You're going to want to keep some napkins handy, if only to catch your saliva, as you watch season two of "BBQ Pitmasters," a summertime treat returning Thursday, Aug. 12, on TLC.
Unlike season one, which took a documentary look at several different barbecue competitions, these six new episodes make up TLC's very own competition among 20 cooks from around North America. In each of the first five episodes, four cooks will face off in a series of challenges before one moves on to the final round. The last episode will find those five finalists competing for a $100,000 grand prize, reportedly the largest ever in competitive barbecue.
"Most of them seem to have a lot of confidence when they go in there," says barbecue champion Myron Mixon, who sits on the judging panel with chef Art Smith and former football star Warren Sapp, a barbecue enthusiast. "They all seem to think they're going to win it, but after the first reveal, that falls away and you have one or maybe two who feels that they can accomplish their task."
The featured meat in the main challenge changes each week, and the degree of difficulty rises as the series progresses, Mixon adds.
"Some (competitors) are what you might call barbecue connoisseurs, who do a lot in their backyards. They take what they do seriously, though, so that's not to say some of them aren't as good as some of the ones who do go out and compete (professionally)."