Rio Valley Meat BBQ Takes Home Grand Champion Title at 40th American Royal World Series of Barbecue Open Competition

SMITHFIELD, Va. – Smithfield® congratulates pitmaster partner Fred Robles and the Rio Valley Meat BBQ team on taking home the Grand Champion title at the 40th American Royal World Series of Barbecue® Open Competition, beating out 467 other competing teams. This exciting win marks the first Grand Champion title for Rio Valley Meat BBQ and their third appearance at the world’s largest and most prestigious barbecue competition. In addition to this impressive win, Smithfield congratulates Committed Cooks teams, Mudville BBQ and Gettin’ Basted, on taking home the Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion titles, respectively, for the Invitational Competition.

“The American Royal is one of the most challenging barbecue competitions, and it’s truly an honor to take home the top prize when you’re surrounded by some of the best pitmasters and teams on the competition circuit,” said Fred Robles. “To win World Championships, you need quality and consistency – and that’s why we compete with Smithfield Fresh Pork. Whether you’re a veteran pitmaster or your family’s designated grillmaster, you can trust that you’re getting the best with every package.”

As a proud sponsor of the American Royal, Smithfield commends several Championship pitmasters and Committed Cooks teams on placing in the top 10 across several competition categories, including:

  • All Forked Up for Q placed sixth in Brisket (Open)
  • Angry Jack BBQ placed third in Pork Ribs (Open)
  • Gettin’ Basted placed seventh in Pork Ribs (Open) and fourth in Brisket (Invitational)  
  • HamTown Smokers placed third in Brisket (Open) and fifth in Chicken (Invitational)
  • Mudville BBQ placed tenth in Chicken (Invitational)
  • Oklahoma Joe’s Serious Que placed fourth Overall (Open)
  • pitmasterIQ BBQ placed third in Brisket (Invitational)
  • Redneck Scientific placed fourth in Brisket (Open)
  • Rio Valley Meat BBQ placed eighth in Chicken (Open)
  • Shake ‘n Bake BBQ placed second in Chicken (Open)
  • Smoke N Babes BBQ placed second in Pork Ribs (Open)
  • Smoke This BBQ-MO placed first in Chicken (Invitational)
  • Smokin’ Aces placed seventh in Pork (Invitational)
  • T-N-T Que Crew placed third Overall (Invitational), ninth in Pork (Invitational), and second in Brisket (Invitational)
  • Team Brew and Que placed seventh in Chicken (Open)
  • Texas-Car-B-Que placed third in Pork (Open) and, seventh Overall (Invitational), and tenth in Pork Ribs (Invitational)
  • Timbone Barbecue placed eighth in Chicken (Invitational)
  • Wolf’s Revenge BBQ placed third in Pork (Invitational)

“We’re so proud of these accomplished pitmasters winning with high-quality Smithfield Fresh Pork,” said Tim Zimmer, chief marketing officer for Smithfield Foods. “Congratulations to all of this year’s winners – we thank you for representing us at one of the most distinguished competitions and for continuing to share our commitment and passion for barbecue!”

For the full list of winners from the 40th American Royal World Series of Barbecue, visit  For more information on the Smokin’ With Smithfield Committed Cooks and Grant programs, as well as the upcoming National Barbecue Championship, please visit

About Smithfield

A leading provider of high-quality pork products, Smithfield was founded in 1936 in Smithfield, Virginia, establishing the town as the “Ham Capital of the World.” From hand-trimmed bacon and slow-smoked holiday hams to marinated tenderloins, Smithfield brings artistry, authenticity and a commitment to heritage, flavor, and handcrafted excellence to everything it produces. With a vast product portfolio including smoked meats, hams, bacon, sausage, ribs, and a wide variety of fresh pork cuts, the company services retail, foodservice, and deli channels across the United States and 30 countries abroad. All of Smithfield’s products meet the highest quality and safety standards in the industry. To learn more about how Flavor Hails from Smithfield, please visit, and Smithfield is a brand of Smithfield Foods.

About Smithfield Foods

Smithfield Foods is a $15 billion global food company and the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories. Popular brands include Smithfield®, Eckrich®, Nathan’s Famous®, Farmland®, Armour®, Farmer John®, Kretschmar®, John Morrell®, Cook’s®, Gwaltney®, Carando®, Margherita®, Curly’s®, Healthy Ones®, Morliny®, Krakus®, and Berlinki®. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental and food safety and quality programs. For more information, visit, and connect with us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Instagram.