Smokemaster BBQ Named Grand Champion By Memphis Barbecue Network (MBN) Takes Home $90,000 In Total Prize Money At Inaugural Smokeslam Festival

(MENAFN- PR Newswire) Over $275,000 in Prize Money Awarded; Smokeslam Announces $5,000 Donations to World Junior BBQ League and Project Greenfork

Riverbeat to Return May 2-4, 2025 and SmokeSlam to Return May 15-17th, 2025 at Tom Lee Park

MEMPHIS, Tenn., May 18, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- SmokeSlam , the world's ultimate BBQ festival with the richest prize in the sport's history,
named "SmokeMaster BBQ" the Grand Champion of the inaugural three-day festival judged by Memphis Barbecue Network (MBN).

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SmokeSlam, the world's ultimate BBQ festival named "SmokeMaster BBQ" the Grand Champion

Post this SmokeSlam 2024 Winners
SmokeSlam 2024 Winners SmokeSlam 2024's Grand Champion
SmokeSlam 2024's Grand Champion "SmokeMaster BBQ”

"We're so proud of the MBN for making this happen and getting through this with all the mud-slinging that's happened. I can't describe it. I really can't. I'm a little lost for words. We've made a lot of large changes to our process in the last two months and they're finally paying off, and I'm thrilled. I'm absolutely thrilled," said Pitmaster Will "Uncle Woo" Hair of SmokeMaster BBQ

SmokeMasters BBQ also took home first prize in Ribs winning a total of $90,000 over the weekend. Earlier in the day Hair exclaimed, "This is the best birthday present ever!" when he found out they qualified in all three categories. (It was his 50th birthday). Hog Addiction came in first in Whole Hog, and Poker Porkers came in first in Pulled Pork. Each first-place winner also received a Golden Ticket to the World Food Championships.

In each category the winners received:

  • 5th Place - $5,000
  • 4th Place - $7,500
  • 3rd Place - $10,000
  • 2nd Place - $12,500
  • 1st Place - $15,000

Whole Hog

  • 5th Place - High Hog BBQ
  • 4th Place - Fat Head BBQ
  • 3rd Place - Rescue Smokers
  • 2nd Place - SmokeMasters BBQ
  • 1st Place - Hog Addiction

Pulled Pork

  • 5th Place - 10 Bones BBQ
  • 4th Place – Rescue Smokers
  • 3rd Place - Fat Head BBQ
  • 2nd Place - SmokeMasters BBQ
  • 1st Place - Poker Porkers


  • 5th Place - Robinson Smokehouse
  • 4th Place - Poker Porkers
  • 3rd Place - Grind City BBQ Company
  • 2nd Place - Grind City Smokers
  • 1st Place - SmokeMasters BBQ

"The teams that decided to come to SmokeSlam are all excellent teams. It was very hard to distinguish my scores because the teams were all high caliber and they were all happy to be here and excited about the opportunity to try something new here at the river," said Neysa Rhodes, MBN on-site judge for Pulled Pork. "SmokeSlam just ran very smoothly the whole weekend."

Melissa Cookston's World Junior Barbecue League (WJBL) impressed even the most seasoned chefs and took home a total of $25,000 in cash prizes. Steak Princess was awarded the Grand Prize of $5,000.


  • 3rd Place - BBQ Bugsy
  • 2nd Place - Steak Princess
  • 1st Place - Pit Vipers


  • 3rd Place - BBQ Bugsy
  • 2nd Place - Steak Princess
  • 1st Place - Pit Vipers


  • 3rd Place - BBQ Bugsy
  • 2nd Place - Pit Vipers
  • 1st Place - Steak Princess


  • 3rd Place - Team Chupacabra
  • 2nd Place - Pit Vipers
  • 1st Place - Steak Princess

SmokeSlam also announced a $5,000 donation to the WJBL to continue to ignite the passion for barbecue in our youth.

From Wagyu gyros and beef empanadas to sausage with chimichurri sliders and ribs and wings of various flavors, visitors were able to sample bites from some of the world's most famous pitmasters including the only black female Pitmaster Erica Roby, and the master of Argentinian-style live-fire cooking, Al Frugoni. Families enjoyed pickleball, cornhole, carnival games, and a ferris wheel, all along the backdrop of the Mississippi River. Each night ended with live music from bands including War and St. Paul and the Broken Bones and a fireworks display that rivaled the 4th of July.

SmokeSlam organizers also announced a $5,000 donation to Project Green Fork for their commitment to making the mid-south a more sustainable place by reducing food waste and strengthening community restaurants.

Friday night's ancillary category winners judged by World Food Competitions were Rebel Roaster Review (Bacon), Smokemasters BBQ (Beef), Fire Dancer BBQ (Dessert), Shotgun House Smokers (Duck), Team Croix Valley (Poultry), Phil the Grill (Wings), Swineantology (Wings). Each took home $1,500 in prize money in addition to the coveted Golden Ticket to the World Food Championships in September and a custom trophy from Memphis Metal Museum.

Memphians and visitors alike were able to enjoy Mempho Presents' month-long residency at Tom Lee Park which began with the RiverBeat Music Festival which took place May 3rd - 5th and ended with Smokeslam.

"The Mempho Presents team was able to pull off the incredible feat of producing two very large-scale events of different calibers in a very short period of time, and we are so proud of what we brought to Tom Lee Park and the City of Memphis. The feedback has been nothing short of amazing and we look forward to returning next year in May and for many years to come," said Mempho Presents Producer Mike Smith.

You can view photos from the event here .

About SmokeSlam

SmokeSlam is a new BBQ festival organized by Mempho Presents, a group with deep roots in Memphis, music, and barbecue. SmokeSlam's inaugural competition will occur May 16 - 18, 2024, at Tom Lee Park in Memphis, TN. SmokeSlam is putting up a purse of $275,000, the largest in pork BBQ competition history, and has partnered with the Memphis BBQ Network (MBN) to run the pork championship judging for the competition. SmokeSlam will be an MBN-sanctioned event where teams can compete in all three major categories, and category winners are also eligible for a 'Golden Ticket' to compete in the World Food Championships (WFC) in the fall. The WFC will be sanctioning all ancillary competitions on Thursday and Friday. For more information visit

About Mempho Presents

Mempho Presents, a division of Forward Momentum, is an independent promotion company that crafts world-class live events and fan experiences. The group produces shows and events year-round, primarily at venues in Memphis, TN, and the Mid-South. For more information, visit .

Media Contact
Lindsay Stevens
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