Brisbane 'Low & Slow' BBQ
The ‘BBQ Scene’ in Australia is catching on, and last weekend saw the inaugural Brisbane ‘Low & Slow’ BBQ Festival grace our great city. It was a fantastic opportunity to see some of the best BBQ teams in Australia battling it out, meet some of the best BBQ suppliers and of course, sample from some of the best BBQ Food trucks.
Now, you may have noticed the words ‘Low & Slow’ in the title of the festival and wondered what that was about. What it comes down to is that what we in Australia call BBQing is actually grilling: high heat for short periods of time. True BBQ involves cooking meats for longer periods of time at lower temperatures.
How long exactly? Try 12 hours. Minimum. The teams that were competing had to hand in their food for judging starting at 10.30am on the Sunday morning. Which meant they had to start cooking when everyone else in the city was going to bed (or getting ready to go out if you’re under 30!). Which meant these guys and gals had to stay up for at least 36 hours for this competition. And the results truly spoke for themselves.
The festival spanned the entire weekend in order to be able to accommodate the BBQ competition. There have been some reported issues with the capacity of the venue on Saturday, however I was there on Sunday and found the venue to be warm, cosy and intimate, allowing the public equal access to both food vendors and BBQ suppliers, whilst also giving them ample opportunity to witness the teams in action. And for a lucky few, a chance to sample some of their wares that didn’t get submitted to the judges.
The suppliers, many of whom were festival sponsors, were very friendly and took the time to explain and demonstrates their products to all interested parties without feeling the need to put the ‘hard sell’ on anybody. This was very refreshing and added to the laid-back, friendly vibe of the festival. Likewise, the food trucks were able to supply the crowds with some delicious eats and many of them were designed in such a way that their commercial smokers were out on display: something which the punters were very interested in seeing. A particularly nice feature was the inclusion of microbreweries and wineries in the supply of libations to accompany the scrumptious, smokey eats.
Despite the reported teething problems experienced at this inaugural festival, this was a great family event, raising the awareness of this smokey niche which has reached a religion-like status in the United States. It was nice to see a BBQ festival in an inner-city venue indicating the increased ground that Low & Slow is claiming in the foodie scene. I am definitely looking forward to this festival again next year and have already ear-marked the date in my calendar.