With Season 3 of BBQ Pitmasters all wrapped up and re-runs going on Destination America, it’s time to take another look at the experience of being on BBQ Pitmasters through the eyes of the contestants. Last week, C-Dub’s Corruption BBQ Crew gave us their perspective on being on the show for episode #3. This week’s post comes from Randy Hill of Southern Krunk Burn One Boys BBQ, easily one of the more entertaining contestants this season. So without further delay, here’s Southern Krunk Burn One Boys BBQ talking about BBQ Pitmasters, in their own words…
Southern Krunk Burn One Boys
Pitmasters Bronze Medalists
I’m sure many have witnessed our appearance on the recent Pitmasters series and pondered… who the hell are those guys, how did they get on, and to quote Myron: “What were you thinking man?”. Allow me to give you a Tour d’ Krunk of our 42 minutes of BBQ pseudofame.
First we are a just like most who watch the show, guys who enjoy BBQ and love to cook. We have never made claims of BBQ grandiosity nor have the resume of many who travel the circuit. Many were clamoring for new faces, so be careful what you ask for! We simply listened to the instructions on the audition “we all know you can cook, but we want to see your personalities.” We got some of that, just check out our audition video on YouTube (BBQ Jesus Season 3). As you know, we aren’t BBQ Jesus on the show, because we never really thought we would get on the show. I am a physician for the Sisters of Mercy, and calling my team BBQ Jesus would go over like a fart in church, hence the name change. As for our team, Andy and I had NEVER cooked together before in competition, so this was going to be interesting. Thus, we did a warm up KCBS in Kennett, MO, and were just one point shy of a perfect pork score, and got three calls, with the one exception of CHICKEN (a vile creature that should always be cut asunder, but more about that later).
Now, how the hell we wound up in the land of Maryland, I’ll never know. But it was nice in the Delmarva, and we were excited and honored to be cooking against Diva Q and Two Worthless Nuts. Danielle is a very intense cook who is damn good at what she does. I saw her on Season 2 and, and the minute I passed a vehicle with Ontario plates rolling into Salisbury, I knew I was cooking against her. Rob has been on an insane run leading up to the show, so basically, we knew we better cook our asses off. Andy and I made a commitment from the beginning, we are on a BBQ cooking show, and we are going to turn in competition style BBQ to honor the only critics we really gave a rip about: those who cook the various circuits.
As for what we would be cooking, we really didn’t know what to expect. Andy and I made a pact, if they were gonna make us cook goat balls, we were gonna say, “Hell yes, we cook goat balls all the time, and were just about to soak ’em in onions and serve over a nice peach piquant sauce”, but really would prefer cooking that over any said poultry product. The product they provided us was top notch, and it was just our job not to screw it up.
As for our approach at rack of pork (it took me forever not to call it a pork chop or bone on tenderloin), we wanted to cook the product in toto. We thought Frenching the bone or removing the ribs from the tenderloin changed the “product”; that’s not a criticism of our competitors, just our opinion. It is pretty hard to get the loin moist whilst cooking the rib properly, a skill I think we nailed. We injected the loin with a concoction of Mountain Dew, peach nectar, a little BigMista pork rub, and Butcher BBQ pork injection. We brined it as well, to make double sure the loin wouldn’t overcook. We cooked it in Trudy (Andy’s Backwoods Smoker which I refer to as a damn cheating machine, because that sucker is like cooking on a BBQ microwave, just set it and forget it). We used some MojoBricks cherry to assure a good smoke ring. We covered it with BBQ sauce, and finished it with Andy’s “POP” sauce, a recipe that came to Andy one night whilst in a trancelike state of existence after watching reruns of Grilling and Chilling and reading Penthouse while drinking apple pie shine (ok, so I made that up, but it is really good stuff!)
As for chicken, or “rats with wings”, my BBQ nemesis of late, well, everyone knows how that turned out. I made a few mistakes, so take note. First, never make the judges think, make ’em eat. I was hoping Tuffy and Myron, having cooked various comps, would recognize an IBCA style turn in. In all fairness, Tuffy did figure it out in the end, and I suspect Myron also knew what was up. I did ask if the judges would be provided with utensils about an hour and a half before turn in, and was told they wouldn’t. So I had ample time to adjust (I know, what a dumbass). My second mistake, assuming all the contestants would turn in perfect bite through skin. I left two perfect bite through chicken quarters sitting on my pit, but nobody gets do overs. Third, I didn’t turn in the half chicken with bite through skin! Thus are my chicken demons. I’m seeing a counselor now and no longer want to boil Col. Sanders’ liver in oil nor dream of the San Diego Chicken sucking my soul out.
Some have stated on certain message boards that the show was scripted and the judging biased. To this I unequivocally state, no way. Could some of the judges possibly recognize a certain style or taste, likely. Did that bias their outcome, I say no (and remember, I finished last). I recognize I made mistakes, and have no bitter feelings towards the judging. Myron was gracious and conversant after the show, Tuffy likewise visited, and Aaron invited us to come eat at his restaurant anytime (maybe I can get one of those Disneyworld style fast passes and go to the front of the line!). There are field producers who ask questions while cooking and help guide conversation (and ours was the best!), but nothing is scripted. Now for editing, they left a lot of stuff out (thank God!), but there is only so much you can put into a 42 minute show.
As for the other two teams. Rob Marion is one helluva guy, who would give away about all his prize money to any given veterans group. He is a true BBQcook in the purest since of the word. He is giving me chicken counseling at present, since I have chicken post traumatic stress disorder and he is a counselor. Cowboy Dan is, well, everything you would expect of someone with named Cowboy Dan, half pimp, half bull rider who eats lizards, craps out nails, and is one damn good time to hang with! Danielle is a Diva, and in a good way. She generates drama, but isn’t a drama queen. She is one of the most intelligent cooks I’ve ever seen. She is uber-prepared for anything, and if I ever have to order my last meal, I want her to cook it. Vlad, owner of the coolest name ever, is the only guy besides Andy and Doug, whom I would want to help me cook a comp.
Finally being the “head cook.” This is the one thing I struggled with more than anything else. First, we were only allowed one team member to assist, so Doug Green who appeared in our video, wasn’t allowed to cook. Second, they wanted me to be the “main guy”, which I’m not. Andy and I share cooking responsibilities, and still do so.
Now, all you guys out there claiming “I could do better than those two jackasses” well, bring it! Also, kudos to John Markus for taking a chance with two guys from Arkansas not many people have heard about. BBQ Pitmasters has to have some entertainment value, or it won’t be back next year. There are some awesome cooks out there, but they don’t always translate into good TV. Either way, we have a show that is generating conversations about BBQ, and can’t be much wrong with that.