KCBS Celebrates 2021 Team of the Year winners in Master and Backyard Series

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – (November 5, 2021) – The Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) has announced the winners of its coveted year-round KCBS Team of the Year points chase. Over 1,580 pitmasters from across the United States and in 35 countries competed in this program for over $42,000 in cash prizes, trophies and the pride of being recognized as some of the best barbeque pitmasters in the world.
In a season defined by consistency and dedication, the top two Master Series Overall champions demonstrate true mastery of barbeque, fueled by a highly competitive desire to win.  Brad Leighninger of Gettin’ Basted in Springfield, Mo. is named Overall World Champion for the second year in a row! Joe Pearce of Slap’s BBQ from Kansas City, Kan was named Reserve Grand World Champion also for the second year in a row.  Both of these teams traveled across the country throughout the year; sometimes going to separate competitions and sometimes facing off head-to-head at the same competitions! Leighninger also takes the title of World Champion (1st place) in Brisket and Chicken. Pearce will be crowned “Rib King,” as the Rib World Champion. Pork World Champion is Paul Keltner of Rooters – n- Tooters from Mt. Pleasant, Ten.
The KCBS Master Series also included three new Chase stages throughout the year-round series to create additional opportunities for pitmasters to earn recognition, prizes and medals based on their performance within specific timeframes of competitions. Chases were brought to life through partnership with the National Pork Board and Craig’s Texas Pepper Jelly!
KCBS’ Backyard Series Team of the Year awards recognize the best in Chicken and Ribs within the Backyard division.  The new Backyard Chicken World Champion is Brian Walker of Hickory Hangover from Madison, Ala.  Taking home the World Champion title for KCBS Team of the Year in Backyard Ribs, presented by Smithfield, was Ted Rasky of Veteran Pork Pullers from Murfreesboro, Ten.
New for 2021 was the addition of the Turkey Smoke Team of the Year points chase held in partnership with the National Turkey Federation. The Turkey Smoke Series incorporated a turkey category into 20 KCBS-sanctioned contests across the U.S. during the 2021 barbeque season; encouraging pitmasters to highlight the versatility of turkey on the smoker, the National Turkey Federation is continuing their partnership with the Kansas City Barbeque Society for the Turkey Smoke Series.  Chiles Cridlin of Henrico, VA was crowned the Turkey Smoke champion.
In addition, KCBS is pleased to share the success of our International in key regions, including Smellaque in Canada, Southern Dutch BBQ for the European region and Smokin’ Steve’s BBQ in the Australian region!
“We are so proud of all of the KCBS pitmasters who competed for a World Champion title in our Team of the Year points chase, both at the Master and Backyard series level,” says Emily Detwiler, Chief Executive Officer of KCBS. “Barbeque brings people together. KCBS Pitmasters, Contest Organizers, Certified Barbeque Judges, Contest Reps, Partners and Volunteers were delighted that they could safely come together through the entire Team of the Year season to celebrate America’s cuisine!”
To learn more about the Kansas City Barbeque Society, the 2021 KCBS Team of the Year points chase, including full results from both competitions, visit www.kcbs.us. Pitmasters are already competing for the 2022 KCBS Team of the Year points chase.