Virginia is for BBQ Lovers – BBQ Pitmasters Season 4 Episode 10 Recap


Hey everyone!  Sorry for being late with this recap.  I have been on the road for 4 days and have just now been able to get this written up.  The semi-finals of BBQ Pitmasters kicked off this week in Fredericksburg, VA with the winners from the first 3 episodes facing one another for the chance to move on (and more).

(NOTE: Spoilers are below.)

Episode Synopsis

Episode 10 of BBQ Pitmasters was filmed the weekend of May 11-12 at the 2013 BBQ Jamboree in Fredericksburg, VA.  This episode brought back the winners from the first three episodes of the season (you can read recaps of those episodes here, here, and here) for a shot at moving on to the finals as well as $5,000 courtesy of Diet Mt. Dew.  This episode is also the first episode where Melissa Cookston of Memphis BBQ Company is installed as the permanent third judge.

Appearing on this episode:

It’s the semi-finals, and all of the contestants have won their previous rounds.  With $5,000 and a shot at the finals on the line, there’s no way that this would be an easy competition.  While all of the teams had experience cooking fresh hams, none of them were prepared for the buffalo short ribs that they were given to cook.  With a timeframe of 10 hours to cook and turn in both meats, it was all business as the teams pulled out all the stops to turn in their best product. 

When champions compete against one another, it often comes down to the minute details to separate the winners from the losers.  This episode was no different, as less than one point separated all three teams.  Although a quick cure for the fresh ham did not go as expected for Butcher BBQ, the team was able to react and recover well enough to present a very good looking entry.  This, combined with a solid buffalo short rib entry, was enough for Butcher BBQ to edge out Character’s Famous BBQ (who was dinged for sloppy presentation on both entries) for the first finals slot.  Team Bib’s finished third.

My Thoughts, Plus a Drink Count

In one word: intense.  This was an intense episode.  There was some initial jawing back and forth, but then it was down to business for the teams.  The buffalo short ribs provided the wild card for this episode.  From a purely entertainment perspective, I liked this meat selection.  It’s a not-so-common cut of meat that tests out the skills of any pitmaster, especially ones that have never cooked it before. 

Other random thoughts…

  • Michael Character has to be one of the most entertaining pitmasters on the series so far.
  • Did anyone else see Butcher BBQ using a flaming Thermapen?  There’s a fun story about how that came about…
  • When champions compete, it comes down to the details, as Character’s Famous BBQ ended up learning with the appearance scores. 

I know what you’re all waiting on… the drink count, and the updated brackets.  The drink count for this episode was 33 drinks broken down as follows:

  • “That’s Me” – 18 drinks
  • Myron Mixing swearing – 1 drink
  • Trash Talking – 7 drinks
  • Flavor Profiles/Injections – 7 drinks

With this episode in the books, below is the updated bracket.  A printable version is available for download here.  Next week will have Shiggin’ and Grinnin’, Swamp Boys BBQ, and Sugar’s Championship Barbecue facing off to determine the second finalist.