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Heath Riles BBQ triumphs as 2024 Memphis in May rib champion with Prairie Fresh USA Prime® backribs

May 23, 2024

MEMPHIS, TENN. — For the second time in three years, Heath Riles BBQ has emerged victorious as the 2024 Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest Rib Champion on May 18. The secret behind their success? Heath Riles’ signature rubs and sauces paired with Prairie Fresh USA Prime® backribs.

Heath Riles, the head pitmaster of the Heath Riles BBQ team from Olive Branch, Miss., openly expresses his fondness for Prairie Fresh® pork.

“It’s no secret that I love Prairie Fresh,” says Riles. “Whether on the competition circuit or the backyard grill, Prairie Fresh is my pork of choice. Their high-quality meat consistently delivers exceptional flavor.”

Riles’ barbecue journey began at 18 years old when he joined a competition barbecue team in Ashland, Miss. Over time, he honed his expertise in competitive barbecue and grilling, creating an award-winning line of barbecue rubs and sauces that have captured the hearts of barbecue enthusiasts worldwide.

The secret to Riles’ success lies in the harmonious blend of his seasonings that enhance rather than overpower the inherent flavors of Prairie Fresh USA Prime pork.

“I am always inspired to taste what the pitmasters cook up during competition, and when I tasted Heath’s ribs, I said to myself that’s what a world champion rib tastes like,” said David Eaheart, senior director of communications at Prairie Fresh.  “Barbecue is both an experience and a culture, and Prairie Fresh is proud to support so many pitmasters who embody the best of what that culture can offer, namely camaraderie, inspiration and high-quality food.”

Since 2022, Prairie Fresh USA Prime backribs have dominated the Memphis in May Rib Championship, with Riles securing victories in both 2024 and 2022. The Ribdiculous Bar-B-Krewe competition team, led by pitmasters Shane McBride and John David Wheeler, also clinched the rib championship and overall world championship at Memphis in May in 2023 with Prairie Fresh USA Prime backribs.

Riles is part of an elite roster of championship pitmasters who rely on Prairie Fresh pork products. Among them are Brad Orrison and Brooke Orrison Lewis of The Shed BBQ, Ocean Springs, Miss., reigning Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest Grand Champions. Additionally, Uncle Pig’s Pit Barbeque, a Prairie Fresh Pit Crew team from Paulsboro, N.J., claimed the 2023 Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue Grand Championship, while Prairie Fresh Pit Crew Team Janky Leg BBQ from Benton, Ill., holds the title of 2023 American Royal World Series of Barbecue® Grand Champions.

About Heath Riles BBQ

Heath has been grilling since he was 18 years old when he participated on a competition BBQ team in Ashland, Miss. Since then, he’s established himself as an industry-leading expert in both competition barbecue and grilling. The title of pitmaster doesn’t quite sum up everything Heath has cooking. He is also the creator of an award-winning line of barbecue rubs, sauces, marinades and injections that make the jaws of even the biggest barbecue skeptics drop. Over the years, Heath has been recognized by the Memphis BBQ Network, the Kansas City Barbeque Society, and the Steak Cook-Off Association for mastering various cooking styles. While he was busy becoming a barbecue legend, he also managed to rack up 70+ championships, multiple perfect scores, and other outstanding awards in various competitions. For more information, visit HeathRilesBBQ.com.

About Prairie Fresh

Prairie Fresh is the brand of a uniquely connected food system relentlessly seeking a better way to produce wholesome pork by purposely connecting every step between its farms in the Midwest and Great Plains and family tables around the world. Prairie Fresh pork is produced, sold and marketed by Seaboard Foods. To support competition barbecue, the Prairie Fresh Pit Crew Honor Roll recognizes competition teams that win with Prairie Fresh pork products.  For more information, visit prairiefresh.com or follow on Facebook and Instagram @prairiefresh.


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David Eaheart, APR