Wed. Dec 6th, 2023

The BBQ Battalion Armidale barbecuing competition is back for this year’s Big Chill Festival, being held at the Armidale Showgrounds May 13 and 14.

Born out of a common love for all things meat, fire and friendship, BBQ Battalion Armidale was formed in 2022 and has joined forces with Armidale Regional Council’s highly successful Big Chill Festival. The Big Chill festival recently announced a monumental line-up of international musicians such as Dragon and Birds of Tokyo.  Festival-goers will also be treated to some of Australia’s best BBQ pitmasters, as well as craft breweries, distilleries and wineries.

American-style ‘low and slow’ barbecue and smoking culture is experiencing a rapid trend in popularity in Australia.  While Aussie barbecues are traditionally pretty quick, a steak, sausage or shrimp on the grill, America-style barbecues are wood-fired barbecues cooked at lower temperatures for longer periods of time and they use secondary cuts of meat.

In the wake of its increasing popularity, an Australian alliance was created to regulate, set up rules and formally judge barbecue competitions in Australia.  The Australasian Barbecue Alliance Facebook page has over 100,000 followers.  It’s an online BBQ community for individual barbecue enthusiasts to share recipes, tips, tricks and information relevant to wood fire cooking and grilling.         

More than 15 BBQ battalions will compete over two days (the 13th and 14th) bringing festival-goers world-class cuisine to complement a world-class musical line-up.

The 2020/2021 Australian Barbecue Champions and 2022 Big Chill Grand Champions ‘Bluebird BBQ Crew’ will be competing at the event this year, as will the current 2023 Australasian Barbecue Alliance championship leaders ‘Triple B BBQ’.  Other competing battalions include Jacks Creek BBQ Team (currently placed 3rd), Capitol Que, and Signature Smoke to name a few, all of whom bring their own unique flavours and cooking styles.

BBQ battalion clans will compete for over $10,000 worth of cash prizes over the weekend. Organiser Jeremy Pickham says this year’s event is shaping up perfectly.

“We have world-class competitors travelling up to Armidale to compete who will be backing up from the Sydney Meatstock festival which is being held the week before the Big Chill Festival.”  

“It’s a pretty big deal to have these guys heading up to the Big Chill only days after Meatstock, it’s a testament to the quality of the event in Armidale, where you have all-round entertainment that goes hand in hand with the grilling and BBQ comps”.

Competition categories include: 

Steak Cookoff Association (SCA) categories

  • Triple Steak (3) and one (1) ancillary (yet to be named)

Australasian Barbecue Alliance (ABA) categories

  • Chicken
  • Pork Ribs
  • Brisket
  • Lamb

For more information on the event visit the BBQ Battalion Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/bbqbattalionarmidale

Tickets for the Big Chill festival can be purchased here https://www.bigchill.com.au/

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