barbecue on DVD


I do have quite a few BBQ cookbooks and reference them regularly although when it comes to learning BBQ techniques I learn quicker by watching someone who knows what they’re doing. To that end I spend time on YouTube learning everything from soldering to repairing virtually anything I own to smoking meat all by watching others do it. So while I enjoy my books for all the recipes and techniques they hold, I actually prefer to learn techniques by watching them taught on DVDs. Here are the BBQ DVDs that I own so far along with notes of what I think of them for newbies who are thinking of starting a BBQ DVD library.

Do you own any barbecue DVDs and what do you think of them?

*Clicking on the DVD images below will take you to Amazon or where ever else it was that I purchased them.

Ratings explained:
* = Don’t wanna know anything from this DVD. Save your money and buy some meat
* *= Learned a little but mostly a waste of money, or didn’t enjoy the show
* * *= Learned enough to think it was worth the money, or enjoyed it enough to watch once only
* * * *= Learned a lot and continue to. Well worth the money
* * * * *= The best of the best. Continue to watch regularly and refer back when I have a question or just plain really enjoy watching the show.

Teaching DVDs

Championship Barbecue by Paul Kirk

scooter rating: * * * * *
scooter notes: Outstanding! This was the first BBQ DVD I ever purchased. Not real high quality videography almost backyardish but I learned quite a bit from the lessons Paul teaches on this DVD including how to make my own rub. Paul Kirk is a cooking genius! I refer back to it from time to time. $83

Synopsis: Chef Paul’s set of 2 DVD videos called "Championship Barbecue; From Backyard to Competition" Vol.'s: 1, 2 & 3. These videos are available directly from Chef Paul Kirk.
These videos teach you the basics of BBQ, from the backyard cooks to the soon to be champion. Vol.1 takes you thru the different types of smokers, woods, spices, and cooking techniques. You are shown how to prepare the most popular BBQ Victims: Ribs & Chicken. We even cover the presentation, so you'll know what to do for contests. MIMS and KCBS rules. Whether you just cook for your and the family, or aspire to beat Chef Paul at his own game in contests, this video is the start.

BBQ Secrets - The Master Guide To Extraordinary Barbecue Cookin'

scooter rating: * * * *
scooter notes: A good high quality video to learn from. Some good techniques and recipes taught by Mike “Sarge” Davis, Terry Black and Jeff Stehney. From the same producers of “Inside the World Of Championship BBQ”. $19.95

Synopsis: 3 world champion BBQ cooks, and restaurateur's team up to share their decades of successful cooking experience that will help new and veteran bbq cooks improve their barbecue results. The three cooks presented in BBQ SECRETS: The Master Guide to Extraordinary Barbecue Cookin have decades of championship experience that can help competition and backyard cooks improve your barbecue cooking. This is a detailed and comprehensive video resource devoted to sharing expert barbecue cooking tips, techniques, and outstanding recipes. Some of the things you will learn in this DVD: solid techniques for cooking a wide variety of meats: chicken, pork, brisket, and shrimp how to prepare spice rubs and marinades how to monitor internal and external temperatures for cooking various foods the proper use and types of woods for fuel and for adding smoke flavors an unique approach to preparing a whole hog for cooking from the enclosed recipe booklet, proven recipes from the barbecue champions own private collections

Ask The Meatman meat processing videos

scooter rating: * * * *
scooter notes: Learn how to break down an entire hog carcass and an entire steer carcass. Or, just learn exactly where all the individual cuts come from which is why I purchased them. I’ve never seen exactly where the steaks, chops and roasts come from before I watched these. A little low quality with only one camera angle offered but still worth it to see how it’s done. $24.97 each

KickAssBBQ: Learn How To Smoke Meat

scooter rating: * * * *
scooter notes: Learn from Ed Emig in Minnesotta. What a character this guy is. A nicely produced video of what he teaches in his classes with a healthy dose of Ed’s humor mixed in. The focus of this DVD is backyard BBQ not competition. Ed has been smoking meat for 25 years and is a KCBS CBJ. Ed competed in only one competition where he took 1st place in the brisket and chicken categories. He quit the competition thing while he was ahead. $35, recipe book included

Real Barbecue Know How by Troy Black

scooter rating: * * *
scooter notes: A very high quality polished presentation filmed in HD. Troy goes over basic BBQ techniques handling ribs, pork and brisket and shares a few rub and sauce recipes. This is not a competition teaching DVD but focuses on the backyarder. I received this DVD as a gift from a BBQ buddy about a year and a half ago and watched it once and have not watched it again. I felt the info was so basic that it wasn’t all that helpful to me but Troy is fun to watch and listen to with his southern accent. I met Troy at the Sacramento Sam’s Club event and he’s just as nice in person as he appears in this DVD. $24.95

Synopsis: Want to know how to create authentic, award winning, low and slow, Southern barbecue? Want to know how to make your own dry rub or sauce, and what to do with it once you’ve made it? That’s exactly what you’ll learn and much more in the new DVD, REAL BBQ Know How filmed in HD. You’ll get tips and secrets to help make you the envy of your neighbors. You’ll get the know how of slow-smoked, fall-off-the-bone, over-the-top ribs, pork, and brisket! The DVD features BBQ Pitmaster Troy Black, who competes full-time on the pro BBQ circuit. He has won over 300 top ten awards including eleven state titles, ten Reserve Grands Championships, countless category wins, and is consistently ranked in the top 20 on the pro BBQ circuit out of over 4,000 teams.

Chris Lilly How-To Barbecue videos

scooter rating: * * * *
scooter notes: Chris Lilly DVDs on how to cook Shoulder, ribs and chicken. Excellent! Chris shows you how to do it from beginning to end. The quality of the production is fairly good. I was a little annoyed that I had to purchase 3 DVDs when I’m sure he could have put the ribs, shoulder and chicken material on one DVD. $19.95 each

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Backyard BBQ with

scooter rating: * * * * *
scooter notes: Kevin really lays it all out there in this well produced DVD. I liked that he cooked everything on two different cookers, a Stumps and a WSM. Lots of categories taught and recipes given. $24.95

Synopsis: In "Backyard BBQ with" Kevin Bevington (5 time FBA Team of the Year Champion) demonstrates cooking low and slow on a small offset cooker, and a bullet style water pan smoker. He starts with the basics on how to start your cookers, maintaining even temp, goes through full meat prep, and the process of cooking and finishing these meats. This DVD includes full recipes, and preparation. Included are the following; Boston Butt (pulled pork), Beef Brisket, St Louis Style Ribs, Baby Back Ribs, Country Style Ribs, Standing Rib Roast, Turkey, and much more.


scooter rating: *
scooter notes: WARNING: In this low quality, low budget production Dan Gray prepared his pork ribs for smoking by making a slurry out of rub and liquid smoke then smeared it on his rack of ribs! I ejected the DVD and have not watched it since. What a waste of $14.95!

Synopsis: From the selection of meats to serving your guests, this 54 minute DVD provides complete barbecue instructions for Smoked Ribs, Brisket and Juicy Turkey. Everything you need to know to do ribs, brisket and turkey right, right from the start. Produced By Smoking Pit Master Dan Gray. It truly is "Everything you need to Know and Noth'n You Don't!" Plane and simple, these compelete instructions will provide you with the step by step tips and tricks of the masters you really need for brag'n rights smoked barbecue! Buy now and get Dan's "little book" "BarbecueXpress" absolutly FREE!

BBQ Documentaries

Inside The World Of Championship Barbecue

scooter rating: * * * * *
scooter notes: Before I became a CBJ I bought this DVD so I could see what a real BBQ contest was. It’s a very high quality production and takes you into the camps of the competitors where they give basic tips on competing. An excellent documentary. They focus on two teams, a rookie team and an experienced team, and follow both of them from their homes where they’re preparing for the Royal all the way through to the award ceremony. There was some talk about the producers making a follow-up DVD a year later at the Royal using the same two teams they focused on in this production but nothing came of it unfortunately. I really enjoy this DVD and continue to watch it from time to time. From the same producers of BBQ Secrets. $24.95

Synopsis: Journey inside the world of championship barbecue to one of the biggest bbq events in the world. This award-winning DVD takes the viewer behind the scenes to witness first hand the challenges of this exciting sport, and shows just what it takes to become a top competitor. Filmed at the American Royal Barbecue event in Kansas City, this how to documentary shows you just what it takes to become a successful competitor in this fiercely competitive but fun--loving sport. Along the way, you will receive tips from some of the best BBQ cooks in the world, including: Jeff Stehney, Chris Lilly, Ray Lampe, Johnny Trigg, Larry Mayes, Karen Putnam, Konrad Haskins, Mike Davis, Hayward Harris Jr, Joe Davidson, and others.

Barbecue: A Texas Love Story

scooter rating: * * * * *
scooter notes: Take a tour through many Texas BBQ joints from some of the most famous to the funkiest and lots in between. If you want to learn about Texas BBQ, and it’s culture, and some of the down home folks who populate that community, this DVD will take you there. I really enjoy this DVD and continue to watch it again and again. $20.49

BBQ Reality Series/TV Shows

Barbecue America - PBS Series

scooter rating: * *
scooter notes: I really wanted to like this series but I think I was just put off by the fact that to me Rick Browne is a little annoying and doesn’t really know much about how to smoke or grill. I suppose that may be what endears him to his audience. That “if Rick can do it, I can do it” kind of bonding. I watched many of the episodes and learned a little but just not enough to watch them again.

Synopsis: The guru of barbecue, Rick Browne travels the country in search of America's best barbecue. Join him as he learns tips from the pros that you can use in your own backyard.

BBQ Pitmasters Season 1 (8 episodes)

scooter rating: * * * * *
scooter notes: Well produced and of very high quality and in HD. Not available on DVD yet but I purchased the 8 episodes on iTunes so I watch them on my iPod repeatedly. The more I watch it, the more I keep hearing/learning things I missed before. Just loved this series and still have it saved on my DVR until it comes out on DVD. I also have Season 2 saved on my DVR but don’t get me started talking about Season 2. Will probably buy Season 1 on DVD just so I can watch the special features. From the same producer (John Markus) as the two BBQ challenge shows below.

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BBQ Challenge Shows

BBQ Championship Series – Volume 1

scooter rating: * * * * *
scooter notes: An excellent high budget (Kingsford) BBQ challenge type TV series filmed on Embers Alley in Sparks, NV during the annual Best of the West Rib Cookoff. The entire series was shot on a single Iron Chef American type set. Kingsford put a lot of money into the making of this series. Very polished. I enjoy watching this series over and over again. Although I don’t really learn how to cook anything there are some techniques shown and ingredients used which can help expand horizons. Quite a few high profile names in the BBQ industry competed in this series such as Ray Lampe, Lee Ann Whippen, Mike Davis (Lotta Bull), Joe Davidson, Byron Chism, Adam Perry Lang, Myron Mixon, Johnny Trigg, Bart Clarke, Mike Wozniak and others. They used celebrity judges Darryl Dawkins (NBA), actress Megyn Price, and French Chef Michel Richard. From the same producer of both seasons of BBQ Pitmasters and it appears to me this particular challenge type contest was what BBQ Pitmasters Season 2 was loosely modeled after. Released August 2007. At $6.99 it’s a no brainer.

Synopsis: Presented by Kingsford® Charcoal, this competitive bracket-series tournament features the world's top BBQ chefs vying for $75,000 in prize money--the biggest in 'que history. The meats have been marinated; the cookers fired and stoked. Watch as the best pit men and women in the country line up ready to do battle, apron to apron. But before they can take home the prize, they must face the gamut of judges--the Taste Makers and Breakers--with a celebrity judge or two to spice things up. Viewers will have an eye-opening experience as they witness survival in the BBQ pits. Six Champions, six Challengers and six Wild Cards battle it out on season one of the Barbeque Championships. Bonuses include: Fan Favorite and Award Winning Recipes, and Kingsford Grilling Tips Booklet

The All Star BBQ Showdown – Volume 2

scooter rating: * * *
scooter notes: Calling this DVD “Volume 2” is sort of a misnomer. While the BBQ Showdown DVD was released almost a year after the BBQ Championship Series DVD was released, it actually took place before The BBQ Championship Series. This series seemed to have a much smaller production budget than the Championship Series did. It was held in various cities across the midwest and eastern states ending up with the finale in NYC of all places. Many of the high profile names in the Championship Series were also in this one with the addition of Hayward Harris Jr and Terry Black and some others. Real KCBS MCBJ’s did the judging including Ed Roith, Rocky Danner, and Paul Kirk. From the same producer of both seasons of BBQ Pitmasters. Released March 2008. At $4.99 it’s a steal! Amazon is practically giving it away.

Synopsis: With their grills smoking and tongs at-the-ready, top BBQ pitmasters take on their challengers--apron to apron--in a competitive bracket-series tournament with $25,000 as top prize! But before the best pit men and women in the country can take home the coveted "Top Barbeque Chef in America" title, they must face the panel of judges--the Taste Makers and Breakers--to advance to the next round. With a grand finale cook-off in New York City, VERSUS All-Star BBQ Showdown is competition at its spiciest!


Good stuff Scooter! I am also a "visual" learner. I may need to put a couple of these on my Christmas list.


Thanks for the list and reviews, always hard to sift through these "speciality" videos and determine the good ones!
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