A Trio of Texas Pitmasters Broke the World Record for Longest Barbecue Marathon

All of the resulting fajitas, tablitas, brisket, hamburgers, and more were donated to local frontline workers and charities.

Panther City BBQ in Fort Worth, Texas
Photo: Courtesy of Texas Monthly

Some Guinness World Records are more heavily contested than others: For instance, in the last two years, the record for M&M stacking has been broken three times as the viral success of each new record seemed to inspire more challengers. Other records seem a bit more ripe for the taking, like "Longest Barbecue Marathon (Team)." In 2017, a trio from Italy set a time of 40 hours and 53 seconds. To which Texas said, "Oh yeah, we can beat that."

From Wednesday, July 13 to Friday, July 15, three pitmasters from Panther City BBQ in Fort Worth worked the grill for 40 hours, 49 minutes, and 17 seconds, bringing this longest barbecue marathon record to one of America's BBQ capitals, Texas.

In an event organized by the magazine Texas Monthly and the official Texas tourism association Travel Texas, Chris Magallanes, Mark Montemayor, and Ernie Morales barbecued nonstop, amassing a sizeable collection of food. According to a spokesperson, 450 pounds of burger, 300 pounds each of taplitas and fajitas, and 100 pounds each of onions and peppers crossed the grill — all of which was donated to local frontline workers and charity including including the Fort Worth Police, Fort Worth Fire Department, and the Baylor Scott & White All Saints Medical Center.

Photos show that a Guinness World Records adjudicator was on-site to verify the record and award the team their certificate.

Panther City BBQ in Fort Worth, Texas
Courtesy of Texas Monthly

"I am still amazed we grilled for over 40 hours," Magallanes stated. "We are honored to break the record alongside such a great team and couldn't have done it without the support and excitement coming from everyone."

Beyond their willingness to face the challenge, Panther City BBQ got the nod after being included in Texas Monthly's 2021 Top BBQ Joints List thanks to notable dishes such as their pork belly poppers, brisket elote, and Nutter Butter cheesecake pudding.

Panther City BBQ in Fort Worth, Texas
Courtesy of Texas Monthly

"Stamina and patience are both required to be a successful pitmaster," Daniel Vaughn, BBQ editor for Texas Monthly, stated. "It was great to see both among the group at Panther City BBQ in their effort to break the five-year standing record and bring a barbecue world record to Texas where it belongs. What's more amazing is that they achieved it in the heat of a Texas July — congratulations to the team."

Meanwhile, Tim Fennell, director of tourism for Travel Texas, hoped the record would serve as a global reminder of the state's BBQ pedigree. "Texas is the epicenter of the BBQ world so it's only fitting that this record now resides here," he said. "It's a signal to travelers around the world to come to Texas for their own unique BBQ experience."

The event was part of Texas Monthly's "Summer of Smoke," a series of local events across Texas that will bring a taste of BBQ Fest to more corners of the state leading up to the publication's annual event in November in Lockhart, the BBQ Capital of Texas.

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