Up in Michigan there’s a smoked meat outfit called Lockhart BBQ where pit boss Steve “Bubba” Coddington plies his trade. (ed note: barbecue newcomers now use the word “pitmaster” to describe any person who’s ever so much as grilled a hamburger on a Weber grill, we’ll stick with the pit boss appellation.)

That’s a far piece from Lockhart, Texas but as branding goes you could do a lot worse than invoking a Texas legend to help get the meat out the door. At last month’s National BBQ Association Conference and Trade Show in San Marcos, Texas Coddington bested Tuffy Stone, winner of the 2013 American Royal Invitational and the Jack Daniels BBQ World Championship; Chris Lily, World Champion Pitmaster for Big Bob Gibson, and Mark Lambert, World Champion Pitmaster and 2013 Memphis in May Grand Champion to take home the prize.

That’s a list chock-full of heavyweights.

Michigan is not known for world beating barbecue but this award may help shine the national spotlight on their scene-what there is of it.

Congratulations Bubba.

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