About

The Legacy Continues

Pitmaster Paul Holden & the W'ham Turbo Cooker
after a 1st Place and Perfect Score in Brisket.

Since John's passing in 2013, his wife Marge, daughters, Kristi, Kara and Karla and many friends have been ensuring current and new customers were served. While under Paul and Clay's (John's son-in-law) leadership the trail of wins on the BBQ competition circuit continued.

In 2020 the family officially passed the Willingham flame to Paul Holden a long time friend, a John Willingham mentee, and the Willingham's River City Rooters (MIM) & Willingham's Village Porkers (KCBS) pitmaster.

Honored and humbled by the trust of the family, we are committed to excelling on the Willingham tradition of developing new award winning products and introducing more "lost" formulas, entering (and winning) BBQ competitions with the Willingham's World Champion BBQ competition team across the country, while continuing to share the joys of cooking and bbq with friends, family and every person we meet.

We look forward to serving each of our customers and meeting as many as possible as we make our way around the country on the competition circuit.   Do not hesitate to drop me a note,  stop in and say hello at contest and be sure to keep track of our events and progress on social media and our website.

Our Mission

A commitment to excellence and the integrity of every product we offer.  A pledge to help everyone to discover the thrill and realization of the joys of bbq and the Willingham vision that a family that cooks together (as they play together) stays together.

John Willingham & Paul Holden
John Willingham & Paul Holden
Clay and Paul prepping to BBQ
Clay and Paul prepping to BBQ
Willingham Booth at Memphis in May
Willingham Booth at Memphis in May
Willingham’s & VPBBQ<br />teaming up for MIM 2013
Willingham’s & VPBBQ
teaming up for MIM 2013

W'ham®! The Best. No Brag, Just Fact.

Award-winning barbecue, again and again

Want award-winning barbecue? The Willingham team started winning awards in 1983 and never stopped. Today any cook can make award-winning barbecue (or at least crowd-pleasing barbecue!) by using Willingham's barbecue sauces and rubs.

Top Calls

Year Award Event
2021 First Place Brisket (perfect 180 score!) BBQ Boogie & Blues, Calhoun, GA
2017 People's Choice Sip & Swine, Lawrenceville, GA
2014 First Place Sauce Cornelia Apple Blossom Festival, Cornelia, GA
2013 First Place Chicken Pigs and Peaches, Kennesaw, GA
2013 First Place Ribs Atlanta BBQ Festival, Atlanta, GA
2011 People's Choice Best Butt in Town Canton Pignic, Canton, GA
2001 First Place Chicken Big Brother, Big Sister Charity BBQ, Lafayette, La.
2000 Best Sauce on the Planet American Royal, Kansas City, Missouri
1999 Grand Champion Mississippi State BBQ, Ashland, Miss.
1999 Grand Champion, Best Ribs Overall Memphis Flyer, Memphis, TN
1998 First Place Ribs Prim Valley BBQ Championship, Prim, NY
1998 First Place Whole Hog Jack Daniel's Invitational, Lynchberg, TN
1998 Grand Champion Mississippi State BBQ, Ashland, MS
1998 Grand Champion North Carolina State Championship, Tryon, N.C.
1998 Grand Champion Prim Valley BBQ Championship, Prim, NY
1997 Grand Champion Mississippi State BBQ, Ashland, Miss.
1997 People's Choice Smithsonian July 4th Invitational, Washington, D.C.
1996 Best Sauce Arkansas BBQ Championship, Batesville, AR
1996 First Place Ribs St. Jude/VFW BBQ Festival, Whitehaven, TN
1996 Grand Champion St. Jude/VFW BBQ Festival, Whitehaven, TN
1996 People's Choice Memphis In May, Memphis, TN
1995 First Place Beef Anything But Pork, Southhaven, MS
1995 First Place Cajun Hot Sauce American Royal, Kansas City, MO
1995 First Place Hot Sauce American Royal, Kansas City, MO
1995 First Place Mild Vinegar Sauce American Royal, Kansas City, MO
1995 First Place Seafood Pasta Anything But Pork, Southhaven, MS
1995 Grand Champion Anything But Pork, Southhaven, MS
1994 First Place Beef Brisket American Royal, Kansas City, MO
1994 First Place Farmland Ribs American Royal, Kansas City, MO
1994 Grand Champion Miss. State Championship, Lexington, Miss.
1994 Reserve Grand Champion North Carolina State Championship, Tryon, N.C.
1992 Best Sauce on the Planet American Royal, Kansas City, MO
1992 First Piace Poultry Great Yankee BBQ, Boston, MA
1992 First Piace Ribs Great Yankee BBQ, Boston, MA
1992 First Piace Shoulder Great Yankee BBQ, Boston, MA
1992 First Place "Skinner's Pasta" Memphis In May, Memphis, TN
1992 First Place Anything But Pork Memphis In May, Memphis, TN
1992 First Place Brisket American Royal, Kansas City, MO
1992 First Place Lamb American Royal, Kansas City, MO
1992 Grand Champion Great Yankee BBQ, Boston, MA
1992 Grand Champion Chicken American Pitmasters BBQ, Boston, Mass.
1992 Grand Champion People's Choice Ribs Star Trib, Magis, MS
1992 Grand Champion Ribs People's Choice, BBQ Festival, Norfolk, VA
1992 People's Choice Great Yankee BBQ, Boston, MA
1992 Reserve Grand Champion American Royal, Kansas City, MO
1991 First Place Brisket American Royal, Kansas City, MO
1991 First Place Brisket Castle BBQ Fest, Orlando, FL
1991 First Place Ribs Christmas on the River, Demopolis, AL
1991 First Place Shoulder American Royal, Kansas City, MO
1991 First Place Shoulder Castle BBQ Fest, Orlando, FL
1991 First Place Shoulder City Fest, Tuscaloosa, AL
1991 First Place Whole Hog Castle BBQ Fest, Orlando, FL
1991 First Place Whole Hog Christmas on the River, Demopolis, AL
1991 First Place Whole Hog City Fest, Tuscaloosa, AL
1991 Grand Champion American Royal, Kansas City, MO
1991 Grand Champion Christmas on the River, Demopolis, AL
1991 Grand Champion National Rib Cookoff, Cleveland, OH
1990 First Place Brisket American Royal, Kansas City, MO
1990 First Place Shoulder American Royal, Kansas City, MO
1990 First Place Whole Hog Memphis In May, Memphis, TN
1990 First Place Wings American Royal, Kansas City, MO
1990 Grand Champion National Rib Cookoff, Cleveland, OH
1989 First Place Lamb American Royal, Kansas City, MO
1989 The Hickory Switch Award Best "Que" in Memphis, TN
1987 First Place Spare Ribs World's Best Ribs, Richmond, VA
1987 Grand Champion World's Best Ribs, Richmond, VA
1984 First Place Beef American Royal, Kansas City, MO
1984 First Place Lamb American Royal, Kansas City, MO
1984 First Place Pork American Royal, Kansas City, MO
1984 First Place Ribs Memphis In May, Memphis, TN
1984 Grand Champion American Royal, Kansas City, MO
1984 Grand Champion Memphis In May, Memphis, TN
1983 First Place Ribs Memphis In May, Memphis, TN
1983 Grand Champion Memphis In May, Memphis, TN

Other Notable Appearances/Recognition

Year Award Event
2013 Featured on Adam Richman's "Fandemonium" Memphis In May, Memphis, TN
2001 Featured as "Best BBQ in Memphis, TN" Chili Pepper Magazine
2001 Featured on Food Network's "Bobby Flay TV Show" New York, NY
2000 Frito Lay's / Cross Creek Ranch BBQ & Barn Dance, McKinney, TX
1999 Featured on Food Network's with Al Roker New York, NY
1998 Best Cooker in the World Memphis In May, Memphis, TN
1998 Featured on "Home Cooking with Amy Coleman" Vancouver, B.C.
1998 Featured on NBC Today Show's BBQ Special New York, NY
1997 Best Cooker in the World Memphis In May, Memphis, TN
1997 Featured on "At Home on the Grill" PBS Special Memphis, TN
1997 Featured on "Prime Time Live" at Memphis in May Memphis, TN
1996 Best Que Offshore Freeport McMoran Invitational, Gulf of Mexico
1995 The "Sony's" Best Barbeque in America Long Island, NY
1995 The Quinn Award for Bar-B-Que Excellence Jonesboro, AR
1994 Best Cooker in the World Memphis In May, Memphis, TN
1993 Best Cooker in the World Memphis In May, Memphis, TN
1992 Cook Team of the Year Memphis In May, Memphis, TN
1991 Cook Team of the Year Memphis In May, Memphis, TN
Item added to cart.
0 items - $0.00