015 Live @ Brisbane BBQ Festival 2017

brisbane bbq festival

This episode is coming to you hot off the mic. Just this weekend past I jumped in the car and headed up to Brisbane for the annual Brisbane BBQ Festival. It was the third year in a row that I’d been. The first year was my first ever BBQ judging experience and the second year I covered the event for the Smoking Hot Confessions website and got one of my most popular photo galleries. This year, Dom asked me to be a part of the team – I got to be MC for the event!

On top of all this, I grabbed my camera and more importantly for a podcast, my field recorder and had some great conversations with teams, retailers, suppliers and sponsors. I was so busy running around that by the end of the festival, I’d walked 10.3kms on Saturday 9.1kms on Sunday. That’s almost 20 kilometres of festival awesomeness. Here’s how it went down…

Still want more? Be sure to pick up your free ebook: 27 Lessons Learned from Competition BBQ

Show Notes

Brenda – Shank Sistas BBQ

  • Brisbane was their third comp for the year
  • They have a butcher on their team ‘Suze’, the #3 Butcher’s Apprentice in the world
  • They make their own sauces and rubs
  • They prefer to use St Louis ribs at competitions

Bill – Uncle Bill’s BBQ

  • Have a home-made trailer that is styled like a Wild West wagon with a vertical grill, bar fridge, 3 burner gas stove, sink with electric running hot and cold water, gas hot water system, cutting deck and fridge/freezer, 12v battery power with 240v inverter
  • BBQ’s with his sons and grandchildren

Tim – Grillin in the Name Of

  • Use Parsley in their comp boxes
  • Goal is uniformity and symmetry
  • Use fresh produce from local supplier
  • Put the parsley in, one piece at a time, stalks down
  • Only ever use parsley – is worried about the smell caused by hot meat on kale

Dan – Big Smoke BBQ

  • The only team at Brisbane from Melbourne
  • Did the comp FIFO – borrowed most of their gear including a 20 inch Radar Hill Smoker
  • Like to spritz their meats with a 50/50 mix of apple juice and apple cider

Josh – Aussie BBQs

  • La Caja China – a Cuban insulated box for roasting
  • The meats go in the box and charcoal goes on the top
  • Uses radiant heat instead of direct heat
  • No smokey flavours, but the meat is incredibly moist because it cannot escape
  • Common flavours include fruits and rums
  • Acidic juices such as pineapple juice help open the meat to absorb more of the flavours

Anthony – Artistic Smoke

  • Loves to do reverse seared steaks
  • Artistic Smoke is a catering business from the Central Coast of NSW
  • They use ProQ smokers for catering
  • They have the biggest ProQ gravity fed smoker in the world coming out soon
  • Tips for people looking to get into catering – focuses on quality and then focus on building a following

Linda – Doctor Que (fr. Pit’s Perfect)

  • Doctor Que and Fat Amy both use Hog Pit Smokers
  • Hog Pit Smokers are reverse flow, and very responsive to adjustments in the top vent
  • Hold temperatures steady for long periods due to the insulated firebox
  • Linda’s role was Pit Consultant – responsible for managing the fire

Mike – Bastie Boys

  • Brisbane is their second competition
  • First competition he ever attended was Brisbane BBQ festival last year
  • The Bastie Boys use a Pro Q gravity fed cooker, insulated and vertical with an offset firebox
  • The offset firebox is fed by a charcoal hopper which automatically feeds into the firebox

Morgan – Wyld Smoke BBQ

  • It’s a local company, getting most ingredients from farmlands near Brisbane
  • It started as an online business
  • They have several different rubs including rubs for game
  • Many teams love using ‘Makin’ Bacon’
  • Takes 5 – 7 days, using 4 – 5 TBS of rub on a 1 kilo pork belly. Rinse after 7 days and let it sit for a day in the fridge. Smoke til internal temperature of 150F

Jason – Smokey Flavours of the Granite Belt

  • New wood / smoking supply stockist
  • Products come from the granite belt
  • Recommends apple and pear for pork
  • Recommends cherry and macadamia for beef
  • All products are locally sourced

Matt – PETA

  • Usually do chicken for hand-ins but did breasts for Brisbane
  • If done right, they are incredibly moist
  • They keep an extra breast in the smoker with a probe in it to sacrifice for measurement
  • They smoke it to 165F
  • They have a Wild West Smoker called ‘Billy The Kid’

Laura – Weber

  • Laura travels around Australia doing demonstrations at Festivals etc
  • One the kettle she demonstrates indirect style where one side has no charcoal on it and the other side is hot for grilling, charcoal in baskets on either side of the kettle to get crackle on a pork roast, and the Snake method
  • They had three types of kettles on display, the Original, the Premium and the Performers with a side table

JR – JR’s Smokehouse

  • One key difference between comp meats and catering meats is the attention to detail that goes into comp meats
  • When buying brisket, get a point end brisket no smaller than 5 kilos. Make sure there are no thin parts and no navel. Don’t take the brisket off until it’s done
  • JR cooks to touch – he looks at each brisket individually. Some will be done up to an hour earlier than others.
  • JR gauges doneness by touching underneath the brisket. If it is soft and your finger pushes into the brisket rather than lifting it up, it’s done
  • However, some brands of brisket will be done much faster than others

Anthony – Doctor Cue

  • Started out smoking on a Weber Smokey Mountain – the WSM was similar in shape the Darleks
  • Cooked at Brisbane on a Hog Pit Trailer Smoker on loan from Hog Pit themselves
  • It was a 24inch offset with an insulated firebox
  • The insulated firebox made a huge difference when the temperatures dropped and it also resulted in much lower wood usage – 20 hours on two bags, about half a regular offset
  • The temperature was very stable the whole weekend
  • His best piece of advice to new competitors is to get in and judge first. Anthony’s first judging gig was Brisbane BBQ Festival 2016
  • It allowed him to know what judges are looking for, what other teams are doing with their hand-in boxes and the flavour profiles that score well