What more can you ask for when it comes to fine BBQ festivals in Kansas than one of the State’s lesser-known BBQ competitions. You may not have heard of the Great Lenexa BBA Battle before, however, there is no reason to not attend this year’s proud return to the Sunflower State once again. Here’s everything you need to know about this great cookoff and the results for 2023.
This event may be short (4:30-11 Friday night, 9am – 4:30pm Saturday), but they are still a very serious draw. From 12 teams in 1982, to a whopping 180 plus in 2023, and a gubernatorial decree that this is the official Kansas State Championship cook-off, this community makes it happen for barbecue.
Granted they are located about 25 miles from Kansas City, MO, and the event is a KCBS official event, they do pretty good for a town of less than 60,000 people. Although that population still keeps them in the top 10 cities in Kansas. With Lake Lenexa for boating and fishing and many miles of trails to hike or walk, there is a lot to do in this locale.
But we want to know who won the battle, and the title for the state champion.
Master Series – Overall Scores
Grand Champion: Damn Fine Beef & Swine
Reserve Champion: Hunka Hunka Burnin’ Rub
Master Series Individual categories
Chicken: Burnin’ Sands BBQ
Pork Ribs: Knights of the Holy Grill
Pork: Animal House BBQ
Brisket: Genuswine Brisket Authority
Beef Steak: G&S Smoke n Spice
Sausage: Beaux Hawg BBQ
Miscellaneous; KC Rib Doctor
See more coverage of the 2023 event here.
A growing tradition of Kansas BBQ Pride
You might find this hard to believe, but the Great Lenexa BBQ Battle started back in 1982 as an obscure barbecue cooking competition. There were only a total of 12 contestants who gathered together and were given titles and awards by just 12 attending judges. Yet, from the state that has made the American Royal World Series of Barbecue practically a religious pilgrimage for BBQ fans, the Great Lenexa BBQ Battle was still considered small peanuts.
It was all due to the efforts of (then) Governor John Carlin, who was impressed by this unlikely underdog of BBQ competitions, a chance to represent their State. He declared officially on April 27th, 1984, that this competition was now the official Kansas State Championship cook-off that would then go on to rival the American Royal WSB. As a result, it attracted top BBQ chefs and home cooks from all over the country to attend and compete.
And though the American Royal WSB started in 1980, more people have heard of this BBQ competition than the Great Lenexa BBQ Battle by name only. That doesn’t mean that one is better than the other, they’re both outstanding Kansas BBQ cook-offs. You might say that with only a mere 200 barbecue teams strutting their stuff to gain the big titles, the Lenexa cook-off is no small affair by far!
Archive: What to expect for 2023?
The Great Lenexa BBQ Battle is back once again for another swing at barbecue glory for 2023! But before we get into the big plans for the upcoming BBQ battle that’s making headlines around Kansas, we’ll also review who were the big winners for last year’s competition! As usual, we’ll provide the total low-down on what to expect this year and what to be on the lookout for.
Archive: Who took the top winning awards in 2022?
The 40th annual Great Lexena BBQ Battle was indeed a huge success with a turnout of over 164 BBQ teams that attended and participated in various cook-off categories. The categories included all of the major category entries including chicken, pork, pork ribs, and brisket. Some entries also judged beefsteak, sausage, and misc. sides. Here are the top winners who floored the judges with their signature BBQ style.
Archive: 2021 Upcoming Event Coverage
This year, the Great Lenexa BBQ Battle is being held from June 24th through 25th will welcome back competitors and hungry guests for two days of everything barbecue. The categories are pretty standard and include BBQ specialties for brisket, pork, pork ribs, and chicken. There’s also a fair share of music performances, and even a kid’s zone to keep the kiddos happy. But that’s not all, since Saturday is when everyone gets a chance to sample free BBQ from the competitors!