Leawood man named Grand Champion on BBQ Pitmasters, wins $50,000

LEAWOOD, Kan. - A Leawood man has been named a national barbecue champion.

Rod Gray won $50,000 and the title of BBQ Pitmaster Grand Champion on the season finale of Destination America's "BBQ Pitmasters" Sunday night.

The final challenge was to cook a 135 pound pig. Gray said this was one of the hardest tasks of the season.

"They brought in brand new pits for us to use instead of our own," Gray said in a written statement. "That part was really difficult because it can take years to learn the intricacies of your pit, and we just had to figure it out."

Gray and his wife watched the finale at a party hosted by Oklahoma Joe's.

"There really aren't words to describe it," Gray said in the written statement. "It's an exclamation mark in my career, and my life. My wife and I are both thrilled."

You can meet Gray during a special meet-and-greet from 1-5 p.m. Friday at The Kansas City BBQ Store in Olathe, Kan.

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