Three Food Writers Face Off With Their Best BBQ Recipes

Look fam, this is waaaaaay late. It was meant to be published in the lead in to 4th of July. Then Labor Day. Then the first NFL game. Now it’s mid-September and… here we are. It’s on me. Zach and Vince were done ages ago and I was on the road. Deduct points if you get tired of all the now-dated references, but please note that I’m already lagging well behind because you jerks can’t appreciate fish.

Anyway, the idea of doing a BBQ challenge was supposed to be thematically aligned, and we realize that it’s about to start getting cold in most of the country, so let’s call this the “Make Your Last BBQ of 2017, Your Best!” challenge. And we promise, the fall flavors challenge is coming right on the heels of this one.

As always, your shares, Tweets, and comments are much appreciated.

— Steve Bramucci, Managing Editor, Uproxx Life


BLT Showdown — 1) Vince 2) Zach 3) Steve
Mac & Cheese Showdown — 1) Vince 2) (tie) Zach, Steve
Taco Showdown — 1) Steve 2) Zach 3) Vince
Winter Stew Showdown — 1) Zach 2) Steve 3) Vince
Date Night Showdown — 1) Zach 2) Vince 3) Steve*
Pasta Showdown — 1) Steve 2) Zach 3) Vince
Hot Beef Challenge — 1) Zach 2) Vince 3) Steve
Shellfish Challenge — 1) Vince 2) Zach 3) Steve**

*Steve got robbed.
**Zach keeps the count on these, can we fact check this?


We’re giving three points to the winner and one to second place for each round. As it stands, the score is:

ZACH: 14


If I were being true to my upbringing, and frankly, my taste buds, I’d be cooking tri tip in any Summer grilling/BBQ challenge. Sadly, this is a competition, and I want to win, and I don’t trust anyone who wasn’t born in Steinbeck country to know how awesome tri tip is. It’s hard to convey because it doesn’t really make sense. It’s easy to understand why a nice fatty cut with lots of marbling is good, but tri tip is lean and looks like it’d be tougher than shoe leather. Lean beef is normally about as flavorless as chicken breast or Bourne movies, but for some reason tri tip is neither tough nor bland. That triangular little back muscle must be where cows store their hopes and dreams and the concentrated sadness of being cultivated for their meat and shot in the head in front of their families.

Aaaaanyway, now that I’ve described the thing I’m not cooking, the thing I am cooking is brisket. Brisket doesn’t need much explanation, since word of its fatty deliciousness has traveled far and wide, even to foreign backwaters such as New Jersey and Europe. I also chose brisket over ribs, because as much as I love ribs, which are probably better on average than brisket and much harder to mess up, if I had to read commenters arguing about Kansas City style versus mustard-based versus vinegar-based versus pepper-based versus dry rubbed vs basted and blah blah blah I would throw away my computer and go live in the woods.

So, brisket it was. And I served it with my favorite grilling vegetable (“vegetable”), corn, treated my favorite way, Mexican style. I threw in some pickled onions which are always good and some white bread because I know BBQ heads shit their proverbial e-britches if you serve them brisket without white bread.

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