My First BBQ Competition - The Creekside Hotel

 

If you’ve been following our Facebook page, you’ll know that we’ve been quite active in the Australian BBQ competition scene and regularly sponsoring teams striving towards achieving their BBQ dreams. We have grown quite close with some of these teams with them becoming friends and helping us out by running our BBQ Masterclasses.

 

It wasn‚Äôt until a couple of weekends ago that I personally had the opportunity to get involved and spend some time at a BBQ competition watching the teams in action. The competition was in a small regional town in north western Victoria called Warracknabeal. A  wheatbelt town some 4 and a half hours drive from BBQ Spit Rotisseries HQ in Seaford.

 

 

Although the population of the town is only around 2,500, the location of the BBQ competition, The Creekside Hotel, was bustling. 30 + BBQ teams mostly from Melbourne and Adelaide (but some from Sydney) had made the treck to Warracknabeal to battle it out at The Creekside BBQ Battle.

 

Most teams “bumped in” on Friday, including the 2 teams we sponsored, Moist BBQ and Sticky Pits BBQ. Friday night was quite relaxed, kicking back with a few beers and enjoying some kebabs cooked on the Flaming Coals Cyprus spit over mallee root charcoal.

 

 

Site inspections were carried out by the Australasian BBQ Alliance (ABA) Saturday morning and the teams were then free to fire up their pits and start preparing their meat. Within this particular competition, there were actually 2 competitions. One sanctioned by the Steak Cookoff Association (SCA) and the main event sanctioned by the ABA. The results of the SCA didn’t go towards the overall 2017 leaderboard, however the winner of the steak category qualified to represent Australia in Texas next year for the SCA championships. While there was prize money and of course bragging rights at stake (no pun intended), most teams viewed it as just a bit of fun serving up chicken wings, burgers and steak.

 

 

While neither of the teams we sponsored finished off with a placing, it was great to see other regular customers of ours Smokeface Grillers finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd. It was a proud moment when I remembered selling them their first Pro Q smoker just 2 years ago and the boys still come in regularly to stock up on rubs and sauces.

 

 

Saturday was a bit busier than Friday night with teams trimming meat, marinating meat and chopping parsley for their hand-in boxes.Don’t get me wrong, there was still plenty of time for the boys to have a drink and a laugh….some a little more than others. Allowing for a 10-12 hour cook plus resting time, most teams had their larger cuts of meat, brisket and pork shoulder in the smoker before midnight. Throughout the night, the teams our tending to their fires, drinking, spritzing the meat to keep it moist, drinking, putting the pork ribs into the smoker, wrapping the brisket and pork shoulder, drinking and getting a few minutes sleep where they can.

For the lucky few that are able to get some sleep, they are back up and at it early in the morning again, putting the smaller cuts into the smoker, chicken and lamb, saucing, taking meat of the smoker and allowing to rest.

 

 

Hand-in times are generally an hour apart so between 11am and 3pm, there is usually quite a bit happening. Everything needs to be timed perfectly to ensure teams have their hand-in boxes to the judges table at precisely the right time. Each stem of parsley put into position with tweezers. Every piece of meat is placed in the box to perfection with only the best looking and moistest making the cut. Once the box is closed, the boys carefully walk the box up to the judges tent being sure not to knock anything out of place.

 

 

Sticky Pits BBQ picked up a 3rd place trophy in the duck category.

While Moist BBQ didn’t get a place, they were consistent and came 13th overall.

 

I absolutely loved my first real competition experience. Sure, I’ve been to BBQ competitions before, but we’ve always been working exhibiting our products at them so I never really had a chance to get the full competition experience. In addition to the 2 teams we sponsored using our Flaming Coals Offsets, it was great to see another 3 teams using Flaming Coals products. Plus, you wouldn’t believe it…..I had no fewer than 3 people (non-competitors) randomly walk past and comment that they had purchased an offset smoker from us, a Flaming Coals Cyprus Spit from us and had also attended one of our Masterclasses. Ordinarily, this would be normal, but remember that we are 4 and a half hours drive from Seaford!

 

As part of our commitment to give a helping hand to worthy charities, we are holding a competition style BBQ Masterclass in both our Melbourne and Sydney stores on 26th November and 10th December respectively. All profits will be donated to Hands Across The Water. Moist BBQ and the Flaming Coals BBQ teams are kindly donating their time to help other BBQ enthusiasts get the ultimate competition BBQ experience. If you’d like to learn more about what we will be covering in this Competition style BBQ Masterclass.

 

 

  

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

by: Rhiannon Peterson