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Today we continue the countdown of the Most Influential People in BBQ with the 15th most influential person in BBQ. Coming in as the 15th Most Influential Person in BBQ is pitmaster and owner of Big Bob Gibson BBQ and spokesman for Kingsford Charcoal, Chris Lilly.


Chris Lilly’s Big Bob Gibson BBQ has one of the most famous and enduring pedigree’s in the world of BBQ. Founded in 1925, this BBQ joint has one claim to fame that I’m not sure any other BBQ joint out there can make, they invented their own style of BBQ sauce – the world famous White BBQ Sauce. Lilly might have inherited a BBQ juggernaut, but he certainly hasn’t coasted on its coattails. He’s added his own chapter to the Big Bob Gibson legacy, and it’s a chapter as thick with honors and influence as any other chapter in the institutions 4 generation history.

Lilly’s influence spans many facets of BBQ including competition BBQ, restaurants, cookbooks, TV personality, product spokesman and retail products. On the competition circuit there has been no pitmaster with more success at Memphis in May in the Pork category. Lilly is a three time Memphis in May Grand Champion and seven time winner of the Pork category. Other competition accolades include Grand Champion of the American Royal Invitational, Reserve Grand Champion of the Jack, winner of the inaugural King of the Smoker and first place ribs at the Houston Livestock and Rodeo World Championships. Lilly also has an award winning line of BBQ Sauces and spice rubs that are found in retailers throughout the country. In 2009 Lilly wrote his first cookbook, The Big Bob Gibson BBQ Book – one of the best BBQ cookbooks to come out in recent memory.

Big Bob

Perhaps Lilly’s biggest influence on BBQ comes as spokesman for one of the two biggest names in BBQ, Kingsford Charcoal. Through his relationship with Kingsford Lilly uses his platform to educate BBQers on not just the merits of using Kingsford, but also on the traditions of BBQ, helping to create more and more BBQ lovers throughout the United States and world. Lilly is also a frequent competitor and judge on BBQ themed TV shows like BBQ Pitmasters and Best in Smoke. When it comes to influence Lilly dips his toes into many facets of BBQ and is working hard everyday to spread his love of BBQ throughout the country.

On December 18th we’ll unveil the 14th most influential person in BBQ. We’ll unveil a new member of our Most Influential Person in BBQ List each day through the end of the year and we’ll crown The Most Influential Person in BBQ on Tuesday, December 31st.

To date we’ve previously unveiled the 16th through the 25th Most Influential People in BBQ.

16th – Sterling Ball, Big Poppa Smokers

17th – Rod Gray, Pellet Envy & Eat Barbecue

18th – Brad Orrison, The Shed

19th – Johnny Trigg, Smokin’ Triggers

20th – Danielle Dimovski, BBQ Crawl & Diva Q

21st – Bill Arnold, Blues Hog Barbecue Company

22nd – Competition BBQ Judge

23rd – Melissa Cookston, Memphis Barbecue Co. & Yazoo’s Delta Q

24th – Adam Perry Lang, Daisy May’s BBQ, Barbecoa & Cookbook Author

25th – Ronnie Cates, Smoke on the Water Productions

Will you make the list? Will someone you find deserving fall short of the top 25? Will you disagree with someone listed in the top 25? Check the Pork Barrel BBQ Blog daily now through December 31 and contribute to the discussion by adding comments to each days post!

Who is the most Influential Person in BBQ? Find out on December 31, 2013 when we reveal the Most Influential Person in BBQ.