A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The American Barbecue Showdown is a cooking competition show that focuses on amateur BBQ cooks from all over America. The format is similar to Top Chef: chefs make one meal each episode and the least successful contestant goes home. BBQ means that cooks are often using different sections of the pig, including pig head and sometimes the whole hog. Contestants will sometimes talk about hunting animals as well. Unlike many competition shows, the chefs come off as congenial and supportive of one another, and there's a loose, fun atmosphere about the competition.
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What's the story?
THE AMERICAN BARBECUE SHOWDOWN features eight amateur barbecue cooks competing for the title of American Barbecue Champion. Each episode centers around a single challenge involving smoking, roasting and grilling meats. The least successful chefs are eliminated one by one until a single pitmaster is left victorious.
Is it any good?
Food competition shows tend to fall into two categories: those that take cuisine very seriously and those that are desperate to make cooking seem fun. The chefs on this show might be amateurs, but they're as ambitious and talented as any others you're likely to see on TV. Plus, barbecuing makes for such a fun and relaxing atmosphere that the contestants' and judges' personalities shine -- so the show has no need for elaborate sets, wacky challenges, canned jokes, or any of the other traps that other "fun" cooking shows fall into. Hanging out and making great food is more than entertaining enough.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about barbecue. What is it? What experiences have you had with BBQ? What are your favorite barbecue dishes? What makes barbecue unique? What makes it delicious?
How is a show about barbecue different from other cooking shows? What do chefs do on The American Barbecue Showdown that you don't see elsewhere? What's important to these cooks and judges?
Who is your favorite contestant? Why are you rooting for them? What makes their food stand out? Do you think they have a chance of winning? Why or why not?
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