2020 Kansas City Barbeque Society World Invitational Champions Announced

The Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) has announced the winners of its two largest barbeque competitions; the KCBS World Invitational, presented by Smithfield®, and the KCBS Team of the Year points chase.

The KCBS World Invitational, presented by Smithfield®, provides the opportunity for championship barbeque pitmasters to go head-to-head on a global stage, competing for the title of KCBS World Champion.  The KCBS World Invitational competition was held Nov. 13 – 14 at the Prairie Band Casino & Resort in Mayetta, Kan.  An invitational of champions, qualifying Master Series division pitmasters must have won Grand Champion or Reserve Grand Champion at a KCBS-sanctioned barbeque contest between January 1, 2019 and July 31, 2020. Pitmasters were competing for cash, significant bragging rights as world champion pitmasters, and amazing trophies from partners Old World Spices & Seasonings, custom Solo Stoves, and a Snake River Farms branded Gateway Drum.

The 2020 KCBS Master Series World Champion is Todd Smith of Smoking Butt Heads from Wellford, S.C.  Smith was surprised and elated with his championship victory. “We love the competition in the sport of barbeque and challenges to always be better at the next contest. The great people we have become friends with are a special bonus. The willingness of everyone to help each other is something most people never get to experience in sports. There is no better sport that has all these aspects,” stated Smith.

The KCBS World Invitational Master Series Reserve Grand Championship was awarded to Darren Warth of Iowa’s Smokey D’s BBQ in Des Moines, Iowa.  Champions were also crowned in the individual meat categories; chicken, pork ribs, pork, and brisket. Additional contests over the weekend that were sponsored by Solo Foods and Jack Daniel’s allowed teams to show-off their creativity.

The KCBS World Invitational also included the finale of the 2020 Turkey Smoke Series turkey ancillary contest that KCBS continues to lead in partnership with the National Turkey Federation.  This nine-contest long series at barbeque contests across the U.S., showcases the versatility of turkey on the smoker.  The Turkey Smoke championship went to Local Smoke BBQ of Brielle, N.J.

New for 2020 has been the addition of the Backyard Series division, in which amateur pitmasters compete for the title of KCBS Overall Backyard Series World Champion.  Dennis Bowman of Bowman’s Butt & BBQ from Christiansburg, Va. won the Grand Championship and David Puckett of Puckdaddy’s Killer Q of Athens, Ala. won the Reserve Grand Championship.

The weekend’s festivities continued with a socially-distanced awards ceremony, recognizing the 2020 KCBS Team of the Year points chase champions.  Over 2,800 pitmasters from across the United States and in 42 countries competed in this program for cash prizes and the pride of being recognized as some of the best barbeque pitmasters in the world.

In a season defined by passion, the top two Master Series Overall champions epitomize dedicating it all to the sport of BBQ.  Just two points separated World Champion Brad Leighninger of Gettin’ Basted from Springfield, Mo. from Reserve Grand World Champion Joe Pearce of Slap’s BBQ from Kansas City, Kan.  It was a photo finish with both of these teams traveling across the country to cook a Friday-Saturday double in the closing hours of the 2020 KCBS Team of the Year barbeque season.

KCBS’ first ever Backyard Series Team of the Year awards recognize the best in Chicken and Ribs.  The new Backyard Chicken World Champion is Russell Allen of Redbones BBQ from Florence, Ala.  Taking home the World Champion title for KCBS Team of the Year in Backyard Ribs, presented by Smithfield, was Patrick Swindoll of Lee La Q from Cullman, Ala.

“We are so proud of all of the KCBS pitmasters who qualified and competed for a World Champion title in our World Invitational and year-round Team of the Year points chase,” says Emily Detwiler, Chief Executive Officer of KCBS. “We congratulate the Master Series pitmasters demonstrating they are at the top of their game and welcome the Backyard Series teams who continue to prove they are accomplished pitmasters on the road to becoming Masters, too.”

To learn more about the Kansas City Barbeque Society, the 2020 KCBS World Invitational, and the 2020 KCBS Team of the Year points chase, including full results from both competitions, visit www.kcbs.us. Pitmasters are already competing for the 2021 KCBS Team of the Year points chase.

About the Kansas City Barbeque Society:  
The Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving, celebrating, promoting and educating the public about barbeque as a distinctively American cuisine. KCBS is the world’s largest organization of barbeque and grilling enthusiasts, with approximately 20,000 members in the U.S. and over 42 countries. KCBS sanctions nearly 500 barbeque contests worldwide each year; including destination contests such as the American Royal World Series of Barbeque© and the Jack Daniel’s Invitational. For more information, visit us online at www.KCBS.us, on Facebook at @KansasCityBarbequeSociety, on Instagram as @kcbbqsociety and on Twitter @KCBBQSociety

The Kansas City Barbeque Society partners with brands and corporations to create custom barbeque events for consumers, as well as employee engagement. From volunteering at barbeque contests to event production, KCBS members offer assistance to civic and charitable organizations who organize events. KCBS serves as a key influencer and powerhouse of barbeque information; partnering with related trade associations and other contest-sanctioning organizations, tracking trends in barbeque related products and teaming up with other food organizations and the media to promote barbeque.