It’s Wildcard time as tomorrow’s BBQ Pitmasters Made in the USA episode breaks from the mold of traditional BBQ meats. This is the first episode where a regional style of barbecue isn’t featured, so cooks are going to have to step outside of their comfort zones to demonstrate that they have the “chops” to impress Myron, Tuffy, and Big Moe Cason enough to move on to the next round.
As much as I do love the regional focus we’ve seen so far in this year’s BBQ Pitmasters episodes, it’s nice to see some different meat cuts featured. Things aren’t going to get too crazy, so don’t worry… no alligators or snakes like we saw in Season 2. That was God Awful.
Appearing this week is a selection of three BBQ Pitmasters who come from three different regions of the United States.
- Howard Daley (AKA “DJ Howie D”) of DTS BBQ – New York City, NY
- John Coon of House of Q – Springville, AL
- Jeff Petkevicius of Give it to God – Ponchatoula, LA
Out of the Box ‘Cue Takes Some Know How
For this BBQ Pitmasters Made In The USA episode, the cooks are provided with a selection of rack of lamb and a whole turkey, courtesy of the good folks at Buedel Fine Meats and Provisions. Again, I really am happy to see these two choices offered as the show’s first “chopped style” meat selections.
We’ve seen a whole chicken back in the Kansas City Que Off episode, but turkey is a bit of a different deal. It tends to be dry and fairly bland so therefore it needs a brine or an injection to kick up the moisture and flavor profile.
With Rack of Lamb, the meat requires some delicate attention. You can either roast the rack whole, Frenching the bones if desired, or cut the rack into chops to cook hot and fast. Here’s a video on prepping a rack of lamb for those of you who haven’t dealt with this particular cut of meat before:
Danny Coogle of Pit Bull’s Up In Smoke BBQ Prepping A Rack of Lamb for the Smoker
In this video, Danny Coogle breaks down prepping and Frenching a rack of lamb. If you like what you see in this video, definitely head over to the Pit Bull’s Up In Smoke BBQ site to check out the online competition cooking class he’s offering.
Let’s Get To Know A Little About This Week’s Teams
This week’s BBQ Pitmasters episode presents a great mix of teams from different regions around the country. That said, it does seem a little bit like Yankee vs. Rebel, with one New York City, a team from Alabama, and one from Louisiana.
DTS BBQ – New York City, NY
Howard Daley of DTS BBQ has been cooking BBQ since 2009. DTS stands for Down to Smoke, and with the Myron Mixon Water Cooker he’s sporting, DJ Howie D is clearly quite serious about ‘the smoke.’ Competing regularly now for the past two years, DTS BBQ has had a few wins in Staten Island, NY and experience cooking at Memphis in May in the Whole Hog category.
DTS BBQ – BBQ Pitmaster Audition Video
There you have it! Howard makes it clear that DTS BBQ embraces a world-wide tradition in flavor. His team’s roots run back to the Carolinas, and the flavors from the islands and influences from NYC are prevalent in his food as well! You have to watch through to the end for a fantastic outtake session! “Kiss the Grill!” I don’t know if it’s as funny as Fergolicious BBQ’s dancing Santa, but it’s close!
BBQ Gear of Choice:
This weekend, DTS BBQ will be cooking on a Myron Mixon Indirect Water Smoker using peach wood and cherry wood chunks for their sweet and mellow flavor profiles. For more information on the smoker used here, see the article for last week’s episode.
House of Q – Springville, AL
House of Q starting competing in 2004 and even more seriously in 2007. With 14 grand championships to their name, this experienced team is one of the best Alabama has to offer. In a recent article on Al.com, Coon explained that he’s a contractor by trade, but over the past several years – competition BBQ has become his primary focus, with the split between to two leaning about 60% towards ‘cue. John’s partner Russ Lannom hails from Mount Juliet, Tenn. The two met at a competition in Nashville and later became teammates. At present, House of Q cooks between 35 and 40 contests per year and has earned roughly $35 and $40,000 in winnings.
House of Q – BBQ Pitmaster Audition Video
It’s clear that when it comes to cooking professional quality BBQ, House of Q knows what’s up. I love the family history John shares in this video, as it speaks to a long tradition of God, Family, and Good BBQ.
BBQ Gear of Choice:
House of Q are cooking on an indirect cabinet style smoker with a temperature controlled fan to keep the heat well-regulated. The wood of choice is a combination of hickory and cherry.
Give it to God – Ponchatoula, LA
As with House of Q, the Give it to God team has competed in more than 65 competitions over the past two years. He cooked in 34 competitions before winning his first Grand Championship – which tells you he has the patience of Job and a serious level of perseverance. He’s won 3 grand championships, 4 reserve grands, and he wants to show people that being a Christian can be fun and that as such he can compete and do well.
Give it to God – BBQ Pitmaster Audition Video
OH yeah buddy! This video rocks as hard as or harder than ANY Stryper video I ever saw! God plays a front and center role for Jeff and his team, and his is a mission fueled by BBQ! God IS perfect, Jeff! Better than a whole string of perfect ‘cue scores! Amen!
BBQ Gear of Choice:
The Give it to God team is using a vertical insulated water cooker, where the pit is heated by charcoal that burns from underneath a water pan. Jeff brings flavor to his BBQ by using a blend of cherry and pecan wood.
BBQ Pitmasters Made In The USA Wildcard Episode – Final Thoughts
I think you’re really going to enjoy this weekend’s BBQ Pitmasters Made in the USA episode. The personalities alone make this a Must See Event. I also think you’ll enjoy seeing how each of these teams approaches the meats that they’re required to cook. As usual, not everything is going to go as planned, so these pitmasters will need to be up to the challenge if they want to move forward to the semi-final rounds and have a chance at winning that $50,000 prize.
I hope you found value in this post. If so, please share it with your BBQ friends! And as always, be sure to tune in to watch BBQ Pitmasters “Memphis Championship” this Saturday on Destination America at 9 PM/8 Central!
NOTE: Be sure to view my posts on the previous episodes of BBQ Pitmasters!