Chopped Grill Masters returns with barbecue region focus


Who will have barbecue region bragging rights on Chopped Grilled Masters? Which grill master will leave the Chopped kitchen triumphant?

Chopped Grill Masters is ready to inspire home grillers with some impressive local grill masters. In this season’s Chopped Grill Masters, the competition focuses on four popular barbecue regions. While everyone has a regional barbecue favorite, only one chef and region will walk away with bragging rights and the $50,000 prize.

The five part Chopped series will feature some master grillers from Kansas City, Memphis, North Carolina and Texas. After competing in the regional barbecue episode, the four episode winners will battle each other in the finale. Can Chopped finally solve the barbecue debate?

Judges Geoffrey Zakarian, Amanda Freitag and Moe Cason and host Ted Allen face chefs Katey Magee, Jeremy Williams, Craig Carter and Stephanie Wilson during the appetizer round tasting, as seen on Chopped, Grill Masters Special. photo provided by Food Network

Through this special season, the regular Chopped judges are joined with barbecue legends. These legends, each from a specific region, are well versed in the nuances of that particular barbecue style. From the mustard flavors from Carolina barbecue to the mesquite flavors of Texas barbecue, the unique flavors need to come through even with those mystery basket ingredients.

It will be interesting to see how the grill masters work effectively in the Chopped Kitchen. Something these master grillers might be more accustomed to long hours tending to a smoker or the controlled heat of a Big Green Egg. Can these competitions adapt to the time limitations and still produce the delicious barbecue that they are known for?

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According to the Food Network, the first episode has a difficult appetizer round ingredient. A double cut pork chop is a difficult ingredient for a quick, appetizer round. Somehow that thick pork chop will have to cook quickly, which is far different than the traditional low and slow technique.

Other ingredients in the first episode include pineapple and banana. Grilled pineapple can be a very divisive ingredient. Some people love it and others wish that this fruit never saw the flame. How can these competitors think beyond the obvious recipes?

Thinking about the Chopped baskets, what would you want to see in a grilled challenge? Personally, I like ingredients that are slightly unusual, but don’t go too far out of bounds. I think that a whole fish would be intriguing or even crab.

Also, I would like to see jackfruit. Often used as a meat alternative, it would be nice to see how the grillers could get some smoky flavor into that fruit. Wonder how grilled jackfruit would taste?

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The Chopped Grill Masters series returns to the Food Network on Tuesday, July 31 at 9:00 P.M. What grilling tips will you learn from these grilling professionals?