LYNCHBURG, Tenn. (Oct. 15, 2022) – Missouri-based Heavy Smoke BBQ team claimed the title of Grand Champion at the 33rd Annual Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue in Lynchburg, Tenn. 


As Grand Champion, Heavy Smoke BBQ earned $25,000, braggin’ rights as winner of what many consider to be the most prestigious barbecue competition in the world, and the chance to defend its title next year in 2023. 


“This feeling is like nothing else.  We’ve been chasing this title for years and years, and it’s just huge for us to get this win today,” said Heavy Smoke BBQ Pitmaster Chris Schafer.  “The Jack is so prestigious, and it’s so hard to even qualify for the chance to compete here.  To get here and have this result is just amazing for us.” 


Schafer began cooking competition barbecue in 2011, and in 2017 he partnered with fellow pitmaster Chad Brewer to turn Heavy Smoke BBQ into a thriving business resulting with its first brick and mortar location in 2020.    


A total of 85 teams from around the globe competed in The Jack™ in 2022.  To qualify, teams must win a state championship with at least 25 teams or a competition of 50 teams or win one of the premiere barbecue competitions in the U.S.—Memphis in May, American Royal Open or Houston World’s Championship Bar-B-Que—which qualifies a team for an automatic berth. At The Jack™, each team competes in seven categories – Pork Ribs, Pork Shoulder/Butts, Beef Brisket, Chicken, Dessert, Cook’s Choice, and Jack Daniel’s Sauce.


“Every year, it’s exciting for me to see each team’s passion and dedication at the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue,” said Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller Chris Fletcher.  “We want to congratulate Heavy Smoke BBQ on winning the title of Grand Champion—that’s an incredible feat.” 


Good Googly Goo BBQ of Mitchellville, MD, was named the Reserve Grand Champion, taking home the second-place cash prize of $10,000.