The MIT nerds are just ignorantly stereotyping BBQ chefs. You'd figure that they of all people would be sensitive about looking down on others, but I guess not. BBQ chefs aren't morons who use old oil barrels for pits (they're not food grade and will make your food taste like shit). If they do reuse an old barrel, it's one that has held food like olives, and it is reused because it's cheaper and better than buying a brand new one. Seriously, duh.
Just check all this out. Science, science, science. It's all over BBQ these days. All the wisdom of the elders has been tested, trialed, and the old myths like "salt gets into meat by osmosis" and "pink chicken is not safe" have been busted and thoroughly debunked. Just check out the following SCIENCE:
The Thermodynamics of Cooking
What You Need to Know About Wood, Smoke, and Combustion.
The Maillard Reaction And Caramelization
The Science of Wet Brines
Basic Meat Science
Why We Don't Need Grill Marks, and Why You Should Flip Often
And there are about a kajillion more articles like this on this one site. There are many, many more sites all across the internet. All of them are full of science. MIT isn't breaking new ground here, as much as they'd like to think so. Up to and including computer-controlled cookers that turn out perfect meat every time.