KANSAS CITY, MO. – The Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) announced the winners of the KCBS World Invitational, presented by Smithfield. The event was held Nov. 12-14 at Firelake Arena in Shawnee, Okla. Pitmasters competed for cash, significant bragging rights for a world champion pitmaster title, and trophies from Old World Spices & Seasonings.

“We are so proud of all of the KCBS pitmasters who qualified and competed for a World Champion title in our World Invitational,” said Emily Detwiler, chief executive officer of KCBS. “We congratulate all the pitmasters who competed this weekend and applaud them for a successful 2021 season.  We look forward to the 2022 barbecue season.”

Richard Fergola of Fergolicious BBQ from Gardner, Kan., took the 2021 KCBS Master Series World Champion title, and Smoke Me Silliy, Robert Vanderipe from Madison, Ala., won Master Series Reserve Grand Champion.

In the individual meat categories:

  • Rooters N Tooters, Paul Keltner from Mt. Pleasant, Tenn., took home the Chicken Champion title.  
  • The first place winner in pork ribs went to Parts R’ Smokin led by Matt Bohmann from Harrisonville, Mo.  
  • The first place winner in the pork category was Chingon BBQ, Manuel Moreno from Borger, Texas.
  • Clark Crew, led by Travis Clark from Oklahoma City, Okla., earned the Brisket Champion title.

New for 2021 is the KCBS Open Contest which allowed Backyard and Master Series pitmasters to compete for the KCBS Wells Cup named in celebration of the 35th anniversary of Gary and Carolyn Wells founding KCBS. This year, Chris Schafer with Heavy Smoke BBQ from St. Peters, Mo., won the Grand Championship and the Wells Cup and Brad Leighninger with Gettin’ Basted from Springfield, Mo., won the Reserve Grand Championship.

Rio Valley Meat led by Fred Robles from Weslaco, Texas, took first place in chicken. Brad Leighringer with Gettin’ Basted took first place in pork ribs.  

In the pork category, Travis Clark with Clark Crew BBQ took home tops honors, and Fallout BBQ’s Phillip Mason from Hartsville, SC, won first place in the brisket category.

The finale of the 2021 Turkey Smoke turkey ancillary series that KCBS leads in partnership with the National Turkey Federation was included in the KCBS World Invitational. The series showcases the versatility of turkey on the smoker. The Turkey Smoke championship went to Smoke this BBQ, led by Mary Knowles from Clark, Mo.

Backyard bonus

The KCBS Backyard Championship showcased Backyard Series pitmasters preparing chicken and pork ribs. Sweet & Savory and Jamie Trader from Clements, Md., took Grand Champion of the Backyard honors. The Reserve Grand Champion was Lem’s Meat Varnish led by Chris Lemon from South Charleston, WV. D’s Butts-N-Beers BBQ Team led by Dennis Flint from Gordansville, Va., took first place in chicken, and The Yardpigs and Michael Olson from Andover, Maine, took home first place in pork ribs.   

KCBS featured the Celebrate Real Pork Series presented by the National Pork Board and Celebrate Real Pork Kid’s Que. Tiny E BBQ’s Timothy Esh from Allen, Texas, captured first place in the Celebrate Real Pork Series.  

Additionally, teams competed in a cocktail contest presented by 360 Vodka. Piggin’ Whiskey, Brant Williams from Hot Springs, Ark., took first place honors.

KCBS also recognized its Team of the Year winners and honored the Gary Wells Sportsmanship Award recipient, Brian Oliver of Liberty, Mo.

The Carolyn Wells Ambassadorship Award went to Sterling Ball from Coachella, Calif.

“Sterling has done so much to make the sport of barbecue what it is today,” KCBS said, “developing programs to support organizers and cooks, organizing highly coveted barbecue contests, mentoring cook teams, and providing opportunities to support numerous children’s charities.”