Barbecue Bros AV Club: “BBQ Brawl“ S3 E3 – “Backyard BBQ”

Monk: After an extremely successful stint recapping season 2 (ha), I’m back to recap the third season of BBQ Brawl, which airs on Monday nights at 9pm ET on Food Network. Let’s brawl!

Team Anne went from the bottom to the top in last week’s episode, while Bobby flipped the other way. That means he gets to pick the Advantage Challenge, and this week’s theme is “Backyard BBQ.” Bobby picks “Backyard BBQ Pizza” and I’m with Rashad who doesn’t think pizza when I hear “Backyard BBQ.” Regardless, the contestants are off and running.

Advantage Challenge

The contestants are thankful they get pre-made dough for their crust and are able to just focus on the toppings for the 30 minute challenge. The contestants struggle with the challenge as a whole and especially cooking their dough on the grill. The ones who opt to use cast iron pans for their dough are the most successful. Tony, Sunny, and Matt are named as the best on their respective teams, and Sunny pulls off the win for Team Anne with her pear, prosciutto, and arugula pizza with gorgonzola cheese. That’s three wins in a row and counting.

Team Brawl

The “Backyard BBQ” theme continues with a “Last Minute BBQ” challenge which has “Chopped”-style mystery coolers that are themed “Suburban,” “Bachelor,” and “Vegetarian.” The pantry is closed for this challenge. Anne not only gets first choice of her box but gets to dole out the boxes to the other teams. As I would have expected, she gives Bobby the “Vegetarian” box as punishment while she takes the “Bachelor” box. Team Jet is pumped because the “Suburban” box was their first choice.

Let me just say, I am not a fan of this challenge and am a little frustrated with the selection of challenges thus far this season. With most Team Brawls having a 2 hour time-limit, I can understand the limitations, but they just aren’t clicking with me so far. Let’s lose the gimmicks and focus on true barbecue and live-fire cooking.

That said, the Suburban cooler isn’t as much of a prize as Team Jet would have expected and they struggle to come up with a menu based on the odd assortment of items. It seems like Team Bobby enjoys the limitations the vegetarian cooler gives them. Team Anne hums right along with Anne leading the way as usual.


Team Anne is once again named the first safe team and they find themselves on a bit of a roll now after winning four challenges in a row. The judges don’t pick out any individual dish but note that all were solid albeit unspectacular. Those dishes were:

  • Don’s dry ramen with tri-tip and fried rice
  • Rashad’s tri-tip and pancetta burgers
  • Sunny’s beans, cheese, and rice dip with flour tortilla chips made from frozen burritos
  • Sunny and Anne’s scallops
  • Anne’s dessert of grilled pineapple with blueberry compote and whipped cream.

Team Jet is on the bottom this week with Tony’s chicken wings and Winnie’s lomo saltado being the main culprits why. In the end, Tony’s lackluster wings that had no flavor under the skin sends him packing. Winnie’s pre-marinated steak with her lomo saltado was tough but her “ounce cake” saves her. Tough result for Tony after success in the pizza challenge.

Was it harsh for Tony to go home after performing well in the pizza challenge? Should Anne continue to micromanage her team even though they keep winning? Who do you think is the frontrunning contestant after 3 episodes? Check back here next week.

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