Posted by: Eating The Road | December 19, 2009

BBQ Pitmasters Episode 3 Decatur Riverfest Cook Off

The third episode of BBQ Pitmasters is another KCBS, the Alabama state championship at the Decatur Jaycees Riverfest. There are a total of 59 competitors competing in chicken, ribs, pork and brisket for a grand total of $19,000. If you missed the first to episodes, here is  a rundown (Episode 1 has a bio on the cooks):

Episode 1 – Smokin’ in Mesquite Nevada Open BBQ Championship
Episode 2 – Murphysboro Barbecue Cook-off

TLC is following 7 total cooks (Jambo Pitts has yet to be on the show) but they seem willy-nilly on who they care to show each week. I assume Myron will be in each episode due to his mouth and attitude as will LeAnn for her sex appeal but the others are here-and-there. This week Paul, Tuffy and Johnny were all featured a little but there was no sign on Harry.

Since he didn’t get to be on this episode I’m share some stuff from him. Harry Soo’s blog has a few interesting tidbits, they “dodged 14 radar traps, 3 border patrol checkpoints, and pouring rain, to complete our three-day, 2,100 mile Iron-Butt drive through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi, and arrived at the Riverfest contest  site in Decatur, Alabama.”

He mentions the dinner that Chris Lily’s Big Bob Gibson restaurant threw the night before the contest for all the cooks where they dined on seared giant scallops wrapped in BBQ brisket, bacon wrapped shrimp with basil mousse, BBQ gumbo , crispy fried okra, cranberry Caesar salad, grilled rack of lamb, Big Bob Gibson BBQ chicken and for dessert, lemon, peanut butter, chocolate, and coconut pies.

One of the more interesting things he brings up is how all the TLC BBQ Pitmasters chefs were sectioned off separately from the remaining 52 other chefs in the competition. Harry says that they were on a paved surface whereas the others were all on the grass. Considering it was raining pretty heavily I would take this as an advantage. That doesn’t quite seem fair to me and I would be upset if I were in the contest but I can understand them needing this for the filming.

Some notable events:

Tuffy went with a brand spankin’ new brisket recipe with a new marinade and a new injection. He talks about using the the “flat” of the brisket (“a packer”) as opposed to the point.

Myron talks about his wood choice. He likes a fruit wood with lots of sugar saps in it. This time he uses a peach wood he gets from a friend Ed Harris. He also showed how he boxed his pork differently than others. Rather than placing it on top of lettuce, he places it on top of chopped pork in order to keep the meat warm. He also cuts his sauce with water and drizzles a little of that on top.

Paul also tries a new recipe. He’s been placing dead last and having trouble reconciling whether or not it’s worth it to continue doing competition BBQ. He tries three types of ribs on some tasters. He did one his previous style, one using Johnny Trigg’s recipe and the the one he settled on, a cherry rub with chile powder, black pepper and onion powder. He mentioned that he “found” this recipe so it’s not something he came up with. Paul also steals Myron’s technique with using muffin tins to form his chicken. This was a highly featured event and Myron didn’t take to lightly to it. Oddly enough Paul was 16 seconds late in getting his chicken to the table so was disqualified from that category.

LeAnn had a bit of a tough time because they had to shut off the power for 30 minutes. She had just put her meat on and her cooker uses electricity to turn. Some of the others didn’t have that same problem. She got upset but was okay with her turn out.

Johnny spoke a little of his preparation. One of the interesting things is that he doesn’t use his own rub. He buys his pre-made. He basically said that someone else has already gone through the trouble of making a perfect rub and why should he waste his time and money when it’s already available.

Once again judging is done blind and based on three criteria, appearance, taste and tenderness, 9 being the highest score of each with a total of 27. Without further ado here are the final results:

Decatur Jaycees 15th Annual Riverfest
Location: Decatur, Alabama
Date: September 17-19, 2009
Categories: Chicken, Ribs, Pork & Brisket
Total Competitors: 59
Promoter: Kansas City Barbeque Society

11 – LeeAnn Whippen – Wood Chicks BBQ
15 – Harry Soo – Slap Yo’ Daddy BBQ
17 – Myron Mixon – Jack’s Old South
20 – Johnny Trigg – Smokin Triggers
27 – Tuffy Stone – Cool Smoke
DQ – Paul Petersen – Pablo Diablo BBQ

Pork Ribs
1 – Johnny Trigg – Smokin Triggers
4 – Myron Mixon – Jack’s Old South
6 – LeeAnn Whippen – Wood Chicks BBQ
15 – Tuffy Stone – Cool Smoke
28 – Harry Soo – Slap Yo’ Daddy BBQ
52 – Paul Petersen – Pablo Diablo BBQ

15 – Tuffy Stone – Cool Smoke
19 – Johnny Trigg – Smokin Triggers
27 – Myron Mixon – Jack’s Old South
30 – Harry Soo – Slap Yo’ Daddy
31 – Paul Petersen – Pablo Diablo BBQ
42 – LeeAnn Whippen – Wood Chicks BBQ

1 – Tuffy Stone – Cool Smoke
5 – Myron Mixon – Jack’s Old South
6 – LeeAnn Whippen – Wood Chicks BBQ
17 – Harry Soo – Slap Yo’ Daddy
26 – Johnny Trigg – Smokin Triggers
51 – Paul Petersen – Pablo Diablo BBQ

6 – Myron Mixon – Jack’s Old South
7 – Tuffy Stone – Cool Smoke
9 – Johnny Trigg – Smokin Triggers
10 – LeeAnn Whippen – Wood Chicks BBQ
15 – Harry Soo – Slap Yo’ Daddy BBQ
59 – Paul Petersen – Pablo Diablo BBQ

Memorable Quotes:

“I looked over at Paul’s tent…saw these damn muffin pans…you know that pissed me off….and I walked over jus’ see who the f&% he was taking my s&^%.” – Myron Mixon

“If you’re going to steal something at least be good at it. If you win today I expect a damn check.” – Myron Mixon to Paul Petersen.

“I need something to start my damn fires with.” – Myron Mixon when Chris said he bought 1/2 dozen of his books.”

“The fact the power went out did comprimise my product going into this competiton.” – LeeAnn Whippen

“I’m not going travel 1000’s of miles, spend 1000’s of dollars just to get back home empty handed. There’s a new front on the BBQ circuit and I’m it.” – Tuffy Stone

“I call her the Grillvette, she’s painted red, shes’s sexy, she’s beautiful but she cooks good.  I got nicer wheels on my pit then I do my car.” – Tuffy Stone

“I’d do anything to win….except cheat.” – Paul Petersen

“Shiggin’ is the act of entering another’s cook site with the intent to steal their processes.” – Tuffy Stone giving Myron a shigging cup.

Overall the cooks did extremely well. Five of them placed 6-10 (with the inclusion of Jambo Pitts) in the overall out of 59 competitors. Johnny got first in ribs and Tuffy with his new brisket recipe placed first, both earning $1,250. For another excellent write up on the show check out Diva Q’s post.

The next show won’t be until January 7th and I’m guessing it’s the American Royal Barbecue Open in Kansas City, Missouri.



  1. Very nice write up! I was disapointed that my friend Harry wasn’t on more. Looking forward to the Royal episode because I was there and met some of the other cooks.

    • I know right….I love Harry, such a nice guy. Do you have any interesting stories from the competition?

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