From the Australasian Barbecue Association comes the Burleigh BBQ Championships, a MasterChef-style outdoor cooking event for competitive carnivores. Held 1 – 2August in Ed Hardy Park, competitors will cook carefully selected cuts of meat over 21 hours, before presenting their dishes to a panel of judges who will award $6000 in prizes.
Event organiser Greg Dean describes the “low and slow” cooking style for the uninitiated.
“It refers to a style of BBQing developed in the US during depression and recession times. They did this by using cheaper, secondary cuts of meat few folks wanted, cooked very slowly at low temperatures, kind of like a stock pot result with fire, smoke and spices.”
The competition itself attracts barbecue enthusiasts from the hardcore to the social, explains Greg.
“Nobody competes to turn a profit. It’s about cooking Authentic BBQ with wood and bragging rights regardless the number of BBQs a team uses or their cost. About half of the folks competing are professional chefs, caterers or those aspiring to be and use these gatherings to test new things and learn from their peers. To the other half it’s more a social gathering and mateship. Sometime even a short holiday away with the spouses.”
Regardless of the intention of the entrants, most of them spend months in preparation for the event. He says teams practice for months to learn how long it takes to cook different products and what style of smoke, seasoning and rub works best.
“Time is critical and often changes traditional methods. It’s not unusual for teams to bring meat from five different butchers,” says Greg.
Although the public is (unfortunately!) unable to taste the finished product, the sight of so many fierce enthusiasts in one area, cooking up a storm, is guaranteed to provide visual and olfactory entertainment. Cooking starts from 3.00pm on the Saturday, with judging on Sunday morning. Enquiries about entering to email@example.com