Netflix's must-watch new cooking show has me addicted – and you will be too

Fire + meat + salty hosts = a great recipe for Netflix's latest cooking show

The American Barbecue Showdown season 2 screenshot
(Image credit: Netflix)

I recently resubscribed to Netflix (whilst everyone else is cancelling) just to watch a hidden-gem exclusive series – Sweet Tooth, seriously it's some feel-good fun – but now I'm back into the streaming service it's only gone and dug its hooks in and hung me out to dry... like a dry-aged pork shoulder.

Now, I don't know how it happened. Ok, so that's a lie: a bank holiday weekend is what happened (Memorial Day in the USA). And on a Monday without work to commit myself to I... well, I just went and binge-watched a whole season of Barbecue Showdown, didn't I?

MasterChef UK eat your heart out: this is one hoedown of a showdown of a cooking competition that, you guessed it, pits various pitmasters (some amateur, some more established pros in their field) in a head-to-head to create the best American BBQ across various challenges. Check out the trailer below (it's worth it for the brisket jiggle alone):

Ironically enough I don't even eat meat very often. Yet here I am, fixated on the telly, where I somehow munched my way through all eight episodes of season two in one go, watching the contestants cart about giant hunks of meat in an all-out carnivorous display. 

I think one thing that particularly suckered me in is Melissa Cookston, the co-host and self-proclaimed 'Queen of the Cue', because she just looks so perpetually pissed off at just about everything. Sure, it's all in the edit, I'm sure she's a lovely lady – but she does seem saltier than some Spanish salt-cured cod on this show.

Kudos to the contestants too: whether they're cooking on open fire, directly on coals, or in make-shift pits made from filing cabinets or washer-dryers (no, really), there's enough variety in the challenges to keep it interesting. And unlike other cooking shows that go a bit too heavy on the life-story, this one never takes the cameras away from the studio setup. So it's all cook and all 'cue. And all good entertaining American fun. 

Mike Lowe
Tech Editor

Mike is the Tech Editor and AV Editor at He's been writing about consumer technology for 15 and, as a phones expert, has seen hundreds of handsets over the years – swathes of Android devices, a smattering of iPhones, and a batch of Windows Phone products (remember those?). But that's not all, as a tech aficionado his beat for T3 also covers tablets, laptops, gaming, home cinema, TVs, speakers and more – there's barely a stone unturned that he's not had a hand on. Previously the Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint for a 10 years, he's also provided work for publications such as Wired, The Guardian, Metro, and more. In addition to his tech knowledge, Mike is also a flights and travel expert, having travelled the globe extensively. You'll likely find him setting up a new mobile phone, critiquing the next MacBook, all while planning his next getaway... or cycling somewhere.