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Today we continue the countdown to the Most Influential Person in BBQ with the 7th most influential person in BBQ. Coming in as the 7th Most Influential Person in BBQ is owner of Q Barbeque, pitmaster of the Cool Smoke BBQ Team and judge on BBQ Pitmasters, Tuffy Stone.


Tuffy Stone is the Mariano Rivera of barbecue. When you see Rivera come out of the bullpen you know there is little doubt he’s going to get the job done. The same can be said for Stone – when you see him pull up at a contest you are pretty certain that he’s got a good chance of getting the job done. It can be argued with a very straight face that Stone is currently the best cook on the professional barbecue circuit. He doesn’t have as many GC’s and RGC’s as many of his peers, but he’s winning at a conversion rate similar to Rivera closing out games for the Yankees and doing it on the biggest stages in the sport. In 2013 Stone and his Cool Smoke team took home 3 GC’s while only cooking 8 contests (due to all his other barbecue commitments) and two of those GC’s happened to come at two of the sports most prestigious events, The American Royal Invitational and The Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue.  

Cool Smoke (800x600)

Having had the opportunity to cook next to Tuffy at many contests, including the American Royal each year, we can safely say that Stone’s influence goes well beyond his skills manning the pit (with his teammate and father George Stone). In the world of barbecue, Stone is a rockstar. It’s not uncommon to look over at his cooksite and see a line of fans seeking a moment to ask a question or take a picture and without fail he obliges them with his smile and warm welcome. These lines are filled with folks from all walks of life and ages and walk away from their encounter with Stone a bit more devoted to barbecue!

Stone was a barbecue success well before he appeared on season one of BBQ Pitmasters and subsequently became one of the judges in later seasons of the hit television show. However, his star really began to shine bright after his appearance on the first season of Pitmasters where he clearly became a fan favorite and cemented his reputation as one of the good guys of barbecue. As Pitmasters becomes more and more popular Stone’s star continues to rise and shine brighter.

In addition to his competition and television success, Stone runs a chain of successful Q Barbque restaurants in the Richmond, Virginia area. Stone is known as a perfectionist on the barbecue circuit, taking meticulous notes of how every factor, big or small, impacts his cook. Were certain that this effort to reach perfection will continue to push Stone to new heights and build upon his influence n barbecue. 

On December 26th we’ll unveil the 6th 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 8th through the 25th Most Influential People in BBQ.

8th – Competition BBQ Pitmaster

9th – Mike Mills, 17th Street Bar & Grill & Apple City BBQ

10th – Stan Hays, Operation BBQ Relief

11th – Steven Raichlen, Cookbook Author & TV Host

12th – Jamie Geer, Jambo Pits

13th – Dave Raymond, Sweet Baby Ray’s

14th – Aaron Franklin, Franklin BBQ

15th – Chris Lilly, Big Bob Gibson 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.

We hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas!!