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In 2007 after I lost my dad, I wanted to find a new hobby. Drag racing just was not fun anymore without my teammate. So, I decided to try smoking meats. Traci and the kids bought me a cheap offset smoker from our local department store. This was the time the BBQ shows were becoming popular. I thought you know, I got this. The very first brisket was a disaster! I knew nothing about trimming and seasoning. It was a twenty-pound brick. With determination I was not going to fail. Thanks to the internet I got to learning. For about a year I tried this-n-that until I made it my own. Soon I started making some decent Q. Then I was persuaded to enter a contest. I finished dead last in every category. Being the competitive person I am, I was not going to give up. Practice, practice, and more practice.  

September 2013, I wanted to enter my first professional BBQ contest. This was at the Cherokee Strip Cookoff in Ponca City, Oklahoma, my hometown. Having no idea what we were doing we managed an 8th place finish in ribs out of 32 teams. A lot of these were the best cooks in the country. Since then, Traci and I have competed in a lot of contests over the years and have made a tremendous number of friends. Some you may have seen on BBQ Pitmasters. In 2016 we won Pork Team of the Year in the South-Central Kansas BBQ Society. We have won numerous awards for our BBQ and a few Grand Championships. 

In 2016 we decided to sell our BBQ and sides on the weekends after we purchased a new BBQ trailer. In 2017 Traci and I gave up our corporate jobs to sell full-time out of our trailer. After two and a half years we decided to move into a building located in downtown Wellington, Kansas. November 14th, 2019, we opened the door to our restaurant and have not looked back. It has been a great adventure as we continue to grow. 

“We Might Not Be Travelin’, But Our Smoke Does” 

Livin’ The BBQ Dream

Billy Soles
Owner/Pit Master
Travelin’ Smoke BBQ