Barbecue is a staple of the Australian summer. There's nothing quite like the smell of meat cooking over an open flame, the sound of sizzling steaks, and the taste of succulent, tender meat that has been smoked for hours. But if you think you've experienced the best barbecue in Australia, you haven't been to MeatStock, Australia's biggest barbecue festival.
Meat Stock is a three-day festival that draws over 50,000 people in Melbourne, Sydney, and Toowoomba. It has everything you need to make a great barbecue festival: pork, beef, chicken, and even crocodile; rubs, sauces, and barbecue gear; and even its own beer. If it's cooked over fire, you'll find it at Meat Stock.
The festival has a wide range of smokers, from small smokers to open pit charcoal cooking, all the way up to a massive four-and-a-half-ton offset smoker affectionately named Jolene. This giant 60-inch smoker has eight doors, twin stacks, and two racks, and can comfortably cook 72 8-kilo briskets at once.
But Meat Stock isn't just about the food. It's also about the community. The festival brings together some of Australia's best pitmasters, who compete in a range of categories, including pork, chicken, lamb, and brisket. There's also a state cook-off association in state wars, where teams compete in four hand-ins over two days, with only one steak being turned in per hand-in. The best part? You get to eat the second steak.
But it's not just about the competition. Meat Stock has something for everyone, including live music, muscle cars, bull riding, and even cornhole. There are also events like the Butcher's Walls, where butchers break down half a lamb, a saddle of pork, and a beef knuckle in under 45 minutes and present it to the judges as if it were a butcher's shop window.
If you're a barbecue enthusiast, you won't want to miss the Meet the Pit Master sessions. These sessions feature some of Australia's best local talent, as well as international guests like Christina Fitzgerald and Tuffy Stone. The sessions offer a chance to learn from the experts and get tips on how to make the perfect barbecue at home.
But perhaps the best part of Meat Stock is the sense of community. While it is a competition made up of individual teams, you quickly get the sense that it's much bigger than just competing. Barbecue is really a community, with plenty of encouragement and laughs being shared. The festival is a celebration of all things barbecue, and it's clear that everyone involved is passionate about the craft.
In conclusion, Meat Stock is not only Australia's greatest barbecue festival but also one of the greatest barbecue festivals in the world. With its wide range of food, smokers, and events, there's something for everyone. So if you're a barbecue enthusiast, mark your calendar and make sure you don't miss Meat Stock 2023.