Thoughts from the competition trail from Rod Gray

“When people hear that I am a full time competition pitmaster, I can see their eyes glaze over as they dream of someday doing the same. I’m here to tell you that it is far from being a glamorous job. Cooking thirty-five events, teaching five classes, scheduling special events or appearances four or five times, and it leaves about six or seven weekends in a whole year that you’re not cooking, talking, or teaching barbecue. Traveling 55,000 miles a year means long days on the road to and from events, throw in clean-up, restocking, loading, unloading, and sourcing the best meats, and it’s every bit a full time job.

The proliferation of barbecue on television makes it a great time to be a pitmaster. Crowds at events are bigger, higher profile events are popping up, and people are generally just jazzed about barbecue. So many people stop me to talk about barbecue when I stop to fuel, especially when I’m further away from the barbecue belt. They ask me questions about my pit, about where I’m from, if I know cooks like Johnny Trigg, Tuffy Stone and especially Myron Mixon. They always ask about Myron and want to know if he’s like the character he plays on the shows. Yep, it’s a great time to be a part of competition barbecue and I feel very lucky.”

Rod has found great success on the competition trail. Click here for his impressive list of wins.


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