054 Live at Smokin’ on the Water 2018

Smokin' on the Water

054 Live @ on the Water 2018

In this episode I jump back on a plane and fly right across the middle of the country to hit up the Smokin’ on the Water Charity BBQ competition in Perth. I’d never been to Western Australia before and so I was super excited to have been invited to be a part of the competition.

Before we get started, I’d like to let you know that my new ebooks are now available on the website. There is the second edition of my well-loved ‘27 Lessons Learned from Competition BBQ’ and also the deliciously new ‘Bacon Manifesto’. The ‘Bacon Manifesto’ includes what you need to know about making bacon at home and then some incredible recipes to give you an idea of what to do with it.

I’d also like to invite you to join us at the Smoking Hot Confessions Community on Facebook. If you’re looking for a BBQ group full of open-minded people who just love to help each other out, the Smoking Hot Confessions Community is a great place to continue the conversation.

Finally, however you’re listening to this episode, please subscribe, rate and review the show. It really helps me spread that BBQ love.

So without further ado, grab yourself some fatty brisket slices and something on the rocks and join me as I travel across the country for Smokin’ on the Water 2018.


With Jason ‘Molly’ Meldrum from Southern Ocean Smokers

  • He gets old gas bottles and turns them into smokers
  • He specialises in patina or ‘Rat Rod’ style
  • He takes design cues from several sources:
    • Firebox is insulated, round inside and square outside
    • Mid-level collector
    • Strong believer of single shelf designs
  • Prefers single shelf as the smoke tumbles more correctly and the convection flows right. It affects bark and the meat sets better
  • They’re off to McAuthur shortly and serve 4,000 people over 72 hours
  • The Patina brisket can fit 42 briskets AND 52 racks of Beef ribs
  • He really wants to win the brisket as it’s the hardest to get right and perfect

With Jenny from Wild West Gourmet Smoker Woods Australia

  • They already have a wood yard
  • All their wood is salvaged
  • Eastern and Western woods burn the same
  • They have 40-odd different types of wood
  • Most popular are apple and cherry
  • Iron bark is popular as it doesn’t grow in WA
  • They have A-grade Jarrah charcoal made by a bloke in Albany

With Paul from Smokey Q

  • He started with a Hark offset approximately 15 months ago
    • As a chef he decided to make his own spice rubs
    • He’s now got 10 products in 100 stores
  • Distinctly West Australian products
    • Cold smoked honey
    • Honey is from WA
    • Smoked with Murray River Redgum
    • Infused with Whipper Snapper Moonshine from a Perth distillery
    • His coffee rub is made with local Geisha coffee and roasted in Freemantle
  • His goal is to be in every IGA in Australia by July 2019
    • He’s looking to export his products into Europe and then America
  • Prior Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance
  • You have to believe in your product and put everything you’ve got into it

With Tony and Crew from DBQ

  • Last two comps they got RGC and GC, earning them an invite to the Royale in Kansas City
    • They won their invite on their 4th competition
  • They cook on Hot Chilli Smokers and a Pit Brothers smoker
  • They want to get their brisket up on stage at this competition – they’ve scored very well in their last two comps
  • The WA scene is unique because
    • It’s still growing
    • 27 teams at Smokin’ on the Water
    • Everyone is friendly and welcoming

With Gus from Perth BBQ School (and Gusface Grillah)

  • Has quit his job and gone full time BBQ school
  • Perth BBQ School
    • Runs most weekends
    • Teaching people how to cook on charcoal and wood
    • Uses everyday smokers – kettles and bullets
    • Budget friendly
  • He has a student team at every comp
    • ‘Perth Varsity Team’
  • His regular classes aren’t competition focussed
  • Chicken
    • They like to do something different
    • They definitely don’t do thighs

With David Ong from KCBS Australia

  • KCBS is all about the integrity of the judging and the competition
  • They remind the judges about all the effort, expense and time to get to competitions
  • Judges take a refresher course before every comp
  • There is a ‘Judging Seating Program’
    • The algorithm sorts the average of scores and seats the judges on the appropriate table to try and even out the table
    • The last judge / lowest score is dropped
  • Scores are audited before announcements to ensure there are no mistakes made

With Big Moe from Moe Cason Barbecue

  • Last time he was here was when he was in the Navy in 1991
  • What’s different in the West Australian scene
    • Perth reminds him of home
    • It’s cosy
  • He was approached by Jason from BBQ Events Australia at the Royale last year who put the idea to him
  • Moe has just released a new line of rubs which are doing well in Australia as they are a good match to Australian flavour profiles
  • SotW marks the first time Moe has competed in Australia
    • Green Mountain Grills have set him up with what he needs
    • He cooks solo

With Jason, Matthew and Iain from BBQ Events Australia

  • The company started in 2017
  • They brought in an Operations Manager in 2018
  • There wasn’t much happening in Perth
    • Jason had a chance to bring Steve Botkin out to Australia for classes
    • Since then, things have snowballed
  • Jason is the details and lists man
  • Iain is quick on his feet and solves problems
  • Matthew is the documenter and fills in all the holes
  • Coming up in the future:
    • They were approached by Debbie who runs ‘Brew’n’Que’ Festival in NorCo
    • She invited Jason to head out and see the Festival
    • As a result, they’re creating a sister event in Perth
    • The winner in NorCo gets a ticket to compete in Perth and vice versa
    • They will also have all the equipment organised for them in NorCo

KCBS Awards Ceremony

RGC: Perth BBQ School Varsity

GC: Moe Cason Barbecue


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