Prototype #3 of the TNT gravity feed smoker The Southern Q Story

Competition BBQ cooks want state of the art equipment they can customize to meet their specifications. They also need reasonable prices and quick delivery. Southern Q is a company that was created to meet these demands - Pro BBQ people building gear that is proven to perform in the challenging world of competition cooking. From a single prototype Tim Thomas built for his own use, Southern Q has grown into a full time business serving the BBQ community by building the custom smokers and trailers that have become the signature rigs of the professional circuit.

Some of the highest accolades in BBQ have been won with Southern Q Smokers, and many of the top ranked teams have chosen the competitive edge that a custom competition BBQ trailer affords the serious cook. Take a look at the results at your next event and odds are you will see more than a few calls going to teams that cook on Southern Q.

Scott Smith Southern Q founders Tim Thomas and Scott Smith

In 2009, Scott Smith moved from cooking in his own backyard to backyard cook-offs. He quickly caught the BBQ obsession and turned Pro in 2010. A proponent of cooking hot and fast, Scott tried a variety of the smokers on the market before designing and building his own water smoker. After many revisions and refinements, a trailer mounted version of what has become the 500 Series, has become his favored competition setup.

Scott works full time at Southern Q and competes somewhere around the country nearly every weekend. Pursuing an aggressive contest schedule all over the SouthEast, Scott's Que'n Stew'n & Brew'n team has racked up an impressive list of Grand Championships and collected a growing number of perfect score pins.

Once Southern Q smoker designs had been proven on the circuit, Scott turned his attention to the second most important piece of equipment in the BBQ Team's arsenal - the cook trailer. At this time no one was focusing on purpose-built trailers specifically for competition cooks. Each team came up with their own solution either by modifying stock RV or cargo trailers or building a custom unit from scratch. Scott formed a partnership with Freedom Trailers and worked to create what has become the pinnacle of rigs for BBQ competitors - the mobile kitchen porch trailer. Once cook teams could see the practical design, quality workmanship and competitive advantage the new Southern Q BBQ trailers offered, they started flying of the lot as fast as Scott could build them. On more than one occasion, Scott has driven home from a contest without a trailer because a cook at the event decided they had to have his rig now, and bought it out from under him, lock stock and smoker!

Tim Thomas

Around 2006, Tim Thomas started out in competition BBQ the way most teams do - he entered a local amateur event near his home. A welder by trade, it was only natural that built the smokers he used himself. Originally these were typical old-school offset smokers made of old propane tanks. But over time, Tim saw that many Pro teams were using different types of cookers specialized for competition cooking. A new insulated design that incorporated a gravity feed charcoal chute was gaining popularity, and Tim believed he could build a better version at a more affordable price.

After several prototypes and many enhancements to the design, Tim's cooker was ready for the competition circuit. As TNT Southern Bar-B-Q, Tim and his new smoker entered KCBS contests in Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee, winning his first Grand Championship in Covington GA in 2010.

Tim has moved on and is no longer involved in the daily operations of Southern Q, but his legacy lives on in the Limo series of gravity feed smokers that still incorporate many of the design features proven in the original "TNT" model.


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