the world (to Australia) come together to fight for a chance to be crowned Grand Champion in Open Competition, Invitational Competition or Side Competition, as well as big bragging rights.

This event not only offers a lot of delicious barbecue, but alsoa crowded weekendfrom behind-the-scenes tours with pit masters, vendors from across the country, incredible live music, and events and activities just for kids.

Churrasco Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational

Local: Lynchburg, Tennessee

Dates: Mid-October 2023 (exact dates to be announced)

(Video) Champions Tuffy Stone, Sterling Ball, +50 other Pitmasters | Heritage Craft BBQ Festival Dana Point

8 Top Barbecue Festivals / Pitmaster Barbecue Competitions 2023 | Champion Barbecue (7)
What: Jack Daniels

clear,Lynchburg, Tennesseeis synonymous with whiskey production. But over one weekend in October, the barbecue competition dubbed "The Jack" has been taking over the small Tennessee town for 31 years. Each year, the Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational Barbecue attracts over 40,000 barbecue enthusiasts.

One of the most prestigious barbecue competitions, this event brings together over 80 BBQ Pitmaster teams from around the world to showcase their smoking and grilling skills and compete for the title of Grand Champion. There are 7 single category competitions includingchicken, pork ribs, pork shoulder/buttocks, beef brisket,dessert, "Jack Daniel's Sauce" and "Cook's Choice".

In addition to a great weekend barbecue competition, spectators to this free event can enjoy a variety of live music, vendor booths and displays, and fun events including a team parade, a country dog ​​show, a 7 miles and a 5K run. Tour.

the barbecue party

Default: Lexington, NC

Dates: End of October 2023 (exact dates to be announced)

8 Top Barbecue Festivals / Pitmaster Barbecue Competitions 2023 | Champion Barbecue (8)
Source: The BBQ

Recognized as one of the "Top Ten Food Festivals in America"​​bytravel and leisure magazine, Lexington, NC's Barbecue Festival, celebrating its 39th year in 2023, is a must-see event of the year in the Carolinas.There is definitely no shortage of delicious barbecues and fun attractions during this free one-day event.

The barbecue festival features a popular regional way of barbecueing:"Lexington-Stil", named for the city of Lexington, NC. The area's best barbecue cooks and restaurants will cook up their interpretation of this North Carolina style of barbecue, which features a savory vinegar-based sauce that is ketchup-tinted and lightly sweetened.

The event also features live music on multiple entertainment stages, three barbecue tents, several hundred vendors, and much more!

*Admission is free with aDonation of 5 cans/crates of groceries that go directly to local food banks.

Don't miss out on some of the best BBQ Pitmaster festivals and competitions in 2023!

These are just a few of the top 2023 master barbecue festivals and competitions. As you can see, there is a wide variety of barbecue events in all parts of the country. So start making your travel plans now if you want to get up close and personal with some of the best in the world.Pitmasters de churrasco,grill master, eadditional stove, eat some of the best grilled food you've ever tasted and live an unforgettable adventure!

Have you been to or participated in any of these great barbecue competitions or festivals? Do you plan on going to one in 2023? Leave a comment below. We want to hear all about it!

(Video) Inside The World of Championship Barbecue - Full Movie

If you're looking to take your backyard cooking skills to a whole new level before heading out to the 2023 cookouts, check out ourChampion Backyard Cooking Classestoday! Taught by professional Pitmasters and Grillmasters, these step-by-step online grilling courses will show you exactly how to cook 20 delicious smoked or grilled recipes!

And if you really want to prepare for next year's events, get your Champs Academy BBQAll Access Passtoday to dive into the grill with cook-off! Unlike any other course you'll find, these online BBQ cooking courses taught by Champion Pitmasters and Grillmasters will teach you exactly how to master several different cuts of meat on your smoker or grill. You'll also get in-depth tips and cooking secrets that these professionals have learned over decades of experience.

Be sure to click sign up for BBQ Champs Academy toocanal do youtubetoday to make sure you don't miss out on any of the latest barbecue news and insider information on the competition!


What is the most prestigious BBQ competition? ›

American Royal World Series. Kansas City, MO, is home to “The World Series of Barbecue,” the world's largest BBQ competition -- with 500 teams competing and 70,000 spectators. The larger American Royal event spans 2.5 months and also includes a parade and a professional rodeo (with a $300,000 prize package).

Who is the most winning BBQ pitmaster? ›

A competitor-turned-judge on BBQ Pitmasters and author of the popular cookbooks Smokin' with Myron Mixon and Everyday Barbecue: At Home with America's Favorite Pitmaster, Mixon is generally considered "the winningest man in barbecue." The more than 180 grand championships and 1,700 BBQ trophies he's won as chief cook ...

Is BBQ Pitmasters coming back? ›

He was born in Texas and currently resides in North Carolina. His son, Stump Jr., also works as a pitmaster at his fathers restaurant. “Who won season 7 of bbq pitmasters” is a question that many people ask. Unfortunately, the show has been cancelled and it was not renewed for another season.

Where is BBQ pitmaster filmed? ›

The teams travel to Mesquite, Nevada to compete at the Smokin' in Mesquite BBQ competition, which has $40,000 in cash and prizes at stake. The teams compete at one of the most difficult competitions of the year, the Murphysboro Barbecue Cook-off, in Murphysboro, Illinois.

What is the number one BBQ restaurant in the United States? ›

Best Barbecue Restaurants in the US
  • Franklin Barbecue.
  • Hometown Bar-B-Que.
  • 4 Rivers Smokehouse.
  • Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q.
  • Dreamland BBQ.
  • Herman's Ribhouse.
  • Skylight Inn BBQ.
  • B.T.'s Smokehouse.
Jul 21, 2022

What is the best BBQ city in America? ›

Best BBQ Cities in America
  • Kansas City, MO.
  • Memphis, TN.
  • Austin, TX.
  • Lockhart, TX.
  • Atlanta, GA.
  • Dallas, TX.
  • Lexington, NC.
  • Nashville, TN.
Aug 26, 2022

Who won $50000 on BBQ pitmasters? ›

Rod Gray and his wife Sheri are taking home this trophy and $50,000 after Gray was named BBQ Pitmaster Grand Champion following Sunday's season finale. A Leawood native is basking in the national spotlight after proving that the best barbecue really does come from Kansas City.

Who is the best pit master in the world? ›

Top 10 People [Pitmasters] of BBQ
  • Aaron Franklin. In the barbecue world, Aaron is often considered a legend. ...
  • Chris Lilly. ...
  • Robert Rainford. ...
  • Steven Raichlen. ...
  • Larry McGuire. ...
  • John Mueller. ...
  • Johnny Trigg. ...
  • Daniel Vaughn.
Apr 21, 2021

Who owns Pitmaster? ›

Ed Mitchell (pitmaster)
Ed Mitchell
CitizenshipUnited States
2 more rows

Who is the best pitmaster in Texas? ›

Meet Tootsie Tomanetz, Texas legend.

Who owns Myron Mixon's pitmaster BBQ? ›

Anthony Nicolosi, owner: “We don't have a Texas style or Memphis style or a Georgia style. We have Myron Mixon competition style. The name Myron Mixon may sound familiar. He's an award-winning pitmaster and was a celebrity judge on the competition show “BBQ Pitmasters.”

How do you become a pit master? ›

There's no official school or program one completes to achieve mastery. No crown or diploma or plaque comes with being a pitmaster, it just takes time. And usually the respect from others after tasting barbecue that's been seasoned well and smoked for the right amount of time over a wood pit.

How many seasons are there of BBQ Pitmasters? ›

Where is Lee Ann Whippen now? ›

Lee Ann Whippen is a 23-year barbecue competitor, and the managing partner and pitmaster at Deviled Pig in Tampa. She's a judge in the Kansas City Barbecue Society, a past world and national barbecue champion.

Where is the BBQ capital of the world? ›

Kansas City is the Barbecue Capital of the World | Visit KC.

What state has the best barbeque? ›

Texas is the best state for BBQ. It's home to three of the top 12 best BBQ cities in America: San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas. Americans are passionate about their BBQ foods, with conversations around the grill often sparking fiery debates over which is best: North Carolina style vs. Kansas City style, wet rub vs.

What state is most popular for BBQ? ›

1. Texas. Few people will disagree that the state of Texas is the best place to experience real American barbecue. Texas is unique in that is has different styles of barbecue throughout the state.

What state is the birthplace of barbecue? ›

It may surprise you to learn that South Carolina is, arguably, the birthplace of BBQ.

What is the foodie capital of the US? ›

Known as the food capital of the world, New York City has an iconic food scene that celebrates all types of cuisine across five boroughs. Popular foods include pizza, bagels, cheesecake and deli-style sandwiches.

What city calls itself the barbecue capital of the world? ›

But it is the people, notably entrepreneurial Black Americans who made Kansas City their home and brought their Southern cooking traditions with them, that made the city the barbecue capital of the world.

Who Won BBQ Brawl 2022 3? ›

Ocala's Rashad Jones – the man behind Big Lee's – Serious About Barbecue – has prevailed in Season 3 of the Food Network's "BBQ Brawl" show and earned the title "Master of 'Cue." The season's final episode aired Monday night, with Jones and two competitors preparing a whole hog feast.

Who won 2022 barbecue brawl? ›

Local pitmaster Rashad Jones wins Food Network's third season of 'BBQ Brawl'

Who is the winningest woman in BBQ? ›

Melissa Cookston has been in the barbecue business so long that barbecue sauce probably flows through her veins. Her backyard in Hernando is home to about 30 grills and smokers, as well as a recording studio in her outdoor kitchen.

Who won the BBQ Brawl for 2022? ›

Local pitmaster Rashad Jones wins Food Network's third season of 'BBQ Brawl'

What is the American Royal barbecue competition called? ›

The Royal, the largest annual KCBS competition and largest barbecue event in the world, made a strong comeback after being canceled last year due to the pandemic.

What is the BBQ capital of the world? ›

Kansas City, Missouri, otherwise known as the barbecue capital of the world, has ranked in the top ten vegan-friendly cities in the United States.


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