While most pre-teens are gearing up for summer vacation, one young Austinite is competing for grillmaster status on national television. Later this month, 12-year-old Carter Hull will appear on Food Network's newest cooking show, Kids BBQ Championship.
Eight competitors under the age of 14 will show off their skills at the grill, and one will walk away with $20,000 and a profile in Food Network Magazine. Contestants will barbecue their way through themed, elimination-style challenges on six episodes featuring a rotating cast of celebrity judges, including Tim Love, Danielle Bennett, Kardea Brown, Adrian Davila, Graham Elliot, and Kent Rollins.
"My favorite part about being on the show would have to be just waking up every morning and being there," Hull says. "We might be eliminated on national TV, but we're still on national TV, and we beat out hundreds of thousands of kids who wanted to be on the show."
The young barbecue master says he "got into barbecue by just being around it. Growing up in Austin it's on every street corner." His favorites are The County Line and, of course, Franklin Barbecue's brisket.
So what's this young pro's style? "My go-to technique is to brine the meat overnight, and then a dry rub. If I'm feeling fancy, then I might inject it," says Hull. "Right before I pull it off the pit, I will sauce it for a nice glaze."
Hull says grilling is all about personal taste. "Just be you. Do what you want to do. If you're spicy and you like hot seasonings, do that and use hot and spicy," he says. "If you don't like spicy stuff, like me, use sweet stuff — sweeter sauce, sweeter injections, sweeter rubs."
Kids BBQ Championship debuts on Monday, May 23, at 7 pm on Food Network. On the premiere episode, Hull and his fellow competitors will be tasked with making barbecued chicken and side dishes to impress Texas celebrity chef Tim Love.