Memphis in May World Championship BBQ Contest Winners

From the Memphis Commercial Appeal- 5/15

After days of cooking, winners of the Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest were announced during an awards ceremony Saturday at the Fairgrounds in Liberty Park.

And for Brad Leighninger and Tim Scheer, leaders of the Grand Champion Blues Hog team, which also won the whole hog category, standing on stage and hearing their team called as the winners of the entire competition was close to surreal. 

"We're up on stage and it's like, 'Where are we? What are we doing? How did we get here?'" Scheer said. "We were up there with the best people in Memphis."

Leighninger said it was the Washington, Missouri-based team's first time in a whole hog competition. He also credited the entire Blues Hog team, saying people had come from around the country for the competition. 

For Leighninger, being part of the Grand Champion team at Memphis in May is a special honor.

"I've got some restaurants in Branson and people come in, and they don't care about any of these trophies. They ask me if I've won Memphis in May. Now I can go back and say, 'Yes, I won Memphis in May,'" he said. "This is the granddaddy right here."

The barbecue contest, which kicked off Wednesday and included 212, returned in full force this year for the first time since 2019. It was canceled in 2020 and scaled back in 2021, impacted both years by the COVID-19 pandemic.

But things weren't completely back to normal this year. The festival was held at Liberty Park as work continues at Tom Lee Lark, the event's usual home.

Here are this year's winners. You'll notice many Memphis Flavor vendors in this list!

Grand Champion

Blues Hog


1. Health Riles BBQ

2. Bluff City Smokers

3. Smokin’ With An Attitude

4. Blue Smoke Blaire

5. No Name Smokers

6. Fat Side Up

7. Deez Butts

8. Natural Born Grillers

9. Wolf’s Revenge BBQ

10. Riberty


1. Sweet Swine O’ Mine

2. Cool Smoke

3. Sweet Cheeks

4. BBQ Trap House

5. Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q

6. Brown Chicken Brown Cow

7. Cadillac Grillz

8. Moonlight Smokers

9. Myswine Championship BBQ Team

10. The Hogfather

Whole hog

1. Blues Hog

2. Boars Night Out

3. Will Be Que BBQ Team

4. Smoke Masters BBQ

5. Rusty’s Smoke BBQ

6. Yazoo’s Delta Q

7.  Ubons

8. Fireman John’s BBQ

9. Jacks Old South

10. Pickin ‘N Grillin BBQ

Patio Porkers

1. Pork-A-Tude

2. Porkside BBQ

3. Smokin’ Hot & Saucy

4. The Meatles

Kingsford Tour of Champions

1. The Shed BBQ

2.  Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q

3. Too Sauced To Pork

4.  Smoke Masters BBQ

Green Grilling Award

1. Sweet Cheeks


1. The Bastey Boys

2. No Name Smokers

3. Smoked ‘N Spiced

4.  Porkside Boys


1. Pure Pleasure Porkers

2. Moe Cason BBQ

3. Pigs In Space

4.  Smokin’ On The River

Awards announced earlier this week include:

Turkey Smoke

1. Iowa BBQ Store Corn Cookers

2. Killer Hogs

3. Pig Beach BBQ

4. Swinefeld

Frank’s Red Hot Hot Wings

1. Sweet Swine O’Mine

2. Killers Hogs

3. Planet BBQ Inc

4. Brown Chicken Brown Cow


1. Boars Night Out

2.The Usual Saucepects

3. Mexico BBQ Team

4. Blue Smoke Blaire


1. Killer Hogs

2. The Shed BBQ

3. Blues Hog


Tomato Sauce

1. Burnt Finger BBQ

2. Voo Doo Q

3. Team Best Damn BBQ Sauce

Mustard Sauce

1. The Pig Diamonds

2. Firehouse5

3. Southern Smoke

Vinegar Sauce

1. Colonel Rib

2. Boars Night Out

3. Smokin’ With An Attitude

Best Booth

1. All Star Ten Pin Porkers

2. Pork Illustrated

3. Love Meat Tender

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