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.