063 Live @ Townsville BBQ Battle 2019

Townsville BBQ Battle

063 Live @ Townsville 2019

In this episode I’m on the road again and this time heading to far north Queensland for the inaugural Townsville BBQ Battle. It’s the dead of winter in Australia right now, so a trip north was exactly what the doctor ordered. I had left my hoodie in my truck at the airport, but it didn’t matter. Situated right on the beach, the sun was hot, the skies were clear, and the fresh ocean breeze was only heightened by the delicious smell of meat, fire and smoke. 

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. 

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w / Ivon from BBQ Fairy Industries

  • TSV BBQ Battle is their ‘coming out of retirement’ competition
  • He has a new smoker, a new Hogpit Offset smoker
    • He found Jaimie on the TV
    • Had a conversation re Ivon’s specifications
    • Had the completed smoker to Jaimie very quickly
    • Named ‘Buffy’
    • 24 inch, not on a trailer
    • 2 shelves
    • Insulated firebox
    • Weighs 750 – 800 kgs
    • He opted not to have it on a trailer to save space when he’s working in stalls
    • He finds it does brisket the best


w / Travis from TB2 Smokers

  • Thinks the location of the Townsville BBQ Battle is a ripper
  • TB2 Smokers is based in Tinaroo on the Northern Tablelands, an hour inland from Cairns
  • The Kettle Kone:
    • It’s been really well embraced by the BBQ community and has gone more succesful than Travis could have hoped
    • It’s used primarily in Kettles for controlling and directing high heat in a kettle-style BBQ for direct and direct cooking
    • He’s now building smokers
    • Inspired by Jambo Smokers
    • Incorporates water smoker features
    • It’s compact and incorporates lots of storage, designed for getting to competitions
    • Double insulated firebox
  • They started in competition BBQ in 2017 and has been coached alot by Dan White from Country Boys BBQ


w / Clare from Queens of Q

  • 1 of the 1st all-female teams in FNQ and the only all-female team at TSV BBQ Battle
  • This is their first competition
  • There is a Rookie Competition at TSV
    • The team members must never have competed in the ABA before
    • There is a separate series of trophies and prizes for that
  • They are cooking on Traegers
    • They like them coz they make life a little bit easier at competitions
  • They’ve divided up the hand-ins to the individual team members
  • Clare’s hand-in is St Louis style
    • They’re the same size and shape making them very consistent
  • Advice to other ladies
    • Get into it
    • BBQ is not as hard as it needs to be
    • Get organised


w / Paul from the Meat Jerkin’ Beef Boys

  • He’s having a great time at the competition
  • It’s his first competition
  • Only heard about low’n’slow about a year ago
  • Jumbuck Kettle > Weber Kettle > Offset Smoker
  • He has a Ranchero Offset now
  • He’s using a mint glaze on his lamb
  • His logo was freehand drawn by a team member and built by another


w / Chris from MYQ4U

  • Chris’ Mum lives in Townsville, so he had to come
  • For chicken:
    • Pillows, chicken thighs in muffin tins
    • Sweet with a little bit of heat
  • He’s running a whole new team this year
  • Burleigh is next, a KCBS comp and then Kingaroy
  • He’s not going to do three KCBS comps for Team of the Year
  • He dropped one brisket, so he’s only got one


w / Dan from Country Boys BBQ

  • The crowd has been great, turning up 4 hours early and asking questions
  • He gets his ribs through Borrowdale via Low’n’Slow Meat Co
  • He’s been running his pork rib method exactly the same for the last two years
  • He still does a 5 hour cook in a traditional stick burner
  • He always does St Louis
    • He doesn’t like Baby Backs as they tend to dry out and the loin meat can be difficult to cook right
  • Dan is a butcher so he cuts his ribs himself
  • Look for straight ribs and evenly sized

w / Adrian Richardson

  • He loves Townsville – beaches, party, BBQ = perfect
  • Competitors have been giving him advice, insights and bites of meat to eat
  • The impact of BBQ on the wider food scene:
    • We’re seeing more and more smokers appearing in restaurant kitchens
    • Pulled Pork is now a staple in pubs
    • Using secondary cuts is excellent
  • He likes charcoal smokers rather than offsets, purely because of the time saved
  • BBQ brings people together, people from different tribes etc
  • Tips for cooking the perfect steak
    • Start with the best meat you can get
    • Salt and Pepper on both sides
    • Sear on both sides and keep turning it
    • Try getting larger, thicker steaks, cook and rest them, and then serve them carved

w / Brad from Beserker BBQ

  • It’s their first comp and it’s a lot harder than it looks
    • The lack of sleep combined with doing things for the first time is proving tough
    • They practiced their cooks a lot but didn’t focus so much on the timing and were well-rested in the practice
  • They’ve included an OzPig in their kit
    • They can cook camp oven food, grill, rotisseries, pizzas and more
    • You can do a 12-inch camp oven on there or more
    • It now has a smoker attachment for it
    • He’s done some hung ribs in there
  • Lamb is going to be their best hand-in at this comp

w / Shane from Ryland’s BBQ Obsession

  • Has the 1st ever Weber Store in Australia
    • It is the next level above being a Weber Specialist
    • They stock everything Weber and nothing else
    • You start as a Weber Specialist and then you move up from there
    • It’s invite-only
  • He’s been involved in the Townsville BBQ Battle since Day One
  • The amount of Go Anywheres that they’re selling each month is astounding
  • The Smokey Mountains are selling really well too
  • The Weber Summit Charcoal
    • You can do low’n’slow, smoke, roast and grill

w / Raff from 2 Smokin’ Arabs

  • He’s happy to have come all the way up and enjoy the heat vs the Sydney winter
  • The crowd has been great at this competition and Raff has been turning a blind eye to people stealing bites from his table
  • He’s FIFO’d the comp
    • He has a member of the team who lives in Cairns
    • This other fellow does all the pork
    • He’s taken on a bit of the roll of BBQ mentor
    • They cook on similar smokers
  • 2 Smokin’ Arabs is a husband and wife team
  • This weekend’s brisket
    • Very different to a commercial cook coz you can’t serve the public the same thing that you give the judges
    • He’s cooked about 4 tonnes of brisket every year, 1 tonne just in Ramadan
    • You can get two briskets from the same supplier and they’ll cook differently
  • He gave up his full-time job for BBQ
    • His wife was worried at first but quickly got on board
  • The scene has grown so quickly and impressively over the last few years
  • His biggest tip for new teams is to not bring so much stuff

w / Devon from Iron Fire Australia

  • Devon is the Brand Manager
  • The business is based in Rockhampton / Yeppoon
  • What’s brought them to Townsville
    • They’re passionate and excited about the BBQ scene and are really excited to have a comp in their regional QLD area
  • They’re impressed with the organisation of the festival, the interaction and enthusiasm of the crowd and the fact that they can get so close to the teams
  • They donated a smoker to the competition to be raffled to raise money for the event
    • They’re excited that someone in the region is going to take a smoker home 
  • The particular smoker:
    • A 20 inch offset with a ‘cooking tower’
      • You can do pizzas
      • The fire bed is raisable for doing steaks
      • There is a parilla under the grill
    • The design was to have one unit that can do everything
    • 6mm everywhere except the firebox, which is 8mm. The extra thickness provides a bit more insulation and gives you a steady fire
  • They are moving into trailer pits soon

w / Fraser from Serial Grillers

  • Townsville has been really hospitable to everyone
  • The acres of flat, soft grass are muchly appreciated
  • What’s brought them to Townsville
    • George, his teammate and coworker has family in Townsville
    • They are combining a family trip with a BBQ competition
  • He’s pretty sure they’ve down well in Townsville
  • Their brisket
    • 9 score Wagyu from Security Foods who are exclusive to Meat at Billy’s
    • Rubs, brines and sauces are all made by George
  • They’re hitting Cleveland next
  • Advice for people getting into it:
    • Go to your local butcher and start a conversation

w / Dan from Big Smoke BBQ

  • He flew up from Melbourne to compete
  • He had some drama getting all the way up there
    • He had a cancelled flight and had to spend 7.5 hours waiting in Brisbane Airport
    • His meat was all frozen and packed in eskies with ice blocks. He had spare meat lined up at Townsville but didn’t need it
    • His BBQ friends from around the country put a kit together for him to use
  • On using a smoker that’s not his:
    • You need to learn how to use different smokers so you can adapt quickly to new smokers
    • Find your hot and cold spots
  • 3 best tips for FIFO comps
    • Make your rubs and sauces at home, and cryovac into bags to avoid breakages
    • Call up all your mates and make sure they’ve got everything you need
    • Make sure you get some sleep and fly up a day in advance so if you get delayed it doesn’t mess you up too bad


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