Netflix’s The American Barbecue Showdown Review: It is Fascinating!

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Now streaming on Netflix is The American Barbecue Showdown which is a show about pitmasters and their undeniable adroitness when it comes to the craft. This show was planned and executed in a pre-pandemic world so it has been shot with ease. American Barbecue Showdown is a reality TV series which is hosted by Rutledge Wood from Floor is Lava, co-hosted by Lyric Lewis from A.P Bio and is judged by the famous barbecue experts, Kevin Bludso and Melissa Cookstone.

There are eight contestants who are pitmasters and they take part in a face-off with other contestants in weekly challenges. This is quite an interesting show as the fight intensifies for the title of The American Barbecue Showdown in a way which is unique. A similarly-themed series was also rolled out by Netflix by the title Chef’s Table: BBQ.

American Barbecue Showdown

The show has eight contestants who have participated from countries which have different types of barbecue ideas and curations – thus, quite a diverse menu is seen on the show. The contestants are from Carolina, Texas, Missouri, Georgia and all such places which are basically home to amazing barbecue joints that will delight all meat lovers.

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There are challenges in the way of grabbing the title of The American Barbecue Showdown because sometimes there is a time constraint and sometimes it is something else. Recreating recipes that have been passed down generation after generation is anyway quite a task and having a time constraint hovering over your head surely does not make it easier. 

There’s a MasterChef feel to it! 

Many times, I was reminded of the cooking reality show MasterChef because the themes are along the same lines. American Barbecue Showdown has also, at times, surpassed MasterChef in terms of the surprises it threw along these contestants’ ways. It is extremely gripping and demands your attention in a very organic way. You’ll be hooked to the show before you even know it.

American Barbecue Showdown

The first challenge starts off by asking these barbecue pitmasters to make a combo platter which is required to have two proteins and two sides along with it. And that’s not the only thing – they have been timed to finish this dish in only five and a half hours. This time constraint has put the contestants in a fix as all of them have varied methods of grilling the meat, which sometimes requires over 8 hours of preparation time.  

Filled with challenges! 

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The American Barbecue Showdown has challenges unlimited. Not just time constraints, the show also shows how the judges have asked for collaborations between unique recipes which need to be mastered with the help of “old school techniques”. A challenge to be relevant through the recipes that barbecue experts have sworn by for generations is the ultimate task, it only gets more interesting from this point.

American Barbecue Showdown

Just before the challenge is about to get over, after a gruelling couple of hours, precisely ninety minutes, the judges throw in another surprising challenge for these pitmasters. The “mid-smoke challenge” includes a test to make bread along with bringing out a savoury combo plate. The pressure is super high but the fact that each and every contestant, despite all the cribbing, continues to stay focussed towards the completion of the task is worthy of respect.

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Newcomers like Rasheed Phillips, who has not been in the competition before, whip up a quick dish which is a simple pan-baked butter biscuit (looked supremely delicious, though) as a backup. There are so much frenzy and pressure, but this show deserves a watch and every bit of our attention. If you are a BBQ fan, this should be on your watchlist along with Chef’s Table: BBQ too! 

The American Barbecue Showdown is streaming on Netflix.

Read our other reviews here.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Overall

SUMMARY

'American Barbecue Showdown' is a cooking reality competition that feature eight brilliant contenders from barbecue hubs and it gets really intense in there!
Anushmita Samal
Books, art, aesthetics, colours and undying love for lemon tarts and flowers!

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