My First BBQ Competition

flaming coals bbq team

Barbeque in Australia has really taken off in the past 3 years especially the competition circuit. With major prize money and prizes to win you would be a fool not to give it a go right? So I did just that and embarked on a whole new world of BBQ with my meat smoker.

flaming coals bbq team


There are so many different factors when it comes to competition BBQ and the flavour from your meat smoker is just one element. One thing you will soon realize with competition BBQ is that it‚all about that one bite the judge takes, so you have to pack as much flavour into that one bite as you can. You see I come from a Texas style of cooking where salt and pepper are king and the meat stands out for itself and boy was I wrong to think that competition cooking was the same. 


meat smoker    

Prepping for competition feels like prepping for a marathon, there is a lot of running around getting the right cuts of meat, making sure rubs are ready, making sure you have enough wood and charcoal supplies, packing cleaning supplies and camping gear, figuring out how you're going to transport 2 massive meat smokers but most importantly, trying to find a sponsor or sponsors to help keep your costs down. 

meat smokermeat smoker

Competitions can be very expensive without sponsorship, I myself am lucky to be sponsored by work, BBQ Spit Rotisseries and a butcher but without that it would be almost impossible to do. Come completion time the only real advice I can give is to stay rested, if you are doing it in a team of two or more I suggest taking sleeping breaks if you don‚Äôt and run purely on caffeine (hint always have access to espresso) you will not focus and do the best you can to get those hand ins in on time.

meat smoker meat smoker

meat smoker

I run 2 Flaming Coals Offset Smokers at competition and tend to use ironbark and apple chunks to get the added smoky flavour. Do as many practice cooks as you possibly can, including overnight cooks and pretend hand-ins so you get the timing right. 

flaming coals offset smoker flaming coals offset smoker

If you're new to meat smoking and are tossing around what kind of meat smoker to buy, I cannot recommend the Flaming Coals Offset Smokers highly enough. There are quite a few competition teams using these smokers at the moment as they provide an affordable alternative to custom made pits which are out of the price range of most backyard warriors. 

If an offset smoker seems a little too daunting to use as your first meat smoker, check out this quick guide which goes through the differences between the types of smokers available.

flaming coals offset smoker flaming coals offset smoker

We have put together a range of "How To Smoke Meat" videos to get you started.

You can also check out our blog post about Australia's largest BBQ competition by clicking here.


This is a picture of the smoker buying guide banner that links to a page where you can download the free guide to help you with your BBQ smoker purchase


Cameron Davidson   By: Cameron Davidson