2019 Champions: (front row, l-r) Dana and Kevin Peterson, Chris Fineran, Billy Narron, James Lamb; Back row NC Pork representatives: (l-r) Chad Herring, Brandon Warren, Andy Curliss

Twenty-eight of the top whole hog barbecue cooks filled South Street in downtown Raleigh this weekend to compete for more than $7,000 in cash prizes and hope to be crowned the 2019 Whole Hog Barbecue State Champion.

The cooks qualified to compete in the championship by placing in one of 28 local competitions sanctioned by the North Carolina Pork Council.

After more than 24 hours of preparation, cooking and serving in unseasonably high temperatures, Kevin Peterson of Benson took home the top trophy. This is the second time that Kevin and his wife Dana, known on the competition circuit as Showtime’s Legit BBQ, won; they also claimed the championship in 2017. Peterson beat out the defending champion, Chris Fineran of Little River, S.C., who took second and Billy Narron of Middlesex took home third place.

In addition to the top culinary category, winners were also announced for best sauce, crispiest skin, blind taste and People’s Choice, which was voted on by attendees to the event.

Winners are announced below:

2019 Whole Hog Barbecue State Championship (pictured L to R):
1st Place: Kevin Peterson, Showtime’s Legit BBQ, of Benson
2nd Place: Chris Fineran, Beach Boys BBQ, of Little River, S.C.
3rd Place: Billy Narron, Wicked Pig, of Middlesex

Crispy Skin winner: Beach Boys Barbecue (Chris Fineran, second from right)

Crispy Skin: Chris Fineran, Beach Boys BBQ, of Little River, S.C.

Blind taste winners: (l-r) Kevin Peterson, Jason Baker, David Grandy

Blind Taste Judging:
1st Place: Kevin Peterson, Showtime’s Legit BBQ
2nd Place: Jason Baker, Baker Boys BBQ
3rd Place: David Grandy, Lazy Days

Sauce champions: (l-r) Billy Perry, Mark Copeland, Brooke South, Ashley Wheeler

Best Sauce:
1st Place: Ashley Wheeler, Smokin’ Black Jack BBQ, of Princeton
2nd Place: Mark Copeland & Billy Perry, Pocosin Boys, of Wilson
3rd Place: Brooke South, South in Your Mouth Cookin’ Team, of Newport

People’s Choice Winners; Justin and Sadie Boswell, Kacey Field, Brooke South

People’s Choice Award, sponsored by BQ Grills:
1st Place: Brooke South, South in Your Mouth Cookin’ Team, of Newport
2nd Place: Justin Boswell, Busted Grills, of Greenville
3rd Place: Kacey Field, KC-Que, of Newport


The event is sponsored and sanctioned by the N.C. Pork Council and proceeds from the wristband sales benefit the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle and the International Bluegrass Music Association Trust Fund.