064 Live @ BBQ & Beer Roadshow 2019

BBQ & Beer Roadshow

064 Live @ BBQ & Roadshow 2019

This is Episode Nine of Season Five. For this episode, it’s a local comp – just a quick drive up the motorway to Brisbane for the BBQ & Beer Roadshow. This year’s festival marked a hat trick for BBR, marking three years in a row of a great weekend of BBQ, Craft Beer, live music and good times. And, it was the first ever KCBS competition in Queensland so that was exciting to see all the teams getting involved in that. And boy, did that comp draw them in. We had competitors travel all the way from the other side of the continent to be a part of this which was just amazing. 

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.

If you, like me, have a weakness for BBQ Caps, you’ve got to grab one our Kettle Caps. They embody our two favourite things in life: BBQ, and Podcasts about BBQ! Check them out now!


w / Nathan from Sticky Fingers BBQ

  • The lads all work together on a drill rig, cooking together on site and at home
    • They time their shifts so they can practice cooking together
  • They use drum smokers exclusively
    • They like cooking hot’n’fast
    • They have two Gateway smokers and two Big Poppa
    • Gateways are made in America and the Big Poppa is a kit that you build yourself
  • Gateways
    • Look good
    • Not bulky
    • Always gets good results
  • Lamb
    • Lamb ribs and back strap from Tasmania
    • They use Kosmos Q rubs and Brad King’s timber
  • They are looking forward to Brisket and Lamb, defending their Lamb crowd from last year’s BBQ & Beer Roadshow

w / the Chain Smokers  

  • They missed their lamb hand-in on Day One
    • Luckily just an ancilliary
  • They use a Bullockhead Creek
    • Lane’s Rubs and Iron Bark
      • Espresso rub mixed with the Brisket rub
    • They probe for tenderness and then wrap
  • They love getting together and competing
    • BBQ & Beer Roadshow is their second competition for the year due to price pressures
  • They are planning on doing the other two KCBS comps for the year to be eligible for Team of the Year

w / Rob from Smokin’ Hot’n’Saucy

  • Jolene (their giant smoker)
    • He wanted to be able to manage one fire and cook once per week for the demand that he has
    • He went to Texas and was going to ship a 1,000 gallon smoker to Australia coz it was cheaper to have it built and shipped than to have it made in Australia
    • In the meantime, the barrel for Jolene came up on Facebook Marketplace
    • Set about building it at home himself in about 60 hours
    • It’s only got two shelves so as to not block airflow
    • The firebox alone weighs 1.2 tonnes
    • Can fit 72 8 kilo briskets
    • Only 3-4 degrees Farenheit from one end to the other
    • The one from Texas is still here and is going to be his wife’s smoker
    • It’s the largest smoker in the country at the moment and possibly the Southern Hemisphere
    • Total cost was about $6,000 AUD
    • Runs solely on Iron Bark 
  • Big Tex will go to ‘The Lot’ permanently and Jolene will go into a Bricks’n’Mortar BBQ joint
  • He’s located another one the same size as Jolene, and has another 1,000 gallon smoker coming from the States soon
  • Pork ribs are hard to sell as a vendor as the profit margins aren’t there. Pubs can do it because they run them as a profit neutral dish and make their money on the beer

The Pitmaster Q&A

  • Graeme from Pitcrew BBQ and Stockpot Kitchen in Lismore, NSW
    • They bottle their own sauces under the brand ‘Big Red’
    • Just released their new cookbook ‘Red Hot & Smokin’
  • Drew from BBQ Mafia
    • Has been around since 2013
    • Sell rubs and sauces around the country
    • Do pop-ups around Brisbane
  • Lance from Temples of BBQ
    • Opened the 1st BBQ restaurant in Melbourne in 2011
    • Credited as one of the pioneers of BBQ in Australia
    • Has a line of sauces 
  • Graeme’s inspiration for his new cookbook:
    • He’s constantly testing recipes in his restaurant and posts the recipes on his blog: www.foodisthebestshitever.com 
    • He approached a publisher who was keen and the rest is history
  • Drew’s Mobster Sauce
    • Designed by four non-Chefs
    • An Australian spin on American BBQ sauce
    • Won the ‘World’s Best Steak Sauce’ Award in Louisiana
    • Their rubs and sauces will be stocked in the US shortly
  • Easiest thing to cook for a novice:
    • Pulled Pork
      • Pork Collar Butt
      • Cook to temp
      • Small Rest
    • Brisket
      • Don’t start with a $200 Wagyu brisket – you’ll probably end up throwing it out
  • Lance’s Book
    • Travelled the US for BBQ
    • The cookbook follows the road trip
      • Memphis to Texas, to South and then North Carolina
      • Designed recipes
    • Temples of BBQ was the first Australian BBQ cookbook
  • How do you decide what you’re going to put in the box? 
    • Mafia:
      • Has one captain so everybody isn’t fighting against each other
      • They aim for the judge in the middle
  • Advice for someone getting into smoking in a townhouse
    • Understand smoke as a seasoning, not as a flavour profile
    • Biggest mistake is people over-smoking their meats at the start
  • Is the BBQ industry going gourmet? 
    • More secondary cuts are becoming more popular
    • We’re seeing some Asian and BBQ influences come through
      • Pulled Pork Fried Rice
      • Brisket Pho
      • Salt & Pepper Duck Legs
      • Pork Belly Steamed Buns
  • Mixing woods – traditional in America or not? 
    • Different regions use different woods
    • It will depend on what’s local and what’s cheap
    • A lot of people in Australia will use Iron Bark to create a base and then run lighter wood for the smoke profile
  • Pro’s go-to wood, meat and rubs
    • Graeme loves Iron Bark
    • Lance likes Apple and Pecan, Hickory if using pellets
      • Rubs – start with salt, sugar, pepper, paprika and a few aromatics
    • Drew
      • Start with the best meat you can afford 
      • Texas style is salt and pepper
  • Ceramic BBQs
    • Graeme has always had an offset and just now got his first kettle
    • Drew has used Big Green Eggs but for him it takes a lot of the fun out of it – he likes feeding the fire
    • Lance – there’s a smoker for every situation depending on what you’re cooking and what your needs are
      • Offsets are great for men’s mental health
      • A lot of people can’t tell the difference between meats cooked on different BBQs

w / Jim from Bluebird Kitchen

  • Started 4 years ago in Warwick, 2 hours South West of Brisbane
    • Didn’t start with BBQ but the restaurant has evolved due to demand
    • They now draw a crowd from Brisbane and Gold Coast every weekend
    • They love to use local produce
  • Warwick is Jim’s hometown and they were looking for a balance between the hospitality lifestyle and having a family
  • A lot of their meat comes directly from the abattoirs, farmers, growers etc
    • This lets them have local produce right across the menu
  • Their menu is therefore seasonal as they cook what is around at the time
  • They have 5 different trailers
    • At BBR they had a 1971 Viscount caravan that they’re refitting for BBQ competitions

w / Billy from Meat at Billy’s

  • Billy is cooking with the Mafia boys at this year’s BBQ & Beer Roadshow, helping out, watching the fire etc
  • He went to the States with them for the Royal last year
    • Billy’s responsibility was to get the brisket and trim it and they got 5th and 7th
  • On trimming briskets
    • Selection is most important
    • Thick flat, healthy point
    • Flip it over and check the marbling
    • Separate and put back in the fridge to firm up
    • Check out Clark Crew BBQ for shaping tips
  • This weekend they’ve gone with Security Foods Wagyu
    • They have a 7, 8 and 9
  • The shop is going well and this time of year is good for them thanks to the milder weather being more conducive to BBQing
  • On Serial Grillers
    • Billy feels like a father-figure to them
    • He’s hoping they do well at BBQ & Beer Roadshow
    • The staff at work always give them a hard time so the boys enjoyed showing off to them

w / Rusty from the Charcoal Project

  • They’ve done two comps since Christmas: Kondari and Bundaberg
    • Got 2nd in Brisket and 3rd in Beef Ribs at Bundy
  • Rusty organised the Rib King at this year’s BBQ & Beer Roadshow
    • It’s a sidepot, similar to the Brisket King
    • 6-pack buy-in
      • 19 teams have entered and the winner will take them all
  • The Jambo
    • 1 of 2 in Australia
    • It’s a straight flow offset with an insulated firebox
    • Very efficient and maintains temperature all day long
  • Had an accident:
    • Forgot to put the pan under the Go Anywhere and melted the fittings to the airbag suspension, leaving it stuck on its belly
  • They are heading to the Brisbane BBQ Festival, then Kingaroy, then Beer & BBQ Festival on the Sunshine Coast
    • The Sunshine Coast event is a craft beer festival with a BBQ element on the side, not a competition

Craft Beer Q&A

  • Look for beers that cut through fats when eating BBQ
    • Like IPA or Pilsener
  • Every beer has hops in it
  • Malt, water and hops is what every beer has
  • When making New England IPA they cut if off early and overhop the beer to create the tropical flavours
  • The industry is changing here in Australia
    • 11% of the market is now craft beer
    • It’s growing 33% per year
    • 3 more breweries have just opened in Brisbane, bringing the total to 20 breweries just in Brisbane
  • Melbourne is leading the way still, but Sydney is growing rapidly in the Inner West
  • A lot of breweries start out brewing in plastic in their spare rooms and taking their beers to festivals
    • They’ve then grown it up into a full blown brewery
  • Breakfast Beer
    • It is a real thing
    • Made by Founders in Michigan
    • It’s a coffee stout, about 10.5%
  • Smoked Beer is a thing
    • They’ll smoke the malts first
  • Some beers are now being brewed in whiskey and Buffalo Trace barrels to get some of those smokey flavours
  • Best matchings:
    • Buffalo Wings + Pilsener
    • Wagyu Rib Eye + New England IPA
    • Sticky Pork Ribs + Porter or Stout


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