Ever wondered what it’s like to be a BBQ competitor? Can you remember what your first ever competition was like? In this bonus episode of the Smoking Hot Confessions Podcast I interview Michael Trajkovic from Butchers Axe BBQ before, during and after their first ever BBQ competition.
Now this wasn’t just any BBQ competition. This was Meatstock Melbourne, one of the biggest, most popular festivals on the Australian circuit. These guys aimed high. Despite being underdogs, the lads did extremely well, finishing 17th out of 48 teams, with a few surprises that I’ll leave for the interview.
- The lads are all good friends and have been for many years.
- They named themselves Butchers Axe as they wanted a name with connections back to the butchering industry
- They make all their own rubs from scratch except for beef – they use a store bought for beef
- Brisket is their strength while pork ribs are their nemesis cut – they’re always fall off the bone
- They cook on an offset smoker handmade by one of the team member’s Dads, who was also their high school teacher. They also have Razzo bullet smokers, by whom they are sponsored
- Unlike myself, they managed to remember to bring food for the team, including a whole pig’s head. The pig’s head worked really well to get a good crowd
- They cleverly got a well-known person into one of their t-shirts early on which has a big impact on social media – important if you’re building a brand
- The lads performed very well for their first comp, coming in 17th overall, and 4th in beef, 23rd in chicken, 32nd in lamb, 28th in pork ribs, and 30th in pork. There were 48 teams in total