056 Live @ Kondari BBQ Festival

056 Live @ Kondari BBQ 2019

This is the very first episode of Season Five. This season covers the 2019 Australian Competitive BBQ Circuit and includes recordings from some of the biggest and best festivals from all over this beautiful wide brown land of ours. In short, I’m going to be spending the year flying, driving, eating, walking and talking my way around Australia and I’m bringing you along for the ride!

I’m kicking things off a bit early this year and hitting the ground running at the Kondari BBQ Festival on Australia Day. The Kondari Hotel is in Hervey Bay on the Central Coast of Queensland, and I was there competing on my friend Anthony’s team, Black Bark Barbecue. True to form, Australia Day lived up to its reputation – it was hot. Really, really hot. We had two 3 by 3 metre marquees up. The one in front was open, and it was 45 degrees in the shade. That’s 115 Fahrenheit for our American listeners. The back tent was our camp kitchen, and with three walls up to keep the dust off the proteins, it was 55 degrees, or 130 Fahrenheit. Despite this, the competition was even hotter, but I’ll save that for a surprise.

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.

So without further ado, grab yourself a chicken rib and pale ale and turn your aircon up to 11 and join me as I melt in the hot Aussie sun at the Kondari BBQ Festival!


With Anthony from Black Bark Barbecuer

  • He’s one of the OG teams returning after the first Kondari in 2018
  • Last year there were only 14 teams, in 2019 there were 24 teams
  • It was on bitumen last year and was too hot
  • The promoter listened to the suggestions of the competitors and took it all on board and improved as much as possible
  • Last year was Anthony’s first ever competition and he got 3rd in Lamb
  • He didn’t want to give anything away regarding his lamb game
  • His next competition is in May in Ipswich and they’re aiming for at least a dozen
  • They have a new sponsor on board with Heavenly Hell Hot Sauces
  • The relationship between judging and competing
    • If you’re looking at competing, but haven’t judged, make sure you judge first
    • It will open your eyes to the standard of what’s coming through and let’s you know what to aim for


With Adam from Primal Iron BBQ

  • There was a potluck dinner on for competitors on the Friday night before the comp for dinner
  • How they get their food so precise:
    • They use metal rulers and tweezers
    • Make things uniform
    • Do lots of chicken pieces to ensure matches re uniformity and symmetrical
    • The eye is naturally drawn to things that are symmetrical
  • The new smoker trailer
    • It’s a Bullockhead Creek Trailer
    • So new they’re still working out how to use it properly
    • Having everything on a trailer makes packing for comps so much easier
    • They’ve built it with catering and comps in mind
    • It’s essentially a commercial kitchen on a trailer
    • 30 inch smoker
    • Warming box / smoker with 7 trays
    • Mounted tool box
    • Twin stainless sinks and a separate hand wash basin
    • Hot and Cold running water
    • Plenty of storage
    • Clever things such as a sliding drawer to avoid lifting and hefting eskies etc
  • 2019:
    • They plan on catering with their new rig
    • They are already lining up catering and weddings
    • More branding, more merch


With Aaron from Smoke Hunters BBQ

  • They’re aiming for 7 competitions in 2019
  • They are looking at Northern NSW to Mid-QLD
  • They love working with family-based businesses
  • Pushing the boundaries makes Smoke Hunter BBQ unique
  • His favourite cut is beef ribs, but he’s doing brisket over beef ribs
    • He’s doing brisket as they’ve had some success and wants to practice it

With Shay from Smokey Days BBQ

  • They’re a group of friends who realised that they were all into BBQ
  • Port Mac BBQ Wars was their first ever competition
    • Then Beaudesert
    • Then Springfield
    • Then Kondari 2019
  • The biggest thing he’s learnt is the importance of that one bite for the judges
  • One of their team members is a spice scientist and makes all the rubs for the team, so they’ve started bagging and selling them
  • They do all their own rubs and sauces
  • Their goal for 2019 is to get to almost every QLD competition they can get to


With Pitmaster Mike from Bastie Boys

  • They’ve stayed hydrated and got some sleep and that’s made all the difference
  • Trying to get sleep is a new technique for them this year
  • 2018 was their second full year and they did 6 comps
  • 2019 they have some new sponsors which makes them more excited but also puts on more pressure and obligation
    • Clean Heat BBQ is a charcoal sponsor
    • Hogpit Smokers are the pit sponsor
      • They have bought 001 – the prototype
      • Steve from Ironwood Smokers who cooks on the team has ordered a 30 inch one as well
      • 001 can go from 250F to 350F in 15 minutes
    • Jackelope Trading have come on board as rub and spice sponsors
    • They’re still sponsored by Ironwood Smokers and 2 Butchers


With Matt from Smokin’ Sappers BBQ

  • He’s loved Kondari – not too big, not too small
  • They were fighting as to who has going to do the walk-ins so they could have some time in the air con
  • All the teams at Kondari are great friends and are happy to help the new teams
  • At their first comp, Mitch from the Meat Sweats came into Matt’s tent and showed him how to comp trim a brisket
  • 2018
    • Started well for them and then plateaued
    • It was a little disheartening not to be able to crack the top 3
  • A good team with a good dynamic is essential
    • Give each other a bit of stick, but also be supportive when needed
  • 2019
    • They won’t be doing as many competition due to work commitments
    • They’ll stick to SEQ and Port Mac
  • He’s very interested to see how the introduction of KCBS will affect the QLD scene


With Drew from BBQ Mafia

  • It was just Ryan and Drew at this comp
  • Beef was his favourite hand-in, but their target is consistency
  • They had a great finish to 2018
    • They went to the Royale and competed twice and got two call ups for their Brisket
  • 2019
    • All their rubs are about to come out in shakers
    • They’re hitting both Meatstocks to do demos and pop ups
    • Not planning on going overseas

ABA Awards Ceremony

RGC: Country Boys BBQ

GC: BBQ Mafia


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