027 Joy – Homestead Lovers

Homestead Lovers

027 Joy -

Joy from Homestead Lovers drops in to the Confessional for Ep 8 of Season 2 ‘Living the Dream’. She helps us explore the world of food dehydration and rub manufacturing. Making rubs is something that all BBQ enthusiasts enjoy doing and take great pride in. Joy is here to help you take it to the next level. She also drops some very helpful hints and tips for people wanting to get into manufacturing their own spice rubs. If you’re in to making your own rubs, this is the episode for you!

Much thanks and appreciation go to this episodes sponsors:

Pure Meats Robina

Harvey’s Kitchen

Clean Heat Charcoal


  • Joy likes to make her own bacon
  • Natural versions of the the nitrates and nitrites needed for bacon is powdered banana
    • Joy mixes up banana, betroot and carrot
    • Her natural mix doesn’t make the pink colour, but banana seems to add more colour than not using the banana
  • She cooks on a little bullet smoker at the moment
  • Streak is her favourite thing to cook at the moment, and rib-eye is her all time favourite
    • She uses salt and pepper as a base and then experiments with her own products on top of that
  • She was introduced to BBQ by a man named Dougal McFuzzlebutt who tried her products and suggested she get into the scene
  • She been trading as Homestead Lovers for around 3 years, coinciding with the start of the BBQ scene
  • Homestead Lovers is committed to working with people with food intolerances e.g. preservative free products
    • They recently started working on FODMAP products
    • FODMAP is great for people who have Irritable Bowel Syndrome
    • Turns out there are a lot of people in the BBQ scene with IBS
  • Their product range is large
    • A lot of what they make is by request
    • Left overs are sold
    • Some products are made under contract and so the left-overs are not sold
    • Powdered fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices
    • They’re working on powdered meats at the moment
  • What sets Homestead Lovers apart is Joy’s ability to liase with teams on an individual basis and create products that meet their specifications
  • On the topic of MSG in BBQ, Joy hates MSG and it’s one of the reasons she started her business
    • She’s seen first-hand the effects of MSG. She was competing at a comp where MSG was being used and a judge got really sick
    • Some natural alternatives include soy sauce and porcini mushrooms
  • She was heavily influenced by the Homesteading Movement and lives on Lovers Lane
    • It’s all about preserving food etc
  • There are four main areas of her business
    • People who use their products for general use
    • Other companies who contract them to produce dried prodcuts for them to sell
    • BBQ people
    • Cross sections of all of the above
  • The Up In Smoke BBQ Festival
    • Homestead Lovers got involved through Dougal McFuzzlebutt
    • They’ve been involved with UIS for two years running, meaning Joy has been involved with comp BBQ since it started
  • The connection between South Australia and the BBQ scene
    • She believes that the overall foodie scene influences the BBQ scene
  • Joy is known as the Spice Maiden
  • Considers herself to be a powdered food manufacturer
  • She has two regular rubs, the Bolt Action and the Gunpowder. All other rubs are limited edition
  • She is starting to grow her own herbs and spices but uses only certified organic ingredients
  • Fruits contain natural sugars which harden after being powdered
    • You can add anti-caking agents, but Joy doesn’t like to use them
    • One trick is to not use electric blenders or grinders as they generate too much heat and caramelize the powder
    • Try using a Thermomix
    • They’re working on a new product, Tapioca Flour to act as an anti-caking agent
  • Tips for people making spice rubs
    • Use your imagination and think outside the box
    • Garlic, Onion, Salt & Pepper are the usual suspects for a rub
    • Think about what you are adding to the mix will do to the meat
  • Joy does her work in a purpose-built shed she calls ‘The Lab’
    • It had to be fully inspected for food processing
    • It will have to be re-accredited for dehydrated meat products
  • Legal and Insurance issues
    • Always check with your local council
    • They will check you out before you can start and then check you out once a year after that
  • Joy has always been a foodie
  • Skills needed:
    • You need a lot of nous
    • Research skills – not just food but also business
    • People skills – talking to and working closely with people
  • Challenges
    • Staying motivated when working from home – she gets up and puts on a ‘uniform’ of sorts and that’s how she puts herself into the right mindset
  • Successes
    • Joy views all her successes as equal and hard work is the secret

Listener Questions

  • How important is the quality of the cook, the meat and the rub? And what is unique about Australian regional flavour profiles?
    • Joy always prefers ethically raised meats and organic rubs
    • South Australia has a beautiful range of citrus available which she uses in rubs
    • Ethically-raised meat is meat that has been raised on a traditional farm rather than a feedlot
  • Does she distribute around Australia?
    • Yes, she does
  • What would Joy leave out of a rub?
    • She leaves out all the bad stuff – MSG etc. Anything that’s not natural
    • She loves experimenting with all different foods
  • What got her into drying and powdering products and when did it go full time?
    • She has produced an all-natural 2-minute noodle
    • It all took off from there
  • What’s the best place for a newbies to work out how to do the nutritional panel?
    • Look for ‘Food Standards Australia and New Zealand’
  • What’s the most exotic food to go into her rubs?
    • Activated charcoal – it has zero nutritional value and doesn’t flavour the meat but changes the colour to black and brings up great bark on brisket. It’s made out of coconut shells
    • Australian native Indigenous foods – charcalia and starfire. They don’t sell Aboriginal food – they produce the ingredients for them under contract
  • South Australian wine products are influenced by soil and water. Does this affect the products that she uses?
    • Joy’s not too sure on this one but probably
  • What’s her favourite food to dehydrate and use?
    • Kimchi – she currently working on a meat free product
    • Powdered kimchi is popular with BBQ teams as part of a rub
    • Ends up tasting like an all-natural spicy salt
  • Top 3 pieces of advice for people looking to open a rub company
    • Get good dehydrators
    • Dehydrators again – don’t go big. Get multiple smaller ones. You can can dehydrate an increased variety of products at the same time. Sometimes you can’t mix different foods together. They’re also easier to work on if there are problems
    • Find a good producer of fresh foods


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