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How does a backyard cook go from weekend griller to award-winning pit master with three successful barbecue joints, and counting? Equal parts creativity and boundary pushing with just a dash of dumb luck, according to Canton resident and Bub-Ba-Q owner William “Bubba” Latimer.

Since 2004, Latimer, his wife Shannon (and the couple’s extended Bub-Ba-Q family) have been kicking butt and taking names as they open new locations, appear on Food Network and Discovery channel programs, and clean up at competitions—even landing one of only a handful of spots at the 2013 Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue.

The secret sauce to Latimer’s wings isn’t really a sauce at all. “Everybody in the world has wings,” he said. “And we all start with the same thing.” From there, though, everything changes at Bub-Ba-Q, where they begin with their signature rub before letting the wings rest for up to 48 hours. Then it’s on to the smoker with some white oak before frying to order.

The result? Tender, fall-off-the-bone goodness that will have you coming back for more. We tried the Hot & Sweet wing, a succulent blend of smoky infusion, crispy, slightly charred skin with a house made sauce that has just the right amount of zing. Other flavors include Mild, Medium, Hot, Mustard and Sweet, and we can’t wait to go back and sample them all!

Find them at 10020 GA 92 in Woodstock or online at

Additional locations in Jasper and Savannah.

*Originally published in the July 2014 issue of Cherokee Life Magazine.