Aussies Top Americans As BBQ World Champs
We have been tried, we have been tested over scorching charcoal and Australia has been found superior at barbeque to America.
Australia’s barbeque champions, Craig Philpott and Grant Neal, proved it in St Louis, Missouri last week, topping current USA father-son champs, Jim and Spencer Randall at the Australia vs USA BBQ Champion Cook Off 2016.
The competition provided plenty of heat, even if St Louis turned on the freezer. Cooking in about three degrees Celsius, Australia placed their hopes on a beef brisket, which Philpott informed Sunrise commentator James Tobin could take up to 12 hours to properly cook.
That’s commitment to a meal most of us wouldn’t even attempt.
Despite the occasional banter across the cooking stations, both teams were focused, but also thoroughly enjoying the fine, age-less art of barbequing.
Jim Randall couldn’t have put it any better while taking time out from watching the grill to enjoy a Budweiser. “Beer, meat, fire; there’s something primal about [BBQ]. It’s awesome. We all love it and we’re all brothers.”
With that sentiment in mind, it wasn’t surprising that the Randalls were the first to congratulate Philpott and Neal when they were handed the trophy. The decision, made after a blind tasting, was televised live last week on Channel 7’s Sunrise .
This was only one part of the prize awarded to the two Aussie barbequtionists, who secured themselves a dream USA holiday and shot at the title when they took out the Aussie BBQ Championships in October last year.
Philpott and Neal then embarked on a BBQ-lover’s journey around the States courtesy of Trafalgar, United Airlines and Flight Centre, stopping in some of the country’s BBQ capitals such as Chicago and St Louis.
The two were treated like stars, taken to the best restaurants, meeting renowned BBQ chefs and learning a lot about their own future as experts in the culinary trade.
“Although we like our barbeque and do it well, there’s a lot to learn over here [the USA]. These guys do barbeque very well,” said Grant Neal, ever humble in victory.
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Although televised cooking competitions pack plenty of excitement, there’s always a sense of disappointment at not being able to taste the meals.
Fortunately, here are some restaurants to visit if your mouth starts watering at the thought of slow-cooked brisket, juicy pork ribs and spicy chicken wings.
- Big Boy BBQ (Melbourne) – Pulled pork, Kansas-style brisket and Aussie chicken
- Hudson Corner (Brisbane) – Buffalo wings, Texas beef brisket and BBQ pork ribs
- Sweethearts Rooftop Barbeque (Sydney) – Grilled Queensland bug tails, king prawns and beef tri-tip skewers
- Old Faithful Bar and BBQ (Perth) – Smoked chicken drumstick, pig belly and fried lamb ribs
- Crumb Street Kitchen (Hobart) – Pulled beef, pork and lamb, baby back ribs, and Cajun chicken
In The USA
- Kerlin BBQ (Austin, TX) – Angus brisket, pork shoulder and blue cheese coleslaw
- Pappy’s Smokehouse (St Louis, MO) – Dry-rubbed ribs, pulled chicken and pork sandwiches, and fried corn on the cob
- Hometown Bar-B-Q (Brooklyn, NY) – Lamb belly, Jamaican jerk baby back ribs, and brisket and pulled pork tacos
- Skylight Inn BBQ (Ayden, NC) – Whole hog pork, pit-cooked BBQ chicken and home-made slaw
- Smoque BBQ (Chicago IL) – Texas sausage, 14-hour smoked brisket, and mac & cheese
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I love the kind of travelling that is one part strategic planning and two parts spontaneous adventure. Whether I'm exploring my local city or a small town in the middle of nowhere, I'm always hoping to find something no one else has discovered.