For current results, and upcoming information on Memphis in May BBQ Competition, see here.
Results and winners of the 2021 Memphis in May World Champion of BBQ Competition.
“Old black water, keep on rollin’ Mississippi moon, won’t you keep on shinin’ on me” Doobie Brothers 1974
Right there on the banks of the Mississippi the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest (WCBCC) notched their forty-third year of bringing great flavors to Memphis. Of course, the riverfront is a significant upgrade from the humble origins next to a nearly defunct theatre in its death spiral showing adult films. Quite the history, and the winners bring a huge amount of history with them.
Holy smoked meats, the winningest person in barbecue history added more bling to the shelf. Myron Mixon the chief cook of the Jack’s Old South has now won his fifth championship, the first being in 2001. Of course a lot more has happened in those twenty years with 6 cookbooks, literally almost two thousand other trophies, 3 restaurants, four TV shows…he’s even the mayor of Unadilla Georgia. Oh, and his team took the prize for the Whole Hog category at this event as well.
Yes! Championship material? Absolutely!
Due to restrictions in 2021, only one other team was able to be on stage at the awards ceremony. Blues Hog won the top honors in the pork shoulder cooking category. Founded by Bill Arnold, a Memphis native and still CEO, the team is led by Tim Scheer, now president of Blues Hog. Mr. Scheer developed and patented his own drum smoker based on his experience in competitive barbecue racking up over thirty grand champion titles and over forty reserve grand champion titles, and many other awards. This represents their first win in the shoulder category at Memphis in May.
For a lot of folks, this is the penultimate of barbecue; soft spicy tug from the bone baby back ribs. It doesn’t get better than that. This year it didn’t get better Central City BBQ and their Bluff City Smokers team who won the rib competition. Their trip home to New Orleans also required trunk space for the 2nd place in Wings and the 2nd place in Beef honors. Pitmaster James Cruse has been working the pro bbq circuit for over a decade racking up a bunch of awards, and that experience certainly paid off this year in Memphis.
Kingsford Tour of Champions
This year the title goes to The Shed BBQ. They also got the kudos in the ‘Green’ category for collecting the most recyclables. Not their first rodeo, they have taken WCBCC trophies home to Mississippi in the past. This event within an event puts a fun twist on the competition. Select teams make their food available to non-trained consumer judges to see who can win the most bragging rights, along with a cash prize and trophy of course.
2021 Ancillary Awards – Anything but categories
There are those folks who strongly believe that barbecue is only pork. They obviously have not tasted good brisket! To be fair, in Memphis it has always been all about the pig. Sure their best joints do serve the full gamut from beef to chicken to sausages, and lots in between. With no slight intended, these are the winner in the non-pig categories.
NY City?! Sure enough, Salty Rinse BBQ team hails from the big apple. And they do get around, having entered the WCBCC multiple times in the past, getting awards in poultry, wings, whole hog (repeatedly), mustard sauce and more. This year it is in the Beef category. They can add that award to their three grand champion awards in the whole hog competition closer to home.
Local gang makes good, MW Smokers are Memphis based, and the 2021 winners in the poultry category. And by winning we mean they had four perfect ballots, a 10 from each judge. Apparently that is what it takes to bring home the hardware, although they added to the collection with a fourth place finish in the Turkey division as well.
Yes the team that won in the Seafood category is named Pages Pig Pen. No, that is not the strangest thing we’ve heard of. The team did score fairly well in some of the other categories, to twenty in Beef and such, but for 2021 they get to hang their hat on the Seafood winning item.
Hometown BBQ took some more hardware down to Mississippi, this time right along the gulf coast. These folks won on the exotic category, took second in the whole hog competition and placed fourth overall. So they mean it when they say they are award winning barbecue.
‘Frank’s Red Hot’ Hot Wings
Legend has it that the original recipe for hot wings was a fried chicken wing section tossed in Frank’s and melted butter. The team at Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Que is doing something a bit more advanced we’re guessing. Since they won this category for 2021. As a family business that began in 1925 in Decatur Alabama, they have certainly had the time to perfect heir barbecue dishes.
The names of the teams are amazingly witty, the winner in the Turkey Smoke category is no exception. Annesdale Pork is actually named for their local neighborhood in Memphis, Annesdale Park. It is literally a team comprised of folks who happen to live in that area and love to make some barbecue. Kudos to another home grown team, they also tagged second place in the seafood division.
Wrap it up and take it home
That is it for all the meat categories, where people are actually cooking a barbecued product. There are a few more categories, sauces and miscellaneous. Here is the link to the complete results; Winners – Memphis in May International Festival. See our Memphis BBQ page for more information on local events and for current Memphis in May event news, see here.