On December 3rd, the "BBQ Pitmasters" show kicked off on the TLC network. This reality based show follows designated BBQ competition teams as they participate in various sanctioned contests across the country.
I have watched the first 2 episodes of the show and have enjoyed it. I know that on various BBQ forums there has been a great deal of support for the show but also some concern as well. Like BBQ itself, everyone has a different flavor preference.
I think the BBQ world is very lucky to have an advocate like John Markus who can help promote our sport. He is providing a window into the competition world that many would never look through. I look for the show to bring more people into the competitive BBQ field. In fact, I was hooked several years ago by that first competitve BBQ show that Chris Lilly hosted on OLN.
I have also taken particular delight in watching Myron Mixon tease the audience with some of his techniques (especially the cupcake chicken.) Having recently attended his cook school at his house, it's been fun to see all the cooks on the forums trying to backwards engineer his chicken process as if they were some sort of Cold War era Soviet scientist.
The show conveys that BBQ is something everyone can do but not everyone can win. Working through your processes, techniques and flavor profiles to come up with a winning combination is difficult. Then couple that with the subjectivity of the judges, well, things get interesting and that means anything can or will happen at a contest. This is a lesson that Pablo Diablo found out in the first episode.