two men and two women posing for photo under tent

Pitmaster Christie Vanover, the woman behind, has been competing in the sport of food since 2012, including three bouts at the World Food Championships. In 2016, she formed her Las Vegas-based KCBS team Girls Can Grill.

Her husband, David is the logistics guru who helps with setup and tear down, ensuring everything is just right for a smooth flow of operations. Pops AKA Jimbo is the man who taught Christie how to cook. He is her sous chef who helps at the pits. Lin is the master box builder who also serves up the crowds with David during peoples’ choice events. Christie often invites other women and girls to help out the team, so they can experience a taste of competitive BBQ.

woman in black holding box of chicken thighsChristie’s approach to starting a team was a little different than most. She understood right away that competitive BBQ is different than backyard BBQ, so she became a KCBS certified judge to learn exactly what the judges would be looking for when she turned in her boxes. One of the most valuable things that has given Team Girls Can Grill an edge over other new teams is attending barbecue classes from winning pitmasters. Those teams have seen it all, and they’re willing to share their mistakes and successful tips.

Team Girls Can Grill is an active member of the Nevada Barbecue Association. This organization is very supportive of its teams. It even hosts an annual spring training for its members that allows cooks to get instant feedback from the judges.

Team Girls Can Grill’s proudest moments are when they had their name called in their first sanctioned competition and when they placed 4th in chicken on Fremont Street, beating out some of the nation’s top 10 teams.


Show Low – May 2019
12th Pork

Smokey Hayes – March 2019
7th Ribs
2nd Pork
4th Overall

Slab-O-Rama– January 2019
1st Chicken

Downtown Throwdown – December 2018
8th Ribs

Viola’s Rib Cookoff – November 2018
Grand Champion

Mazatzal Grill Masters BBQ Competition – September 2018
6th Pork

Southern Utah BBQ Festival – May 2018
10th Ribs
7th Pork
4th Brisket
8th Overall

woman in black jacket and hat holding trophyNevada Barbecue Association Spring Training – February 2018
Grand Champion
5th Chicken
2nd Ribs
1st Pork
3rd Brisket

Downtown Throw Down – December 2017
4th Chicken
11th Pork

Pigs 4 the Kids – September 2017
5th Beans
2nd Hog Wild
4th Ribs
4th Overall

Best Dam BBQ – May 2017
12th Brisket

Thrill of the Grill – November 2016
1st Chicken
3rd Steak
4th Overall


(subject to change)

8/3/19 Vista Barbecue Classic, Vista, CA

8/17/19 Western Legends Roundup, Kanab, UT

8/24/19 Wild West BBQ Shootout, West Wendover, NV

9/28/19 Mazatzal Grill Masters – BBQ Competition, Payson, AZ


wooden barrel head

When Christie isn’t cooking in a local competition, she’s judging it as a KCBS Certified Barbeque Judge. One day, she hopes to become a Master Certified Barbeque Judge.

In 2017 and 2018, she judged the coveted Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational Barbecue in Lynchburg, TN, where around 100 teams competed for the title of Grand Champion. In 2019, she’ll be returning to the Jack and judging the American Royal.


Thank you to our sponsors who help make this dream team possible.

If you’re interested in sponsoring Team Girls Can Grill, please contact us.