3rd Place Finish

Candy Sue Weaver

BBQR's Delight
Candy Sue Weaver
Final Score
KCBS Score
WFC Score

There are not very many lady pitmasters out there. I think it’s amazing that Cowboy Charcoal and Duraflame have embraced it and are giving us a platform.

Candy Sue Weaver is no stranger to barbeque. Before starting to compete herself in 2003, Weaver spent years contributing to the competitive barbeque realm through sponsorships and goodie-bag donations. Once she got her chance to test her skills out on a smoker, there was no turning back for this lady pitmaster from Pisgah Forest, N.C.

Throughout her barbecue journey, she has not only competed in hundreds of competitions, but she ran successfully for the board of directors for the Kansas City Barbeque Society, where she ultimately served as the first and only female president. Oh, by the way, she's earned many championship titles along the way, which according to Weaver is one of the best feelings out there.

"When you hit a big one, it's like there's air under your feet," explained Weaver.

Weaver describes herself as somewhat of an anomaly in the competitive barbeque world. Why? Unlike the majority of competitors on the pro circuit, Weaver prefers to go it alone. Although she had a mentor starting out, Weaver has been competing as a solo lady pitmaster since 2006.

"My mentor and I would travel together, but compete separately because I didn't like his flavors and he didn't like mine," joked Weaver. "That's the beauty of [barbeque]. It's so subjective."

In November Weaver headed to Orange Beach, Ala., to compete for the second time in the Cowboy Charcoal Fire & Ice Women's Barbeque Championship at the World Food Championships. Weaver qualified by finishing in the top ten of all female-led barbecue teams in the Kansas City Barbecue Society's competition circuit with her team BBQR's Delight. Weaver took part in a two-day challenge against nine other female pitmasters for the chance to win a share of the $25,000 prize package.

Weaver was excited to take part in a competition that strives to elevate lady pitmasters like herself.

"There are not very many lady pitmasters out there," said Weaver. "I think it's amazing that Cowboy Charcoal and Duraflame have embraced it and are giving us a platform."

During the first day of competition, the self-proclaimed soloist brought in a friend to assist her in the grilling challenge.

"My friend Kathy from Wild Bunch Butt Burners has an amazing sense of taste and was a great help," commented Weaver.

In the opening round, Weaver presented a beef tenderloin dish with crab bearnaise sauce with jumbo shrimp and paired with garlic mash potatoes. The judges found her dish as a standout, landing her in second place at the end of day one.

In the second and final round of competition, the pitmasters competed in a traditional barbecue competition with the contestants preparing the four standard KCBS meats over the course of several hours. Chicken, pork, ribs and beef brisket were each turned in a half hour apart and judged to determine an overall score. Weaver finished in the eighth position for this element, which secured her the third place prize overall.

Weaver went home with a $1,500 prize package including a gift certificate to Manning Jewelry in Foley, Ala. As excited as Weaver was to take home the prizes, she still has her eye set on being the best. There's no resting for this one-woman pit show, as she is already deep in preparation for the 2018 Fire & Ice Challenge.

"I've already figured out what I'm going to do next year. You never really stop," explained Weaver.