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Operation BBQ Relief

Tornados, Hurricanes, Floods and Wildfires wreak havoc on people’s lives. On May 22, 2011, Joplin, Missouri was hit with a catastrophic tornado that killed 161 people. Damage of this most costly tornado in U. S. history was over $2.8 billion. Among the first responders was a group of barbecue pitmasters and competition BBQ cooks who worked together to feed the victims and other first responders. Operation BBQ Relief was born.

The Story

A band of barbecue brothers saw the need to form an organization to be able to serve hot barbecue meals after devastating events in the future and named the organization Operation BBQ Relief (OBR). Shortly thereafter, the group knew that they would need more BBQ cooking equipment to handle these mass feedings and contacted Ole Hickory Pits. Ole Hickory Pits responded to their request for help by donating a large BBQ Pit mounted on a trailer.

Since then, Ole Hickory Pits has added numerous pits to OBR’s fleet of mobile BBQ Pits. We are so very proud of all of the thousands of BBQ Hero Volunteers and leaders that have since that time served over 3,000,000 hot BBQ meals to other victims in many locations throughout the United States. Most recently, OBR had its first deployment feeding victims of the hurricane that devastated the Bahamas, outside of the U.S. continent.

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The Player's Tailgate 2017

Guy Fieri's Super Bowl party has been voted the number 1 rated pregame experience for several years running where he cooks with OBR. This video is from February 5, 2017 in Houston, TX at Super Bowl LI.

American Royal 2014

Ole Hickory Pits has been helping Operation BBQ Relief for many years as seen from this photo taken in October, 2014.



Days Deployed


Baby Back Ribs

Meals Served


Boston Butt

Communities Served


OBR Deployments

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