046 Live @ Meatstock Melbourne 2018

Meatstock Melbourne 2018

046 Live @ Melbourne 2018

This is Episode One of Season Four: the 2018 Festival Series. In this episode I hit the streets at Meatstock Melbourne, one of the jewels in the crown of the Australian BBQ scene. Armed with a Media Pass, I was able to access all the VIP areas, and had a great chat over a couple of bourbons with this year’s special guest Big Moe Cason

For full show notes, scroll down. 


  • With Dan from Big Smoke BBQ
    • Has an XL Stretch Stumps Smoker
    • It’s a gravity fed
    • Like a big cabinet with a chute full of charcoal and a fan to regulate temperatures
    • From ordering to arriving took 4 months, two months of which was on a boat
  • With John from Doctor Cue
    • Had issues with a trailer spitting a wheel bearing on their way to the comp
    • Did their first SCA
    • For the bacon dish, they made a bacon jam
    • For their burger, the did a burger with a mac’n’cheese patty
    • They’re cooking on their Weber Smokey Mountains
    • They use a Smokey Joe as a high heat searing station
    • Burger advice: the lid on the box must close, and remember that one burger must be cut into quarters so tall burgers don’t work well. Look at quality of meat, don’t add too much to it, and don’t overcook it
  • With Big Willy from Bad Ass BBQ
    • Bad Ass cleaned house at Girrakool without Willy. He was doing a class for Barbecues Galore in South Australia at the same time
    • Their classes are more of an introduction to Low’n’Slow rather than a competition cooking class – Students will learn from their mistakes
    • The Ultimate BBQ Platter – not just meats: fruit and veg are included too for colour and nutrition
    • The order of the hand-ins has thrown off their game a little bit in terms of how they organise things
    • One Brisket Tip: Salt, Pepper, Garlic. You don’t need to inject for home cooking. Wrap after 4 hours with butter and beef stock.
  • With Big Moe Cason
    • His first time in Melbourne
    • He did Meatstock Auckland last year
    • The people and culture is what keeps bringing him back to Australia
    • He’s done around 300 competitions since 2006
    • The categories are different here to what he’s used to at home. They have chicken, ribs, pork and brisket
    • The lamb he’s experienced has been outstanding
    • Advice on brisket: get the highest quality you can, take your time, 230 – 250F, when it gets to 160 – 170F, wrap it in butcher paper or foil. Keep it cooking until 200 – 203F. The probe of your thermometer should feel like butter.
    • In competitions, he butterflies the brisket and trims off the fat. When it’s done cooking, he separates and cubes up the point, hits them with rub and sauce and puts them back in the smoker for burnt ends
  • With Michael from Butchers Axe
    • Their expectations on themselves have risen
    • Have been working on their brisket game
    • Tips for cooking the perfect steak: practice. Michael bought a back of 24 skirt steaks and cooked 3 steaks a week
    • They like to do their steaks direct with Grill Grates
  • With Brendan from Smoking Meathouse
    • Won SCA on Saturday
    • Their marquee got smashed up by the weather
    • He came as a punter to 2017 Meatstock and decided to have a crack at Meatstock Melbourne with his brother-in-law after meeting and being inspired by Trevor from Aussie Pit Boys
    • Octopit:
      • Highly efficient
      • Resistant to weather variations
      • The XL is the better one for competitions for size
    • Lamb tips
      • They use Bad Ass BBQ Lamb injections
      • They use Heavenly Hell rubs
      • They won Meatstock in Auckland for lamb
    • Differences between Kiwi lamb and Aussie lamb
      • Kiwi lamb is smaller and more marbled than Aussie lamb
  • With Gus fr Gusface Grillah
    • Travelled to Meatstock Melbourne from Perth
    • He’s there mostly as a punter
    • The beer consumption is the same regardless of being a competitor, demonstrator or punter
    • The highlight has been Jared McDonald in the sausage eating competition
    • Gus’ big news:
      • He has quit his job and opened Perth BBQ school to teach people everything they need to know about cooking on charcoal
    • Wings advice:
      • For crunchy skin: high, indirect heat like from a Kettle Kone or Vortex
      • It’s very difficult to dry out chicken wings
  • With Booma fr Booma’s BBQ
    • His favourite hand-in has been pork ribs for Meatstock Melbourne
    • Pork Rib tips:
      • Leave unwrapped for an hour to an hour and a half
      • Wrap for an hour & check for texture – probe like butter
      • Sauce, rest, slice and box
      • Total time 2.5 hours
    • He won one 1st and two 2nds at the National BBQ and Grilling Association’s Excellence Awards
      • He did a BBQ Stuffed Squid – 1st
      • Lamb Ribs – 2nd
      • Prosciutto Wrapped Brie Cheese – 2nd
  • With Derrick fr Chef El Guapo
    • Went to Up In Smoke and then Creekside, got half a dozen sponsors and is now getting right into the competition circuit
    • Advice for getting sponsors:
      • You have to use and believe in their products so you are emotionally attached
      • The public will see and feel it if you’re not committed to the brands
      • You need to match your needs to theirs
    • The Meatstock Melbourne 2018 highlight: their Hail Mary ribs came out well at the last minute
  • With Andrew from Natural Born Grillers & The Que Club
    • Won the inaugural Pit Boss challenge and partied hard the night before
    • The Pit Boss Challenge was a mini-competition with judging and critiquing done on stage
      • There was open chicken, pork, lamb and beef categories
      • They won three out of four categories
    • The Que Club
      • A unique BBQ retail concept
      • The concept was developed on the road, travelling between comps
      • The stock mid-high end BBQ stuff
      • The have a cafe so the shop smells like BBQ all the time
      • They do cooking classes
      • Also function centre, cooking school, bar and cafe
  • The Awards


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