Smokin! How to take your BBQ to the next level

 Australia Day BBQ Tips

To many people, having a barbeque on Australia Day is practically compulsory. 

But what if you want more than a few burnt snags on a roll? What if I told you you could take your BBQ to a whole other level and re-create such delights as beef brisket, pulled pork, and juicy succulent RIBS?

Would you be interested?

I take it from the drool on the keyboard in front of you that you are! 

So I’d like to introduce Andrew Walliker, Brisbane BBQ aficionado and member of the very cool-sounding Brisbane BBQ Mafia. 

I’ve been following Andrew (or Drew as he is known on Instagram) for a while and I often drool over pictures of his home-cooked barbeque feasts. 

Drew’s always been a fan of cooking on the barbie, but it wasn’t until recently that he discovered the joy of the “Low and Slow” style of barbeque.

“It was about a year ago when I first came across some new American style restaurants in Brisbane serving real smoked beef brisket and pulled pork. That opened my eyes to the whole BBQ scene and I immediately went out and brought a Weber to start my ‘charcoal barbequing’ apprenticeship.”

BBQ Ribs

Drew and the Brisbane BBQ Mafia recently won the first round of the Brisbane BBQ Wars, a barbecue battle where teams cook-off against each other – much to the delight of the crowds who got sample the results.

Then in March they’ll head down to Port Macquarie to compete in the Australian BBQ Wars, a ‘slow and low’ BBQ and Blues festival featuring 40 teams from around Australia competing for over $10,000 in prize money.

All this makes Drew pretty much a barbeque BOSS, so here are his top tips for creating competition winning barbecue dishes at your an Australia Day BBQ!

Secrets to a Great BBQ

Whether you are cooking with gas or charcoal the secrets are as follows:

1. Buy quality meat. Spend a little extra on your proteins, it makes all the difference.

2. Don’t over marinade or season, with good quality meat, less is more.

3. When cooking on gas resist the temptation to keep turning your red meats! It makes them tough.

4. If you’re cooking something low and slow you cant rush it! Be prepared for it to take as long as it takes – you need patience but it’s worth it! 


Tips for Low & Slow

What kind of BBQ do I need?

Drew: I have a Weber and a Pro Q Elite 20.  My advice is to go and have a chat to Josh at Aussie BBQs at Murarrie, he’s an absolute expert. If you want some tips on getting I’m happy to help anyone through my drewsbrekkyblog and brisbanebbqmafia pages on Instagram and Facebook as well.

I went and checked out the ProQ Australia website and these do look very cool. They’re also very versatile – smoking allows you to flavour the meat using different kinds of woods AND you can still take it apart and use it as a regular BBQ. Neat. 

What meat cuts should I use?

Drew: Secondary cuts like beef brisket and pork collar butt, the cut used for perfect succulent pulled pork. These cuts are tough to start with but if you cook them slowly at about 115 degrees, they literally melt like butter. Pork Baby Back Ribs and Beef Short Ribs are also awesome done this way (although they don’t take as long). 

Where do you get your meat from?

Drew: The Brisbane BBQ Mafia are excited to announce Meat At Billy’s at Ashgrove as our BBQ Wars sponsor. Billy and the team can get you set up with cuts for low and slow, and they also have stunning barbeque items as well.

But if Ashgrove is too far away, just find a good quality local butcher and tell him or her what you need. Bear in mind though, that cuts for low and slow barbequing often need to be pre-ordered a few days beforehand.

What to cook?

Drew: If I’m using my smoker, I love doing my 14 hour slow smoked Beef Brisket. I inject the brisket with beef stock, put a paprika based dry rub on the outside of the meat and slow smoke over fruit wood chips. It’s a real labour of love but the results are amazing.

BUT if I’m wanting something a bit quicker to cook then my favorite meat to barbeque is Eye Fillet Steak. I either lightly rub with olive oil, season with salt and pepper or make a quick marinade of lemon juice, garlic and olive oil and lightly coat.

Slow Cooked BBQ Brisket

Drew’s Slow Cooked BBQ Brisket

Now if all that talk about awesome BBQ goodness hasn’t made you hungry then you’re a stronger person than I am!

If you’re interested in getting into low and slow barbequing, or have any general BBQ questions, Drew is more than happy to help. 

You can follow him on Instagram at @drewsbrekkyblog or @brisbanebbqmafia or email him at

Have you tried cooking low and slow style barbeque? If you’ve got some tips or a recipe I love to hear about them!

Rachel - Ed

About Rachel

Thirty-something Brisbane lover, trying to find the balance between FOMO and YOLO. Semi-retired party girl who loves planning itineraries for big nights out. Often found dragging 3 boys around your local farmers markets or attempting to sneak out for dinner with my husband, The Chef.

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4 Responses to “Smokin! How to take your BBQ to the next level”

  1. Excellent tips Rachel. I tend to leave the BBQ’ing to Bearhands, but I completely agree with Drew’s comments about quality meat – you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear!

    • Rachel - Ed
      Rachel - Ed Reply

      Exactly! I am keen to have a go at pulled pork – I just have to convince Brook to get out of the way long enough to let me have a go.

  2. What do I need to do to get Drew over to my place? lol Fantastic tips there from drew. My hubby usually does the BBQ’ing but a cook he is not. Sausages and steaks are his forte and I hover to make sure he doesn’t cook them to a very tough crisp! lol 😉

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