Smokin' hot challenge at BaconFest
FOR Adam Roberts, co-founder and general manager of the Australasian Barbecue Challenge, the secret to low and slow barbecuing is cooking over a wood fire.
"That's the first thing,” the self-confessed food enthusiast said.
"When you use good fire and good smoke, the flavour profiles are superior to any other cooking method.”
What you put on top of the fire is a whole other ball park.
"For the selection of meat you're looking for a large or fattier cut that can take a bit of bashing around, such as brisket, lamb shoulder or pork shoulder,” Roberts said.
"You want to cook it at a low temperature for a long time to break down the fat so the meat will be a lot juicier and full of flavour.”
Roberts is no newcomer to the world of competitive barbecuing.
He owned his own food truck for several years where he served up tasty morsels of American-style gourmet hot dogs and crowd-favourite smoky barbecue pulled pork sliders.
"My buddy, Jay Beaumont, and I started barbecue competitions in 2014 and we've been cooking pretty solidly and growing the sport of barbecuing for at least five or six years,” he said.
This year, BaconFest will host one of the national championship rounds of the Barbeques Galore Australasian Barbecue Championships.
"There's 30 rounds and the BaconFest competition will be one of those, with competitors coming from NSW and Queensland to compete for prize money, trophies and points to go towards the national leaderboard,” Roberts said.
"The Manning Valley Natural Smokers, who are currently in the number one spot, will be heading along to compete at BaconFest.
"Although they've won two or three competitions, it's much like a family reunion when everyone gets together.
"It's just about mates, friends and colleagues getting together and making a mouth-watering experience for the judges,” Roberts said.