These are the 2023 Houston Rodeo Barbecue Competition Winners

Jasper County Go Texan 2023 Houston Rodeo barbecue

When 250 different barbecue teams are competing, as was the case this year at the 2023 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest, only a very small percentage can emerge as winners. That makes walking away with a trophy even more impressive. This year, just under two-dozen teams got a little something extra to take home, and we’re not talking about meaty leftovers. 

The competition ran from Thursday, February 23 through Saturday, February 25, and it wasn’t just adults going for a trophy. This was also the third year of the junior cook-off, which challenged young people from ages 8 to 14 to prepare the best steak possible. Factors ranked were tenderness, taste and appearance/presentation. 

World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Winners 

McLennan County Go Texan at World's Championship Bar-B-Que.
McLennan County Go Texan scored the Reserve Champion awards both overall and in the Go Texan invitation categories. Photo by Barchfeld Photography.


(Also the winners for the special Go Texan invitational awards.)

  • Grand Champion: Jasper County Go Texan
  • Reserve Champion: McLennan County Go Texan 


  • Champion: Always Able But Confused Cookers 
  • Second Place: San Augustine County Go Texan 
  • Third Place: Metro Go Texan 1/BJ’s Blue Smoke BBQ 


  • Champion: Hardin County Go Texan 
  • Second Place: Metro Go Texan 5/The Worms BBQ Team 
  • Third Place: Rancho Cerveza 


  • Champion: Guzzlin’ Gourmets 
  • Second Place: The Star of Texas Cooking Team 
  • Third Place: Paloma Blanca

Dutch Oven Dessert 

  • Champion: Orange County Go Texan: TX Ooey Gooey Pecan Cheesecake 
  • Second Place: Hardin County Go Texan: Pecan Pie Cheesecake 
  • Third Place: Shelby County Go Texan: Nana’s German Chocolate Cake 

Open Contest 

  • Champion: Lonesome Dove Cookers: Turf and Surf 
  • Second Place: Half Fast Cookers: Surf and Turf 
  • Third Place: Ritch’s Raiders: Shrimp Grits 

Jr. Cook-off 

  • Champion: Brodie Daniel, Metro Go Texan 1/BJ’s Blue Smoke BBQ 
  • Second Place: Karley Aleksines, Williamson County 
  • Third Place: Braxton Kolojaco, Justice Road 

Specialty Awards 

  • Best Façade: Limestone County 
  • Best Overall Theme: Saddle Tramps 
  • Best Skit: BOHICA 

The barbecue cookoff always functions as one of the most popular lead-up events to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, which starts this year on Tuesday, February 28 and ends on Sunday, March 19. To keep up with all the shows, features and activities, visit the Rodeo Houston website

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