RIP - The BBQ General - Wiley McCrary

Dear BBQ Friend:

I’m sorry to say, Wiley McCrary has passed away and gone to BBQ heaven. He was a long time caterer up in Atlanta, champion BBQ competitor, and owner of Wiley’s Championship BBQ restaurant in Savannah. Wiley’s restaurant is one of the best in the whole Country.

It’s people like Wiley who pioneered the whole BBQ competition scene. They did it back then for the love of BBQ.

Have you ever met a guy that eats, drinks, and sleeps BBQ? Wiley McCrary, AKA The BBQ General, was one of those people. He truly had BBQ sauce running through his veins.

I remember when he told me about one of his early BBQ Competitions... they sat there during the awards ceremony. They called chicken - no walks. Same with ribs, pork, and brisket. They thought they might as well go home and they almost did. Then came the overall awards - no call there either. Then the Grand Champion was about to be announced. Wiley didn’t think he had a chance. But, low and behold, they called out his team name! They won grand! He couldn’t believe it!

It’s was right then and there he learned a valuable lesson in BBQ competitions... consistency. i.e. you have to be good in all four categories to win grands. Turns out he finished right outside the top 10 in all four categories but it was good enough to win grand.

Think of Wiley next time to BBQ! If you ever asked him if he cooked the same way at his restaurant as he did in competitions, he always said he only knew of one way to cook BBQ - Like a Champion!

Here’s his obituary if you want to read it... Wiley McCrary

Have you found joy in your life? Has your life brought joy to others? - Carter Chambers in The Bucket List (This quote is a prologue to Wiley's cookbook and is written in chalk at Wiley's restaurant).


Bill Anderson