Barbecue Bros AV Club: “BBQ Brawl“ S3 E5 – “You Gotta Beef With Me?!”

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!

With Jet down to one contestant, he gets a chance to steal a teammate from one of the other teams. Team Anne remains fully in tact, and that is where Jet sets his sights. In somewhat of a surprise move, he steals Sunny who apparently has a lot of competition experience (who knew?). She seems rather happy to be joining forces with Winnie on what they’ve dubbed themselves as “Team Mom.”

Once that bit of business is done, Jet picks the Advantage Challenge of cooking sirloin cap as this week is beef-themed. Sunny is thrilled with this challenge and lets out an audible yelp of joy.

Advantage Challenge

“Team Mom” immediately starts cooperating together and decide to cook the sirloin cap two ways: Sunny cooking skewers with a simple rub of salt, pepper, and garlic salt and Winnie going with a skillet-seared version with butter.

Team Anne now consists of Rashad and Don. Rashad decides that he is going Brazilian style but trims the fat cap (something Sunny did not do) before serving it as a taco. Don is unfamiliar with this cut but leans on his Asian influences for a Japanese steak and eggs, although he ends up scrapping his eggs at the last minute.

On Team Bobby, Tina is going with an Argentinian preparation with a pomegranate molasses glaze while Matt is going with a rub of salt, pepper, and Chinese five spice and tops the steak with a cilantro chimichurri.

Tina, Sunny, and Rashad are named the top dishes of their respective teams and in the end, Sunny wins the Advantage Challenge for Team Jet. Jet’s steal is already paying dividends.

Team Brawl

The Team Brawl this week is a “Texas Big Beef Challenge” where teams will have their choice of six big cuts of beef: Texas-sized bone-in ribeye, Denver roast, angus strip loin, chuck-eye roll, wagyu bavette steak, and beef tenderloin. Chuck-eye roll is likely to be picked last due to how long it takes to cook.

Team Jet gets first pick and exclusive use of the pantry for one minute, and they go bone-in ribeye and Denver roast. After that minute is up, the rest of the teams scramble for meat and Team Anne gets tenderloin and strip loin, leaving wagyu bavette and chuck eye roll for Team Bobby.

Team Anne goes for a Texas steakhouse vibe with New York strips and fries as well as cooking the tenderloin whole. Even with Anne’s micromanaging, the team is scrambling until the end. I wonder how much Sunny’s absence will hurt Team Anne in both the near and long term.

Tina opts for surf and turf and for the chuck eye roll, Matt is initially going to smoke the smaller one and also reverse sear the larger cut before getting the idea from Brooke as she’s visiting to grind it for a burger. Matt decides to add smash burgers to his other two preparations instead of editing one out. Matt also declines to get help from Bobby (who Carson points out owns a burger restaurant) so looks like he will sink or swim on his own accord this week. Matt and Bobby’s weird, contentious energy continues through the rest of the cook and while he eventually gets Bobby to help out finishing his steak on the grill he doesn’t get around to actually getting it on the plate much to Bobby’s dismay.

On Team Jet, Sunny is reverse searing bone-in ribeyes but Winnie’s Denver roasts are a cause for concern if the fat doesn’t render. After the steak temp isn’t moving anywhere, she makes the decision to butterfly the steaks to get them to cook faster and eventually gets something servable.


For Team Jet, Winnie’s Denver roast comes out alright in the end and Sunny’s bone-in ribeye with garlic compound butter is “salty, meaty, and cooked immaculately” according to Brooke. While her three-cheese only tastes of one cheese, Jet’s creamed corn with leaks is a judge’s favorite.

For Team “Anne-gus,” Don dried out the interior of his NY strip trying to get the proper sear. Rashad’s whole tenderloin needs seasoning but is aided by his mushroom sauce.

For Team Bobby, Tina’s bavette steak and butter poached crab meat topping suffers from the crab meat stealing the show from the steak. Matt only shows up with his smash burgers which are mostly well-received, but the judges note the lack of a true steak dish from him in two hours of cooking.

In the end, this is his undoing as Matt is sent home when Team Bobby lands on the bottom. He clearly should have worked better with Bobby and only has himself to blame.

Team Jet pulls off the win this week, aided by Sunny’s mastery of steak cookery. Team Anne’s win streak ends, but Sunny’s individual streak continues. Team Anne does manage to get through the challenge in tact even though this wasn’t their best cook.

Why didn’t Matt take Bobby’s advice? Is Sunny officially the frontrunner after five episodes? Who will maintain their two-person team advantage after next week? Check back here next week and find out.

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