Not one of our chefs traditionally cooks this way, so it’s not surprising that they all had a hard time, between the environment, the challenges, and being tired. The stress got to a lot of them. I am surprised that they didn’t make greater use of the smoker, perhaps because one rack fell early on and it may have spooked them. But you can get a great deal of smoke over the pit, too, so that doesn’t explain why so many of the proteins didn’t have more smoke to them.
All of that said, though, many of the errors that were made were really simply errors of cooking not attributable to inexperience with BBQ. Ed’s decision to start slicing the meat early was a gaffe that yielded steamed-up cafeteria food. By my way of thinking, a long line of people waiting for good food is better than a short line of people waiting for bad food. It wouldn’t have killed the people to wait for their food; they may even have appreciated it more. The biggest error of the challenge, however, was not Ed’s steamed food or Sarah’s less-than-crispy chicken skin or Beverly’s playing it safe and tame. The excessive saltiness of the brisket and ribs was by far the biggest problem, and Chris C. was responsible for that.