Our Story

Dead Bird BBQ

After returning home from a military deployment to Afghanistan and in search of something to help occupy his busy mind, Will Collier began researching the world of competitive BBQ. One of his longtime friends invited him to come hang out at a Kansas City BBQ Society (KCBS) sanctioned competition and the fast-paced environment was exactly what he was searching for. The experience triggered Will’s passion for competitive cooking and drive to become the best. Will became dedicated to becoming a successful competition cook and started his journey by entering local contests. Although he was cooking on borrowed smokers, Will began finding success at the backyard competition level. He realized very quickly that he desired help and wanted to create a team to begin competing professionally. He reached out to childhood friend James Gordon and invited him to become the 2nd member of the team. At the beginning of 2016, Will bought his first smoker from a pawn shop and entered a competition under the team name Pit Lickers BBQ. At that competition, while showing his recently acquired smoker off to another competitor, he opened up the pit and found a dead bird inside! The bird had flown down the smokestack and couldn’t get back out, from that point on, the team became known as Dead Bird BBQ. Will decided to round out the team by inviting his loving wife Shawna, and Adam Cole, his roommate from their deployment to Afghanistan, to join. Dead Bird BBQ cooked their very first competition as a team in October of 2016.


DB180 Rubs

In 2017, Dead Bird BBQ began their first season competing professionally on the KCBS circuit. After multiple failed attempts at attracting a sponsorship from the makers of the rubs Will was using, he began working diligently on developing his own line of rubs to use at KCBS competitions. After dozens of trial and error batches, he finally created a line of rubs that met his high standard of approval. He began using his own rubs at KCBS competitions during the 2018 season. After receiving a perfect score of 180 at 3 different competitions during that first year, Will decided to share a sample of his rubs with another team. The only other team to use his rubs at a KCBS competition received their first ever 1st place pork call, and finished as Reserve Grand Champions at the contest. The positive results drove the desire for Will to bottle his recipes for all to use. Will gave the fitting name of DB180 (Dead Bird + 180 = perfect score in BBQ) to his line of rubs and began the process of making them commercially available. Using the entire line of DB180 rubs, Dead Bird BBQ became one of the most successful new teams in the nation. In only their 3rd season competing, Dead Bird BBQ finished ranked 2nd in the State of Oklahoma by the Oklahoma BBQ Society and 3rd Overall in the nation in the 10 or less competitions category by KCBS. 2019 marked the first year Will started using DB180 rubs on the Steak Cookoff Association (SCA) competition circuit. The combination of DB180 Steak & Beef and DB180 All Purpose help land Will the 2020 Oklahoma SCA State Championship and has helped dozens of cooks secure their Golden Tickets to the SCA World Championship. With the full commercial launch of the DB180 line of products, and the large number of retailers carrying the DB180 line of premium rubs nationwide, Will has made the exact seasonings he uses in all of his competition recipes available to you!