BBQ Pitmasters on TLC

Last week our BBQ pitmasters took us along with them to the Riverfest Barbecue Cookoff, a standard KCBS contest in Decatur, Alabama.

Decatur is the home of Bib Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q, where the undisputed pork king of Memphis In May (now MBN), Chris Lilly, is the pitmaster. Not only is Chris a tremendous restauranteur and talent on the BBQ circuit, but he is also the author of Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book.

Early in the episode, Chris treats the competitors to a grand BBQ feast at his restaurant. Of course, our man in black, Myron, couldn't pass up the opportunity to throw cold water on the occasion with his now-familiar wit, charm and humility.

I was very pleased that this episode welcomed Tuffy Stone back to the action. He used the contest as the opportunity to try an untested brisket recipe. Of course, this is a dangerous proposition that is generally regarded as too risky for competition -- especially a $19K competition.

I, like Tuffy, have bucked the traditional wisdom on occasion and have been rewarded for it. I also appreciate Tuffy's use of spreadsheets to develop a well-formulated plan. Laugh all you want, but I do the same thing, and it's indispensable.

This was my favorite episode so far. It seemed to strike the perfect balance of personality and competition cooking skills. The results truly show what can and does happen on any given weekend.

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