An all-new season of Destination America’s popular BBQ Pitmasters premieres tonight, after an all-day marathon of previous episodes.
The new season of BBQ Pitmasters is taking fans across the country to the best barbecue competitions where each saucy bite puts reputations, respect and thousands of dollars on the line. A new twist this season showcases a fierce competition among the best in regional barbecue – from Atlanta, GA to Nashville, TN, Kansas City, MO to Charlotte, NC. Each city hosts three of the most hard-core barbecue grillers in that area as they compete for supreme barbecue bragging rights. Also, the line-up of judges returns with Myron Mixon, Tuffy Stone and Aaron Franklin deciding the competitors’ fates by blind-tasting the grilled creations to determine who is worthy of being crowned the ultimate Pitmaster in their region.
The BBQ Pitmasters Judges:
- Myron Mixon: As a three-time world barbecue champion, Myron Mixon is the winningest man in all of barbecue. He is the chief cook of the Jack's Old South Bar-B-Que Team and a New York Times bestselling cookbook author. Since his first competition in 1996, Myron has won more than 180 grand championships and has built a barbecue brand with his own line of sauces, seasons, and custom-built smokers.
- Tuffy Stone: Classically trained French chef and former Marine, Tuffy Stone, aka “The Professor,” began researching slow cooking barbecue methods and in 2004, the Cool Smoke Team was born. Since then, Cool Smoke has won 30 grand championships in large part due to Tuffy’s unique obsession with the physics and science of wood, smoke, spices, and molecular composition of meat to the point at which he creates barbecue perfection.
- Aaron Franklin: At the encouragement of friends, Aaron Franklin began barbecuing his brisket out of a trailer on an East Austin parking lot in late 2009. He and his wife debuted Franklin BBQ to rave reviews from patrons and press alike, with Bon Appetit even hailing their barbecue as the best in America. The Franklins have since outgrown their trailer, but Franklin BBQ’s line is as long as ever, and the restaurant has sold out of brisket every day of its existence.
“Barbecue is an entire culture unto itself and a full-blown year-round competitive sport featuring a cut-throat world of high-stakes events,” said Marc Etkind, SVP of Content Strategy for Destination America. “During this season of football and tailgating, we thought it was a perfect time to bring back BBQ PITMASTERS – the greatest of all competitions -- a tournament of smoke and meat!”
In the premiere episode, viewers are invited to the Bedford Blues & BBQ Festival in Texas to see the three contenders -- Ernest Servantes (owner/pitmaster of Burnt Bean Co.), Harold “Buzzie” Hughes (owner/pitmaster of Buzzie’s BBQ), and Will Fleischman (pitmaster of Lockharts Smokehouse)—hit the smokers to fire up Texas specialties—brisket and cowboy steak. Will Servantes, winner of 100 BBQ trophies, prove to be worth his sauce? Could Wisconsin native and Julia Child fan Fleishman show them how it’s done? Or will Buzzie’s BBQ burn the competition?
Also whetting BBQ fans’ appetites, immediately following the premiere, BBQ Pitmasters judges Myron Mixon and Tuffy Stone will go head-to-head in the Ultimate Barbeque Showdown special which pits master class BBQ chefs against one another. Myron and Tuffy can talk the talk but will one of them be the master of the grill in this culinary shootout? Other high level competitors include Neil “Bigmista” Strawder, and Bubba Latimar. The judging line-up for this special, premiering Sunday, December 16 at 10 p.m. E/P, includes BBQ legend Chris Lilly of Big Bob Gibson, Ray “Dr. BBQ” Lampe and Mike Lake of Rock River BBQ Team.
BBQ Pitmasters premieres tonight, Sunday, December 16, on Destination America at 9 p.m. E/P.
Image: Destination America
Video: Destination America/YouTube