Time to talk meat.
Recently I took three hungry volunteers with me Meatstock, a festival dedicated to the love of meat. And while I’m tempted to focus indulgently on the meat-eating highlights, instead I’m going to pass on some insider tips on Texas style ‘low’n’slow’ cooking.
Let’s call this Meat University. Class is in session.
Cooking ‘Low and Slow’
Growing in popularity, ‘low and slow’ is the technique for cooking notoriously tough pieces of meat. It’s an American style of smoking where the meat is cooked on a slow, steady heat for many hours, in a hot, wet, smokey environment. Essentially, the process renders the fat into the meat, and imparts a lot of smokey, wood flavours.
The technique is blossoming in Australia, evidenced in the 10,000 visitors to Meatstock, and the more than 50 teams competing for a Barbecue Wars trophy. We now host some of the best barbecue teams in the world and slow-cooking culture is gaining ground.
Slow Barbecues Create Great Community
What makes the Australian barbecue tradition so great is the way we gather around cooking meats and make friends. But after the snags are cooked and the burgers are fried, you shut off the grill, and the conversation changes.
Low and slow cooking, though, makes the cooker the main event. That meat is in there for hours, and you spend most of the day gathered around the device, tinkering and mopping the meat to make your barbecue perfect.
A visit to Meatstock confirmed it: everyone was there to enjoy Australia’s laid back spirit and our joy of sitting around a barbecue. Think about it. Seventeen hours waiting for a seven kilogram piece of meat to reach perfection, definitely opens up plenty of doors for conversation.
Big Mo’s Pointers
We rounded out our day chatting with the Pit Master Mo Cason. He has featured on four seasons of the American reality TV show Pitmasters, and has taken out about 30 championships for his incredible barbecue.
Mo was impressed with Australian barbecue culture and excited about the growing scene. He also gave us some tips on making the perfect steak.