Tupelo BBQ Duel Testimonials, Awards, & Honors

September 20, 2013 – Mississippi Main Street Association honors the Tupelo BBQ Duel with the award for Best Culinary Arts Event.

2012 Tupelo’s Best Special Event

2012 BBQ Pit Masters filmed it’s season 3 premier

2016 USA Today Reader’s Choice Best Festival Tupelo BBQ Duel ranked 4th in the nation.




The Tupelo BBQ Duel is a very well run KCBS competition.  The organizers and staff work hard to make it run smoothly and the quality of competitors is unmatched.

Barry Spencer, Sultans of Smoke BBQ Team





cap_6597We are thrilled to have this caliber of contest in our back yard.  We compete in several events all over the South and have found the Tupelo contest to be one of the best organized and best all around.  We appreciate the opportunity to compete this close to home and have our family and friends attend and enjoy the festivities.  Thanks again for organizing a great contest…

Ronald Burns, Hotty Totty BBQ Crew, 2013 1st Place Chicken




One of my new favorite BBQ contests is the Don’t Be Cruel BBQ Duel in Tupelo, Ms. It’s a great time of year to cook BBQ in testimonal2012Mississippi because the weather is perfect. The staff and all the volunteers are friendly and on top of everything. Everyone in the town is happy to welcome you there. And even though it’s one of the biggest contests in the area, they go above and beyond to roll out the red carpet for every team. This is one of the most well-run contests I’ve ever been to. Plus… the payout is outstanding. I can’t wait to get my Elvis glasses and head to Tupelo next year!”

Malcom Reed




McFrankenbooOur team, McFrankenboo BBQ, is all about the Irish and we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at every barbeque competition! We didn’t even have to pretend for this one, as it was actually on St. Patty’s Day! We cannot say enough about this event. The volunteers and staff were so attentive throughout the weekend, from load in to load out, there was never a moment of confusion or a feeling of despair as a competitor. Anything we needed was brought right to us or we were directed to where it was. The grounds were beautiful and spread out so we weren’t right on top of each other and everyone was so friendly. Apparently the luck of the Irish was with us because we took 1st place in Pork with a Perfect Score and got to take home one of the coolest trophies, which now proudly sits on our mantle. We even spent the evening in Tupelo, enjoying some of it’s culture. It was only a 6 hour drive from St. Louis and it was well worth it!! Bev Crossen and her team were top notch and produced an event of the same caliber!
McFrankenboo BBQ


upinsmokeThe Don’t Be Cruel BBQ Duel was one of the most well thought-out and professionally run contests that Pit Bulls “Up In Smoke” Professional BBQ Team has had the honor to be a part of. The volunteer staff saw to our every need, were gracious in their handling of the teams, and went above and beyond to ensure our comfort and needs were met. What truly impressed not just my team, but many others, was the fact that the city took the time to have police escorts help us into the location for set up. Some contests are not so easy from that respect. It was a seamless event with much to do for the general public and all the participating BBQ teams. We truly had a feeling of welcome, warmth, and true southern hospitality in Tupelo…  We sincerely thank all the coordinators, the City of Tupelo, the sponsors, and the volunteers who made this a memorable event for all.
Best Regards,
Danny & Rebecca Coogle





I thought the Don’t Be Cruel BBQ duel was a first class event.  The support from the community, the venue, and the organization made it a competition that we will be excited to return to year after year.

Frank Hodges