by: Chrystal Blair, Ozarks First

A restaurant owner in Branson is being called the world’s number one barbecue cook.

His restaurant is called “Gettin Basted” — and this number one cook was given that honor by the Kansas City Barbecue Society, the Oscars of barbecue. ‘Gettin Basted’ is located in Branson off the 76 Strip, next to the old Baldnobbers.

Owner, former college football player Brad Leighninger, says he’s been in 50 barbecue competitions this year, with one more to go. He shared the technique that he says makes him a stand-out.

“You always here low and slow, low and slow…we don’t do that. We cook hot and fast. We get everything done in about a 3rd of the time as everyone else…and I think that turns out a superior product..and that’s what we do at the restaurants, do at the competition circuit..and it’s definitely the new thing in barbecue now,” said Leighninger.

So, how does a college football player go from competing on the grid to the grill?

“You eat a lot and you cook a lot ..and you get out of shape..and then you realize you still want to compete,” Leighninger joked.

It all started back in 2012, when Leighninger’s friend dropped out of the “Rockin Ribs” competition in Springfield and asked him to step in. Leighninger and his brother-in-law went in together.

“And we ended up doing really well. We won $1000 and a trip to Las Vegas, by cooking potato salad of all things. It wasn’t even a barbecue. It was potato salad,” Leighninger said, “Then in the meat categories, we did really well. We ended up finishing 7th overall, out of about 70 or 80 teams that day.. and for better or worse..we were pretty much sucked in at that point.”

We asked “Gettin Basted” manager Sterling McGregor, what was the best part of his job.

“The food, by far. Get to snack on it all day long. I mean pay for it all day long.. of course,” said McGregor.

It was Branson visitor Corbin Marcotte’s first time “Gettin Basted.” He says the restaurant was suggested by his trusted uncle.

“We’ll see how it is, I’ll judge my number one..you know,” Marcotte said before trying his food.

“Muy Delicioso,” he said after the first bite.

Leighninger has one more competition to go before the year is out.

He’s currently ranked at number one, with just one point ahead of second place.

Click here for video story from Ozarks First.