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Today we continue the countdown to the Most Influential Person in BBQ with the 8th most influential person in BBQ. Coming in as the 8th Most Influential Person in BBQ is the Competition BBQ Pitmaster.


On nearly every Thursday of the year in spots from coast-to-coast countless numbers of pitmasters are trimming meat, mixing their secret injections, sauces and rub concoctions, and hitting the road for a weekend of barbecue and fellowship and the hopes of hearing their name called last at the awards ceremony. This ever growing list of weekend barbecue warriors wields an enormous amount of influence over the world of barbecue. Their far reaching influence touches many industries inside and outside of barbecue including commercial sauces & rub producers, smoker & grill manufactures, cooler makers, knife & tool brands, and of course beer brewers and whisky distillers to name a few.   


The existence and health of barbecue contest across the country are at the mercy of the competition pitmaster as the overwhelming majority of contests live and die by the number of pitmasters who choose to cook a particular contest. Contests that have attained legendary status  have often come by that status through the word and mouth of pitmasters communicating to other pitmasters. Their influence can also be felt as they share their knowledge to first time competition pitmasters – if one thing is certain it is that these masters of the pit are eager to share their love of BBQ with the next generation of pitmasters. 


Many competition pitmasters have dipped their toes into a number of facets of barbecue, including restaurants, sauces and rubs and cookbooks, which have helped to increase their influence. Perhaps the greatest area of influence that many of the thousands of competition pitmasters have is in their communities where their kindness and generosity help raise money for charities and feed those in need through groups like the Illinois Barbeque Alliance and Operation BBQ Relief.   

As the popularity of BBQ, and specifically competition BBQ, grows, these weekend BBQ warriors will continue to be some of the most influential people in the BBQ.

On December 25th we’ll unveil the 7th 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 9th through the 25th Most Influential People in BBQ.

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.