Event: Redheads Gourmet BBQ Festival (or 13 Things I Learnt in BBQ School)

1st – 3rd March 2013
South Beach Reserve
St Kilda Beach
Jacka Boulevard
St Kilda VIC 3182

Disclaimer: Libby attended the BBQ Masterclass as a guest of the Redheads Gourmet BBQ Festival and GRAM magazine.


I’m not usually one to fork out what sounds like an astronomical amount of money for a BBQ master class (because I don’t own a BBQ at home for one thing). But when Danielle from GRAM magazine emailed me to offer me a ticket to the $200 per head BBQ master class on the first weekend of the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, I knew I couldn’t say no.

The dude running Sunday morning’s program called ‘Playing with Fire’ was Chris Girvin-Brown, the director of Urban Griller BBQ School. He was a booming figure from Perth who presented a very informative class with splashes of humour in between. The main gist of the class was to cook your meats according to temperature (hence why a meat thermometer is important!), but we did learn a lot of other stuff. Rather than provide you all with a detailed rundown of what happened in those two hours (and give away all of his secrets, nosiree!), I’m going to present to you the top 13 things I learnt in BBQ school.


1. You can now buy pink Traegers (wood pellet grills)! Okay, so this will probably be the last thing I will see at my red blooded tradie friend Tim’s house (well that, and a girl).

2. Chris is a funny bloke. If you’re in Perth, please book him for corporate events, buck’s parties and that sort of stuff!


3. It’s amazing what brine does to meat We prepared these chicken wings three ways: one batch with no brine, one batch with brine and one batch with brine and garlic. The two batches that were soaked in brine overnight produced wings that had amazingly plump and tender textures, while the one that went without was extremely dry. It also didn’t taste as nice.

4. You can buy plate racks from IKEA for $5 and use them as roast racks. Much cheaper than just as effective as roast racks.

5. Stuff heroin, injecting your chicken breasts with marinades will ensure that the meat is flavoursome all over – and will produce a much nicer high.

6. Using heaps of sugar in your marinade is normally a no-no (sugar burns, guys) but soaking your pork loin in apple juice (and rinsing the juice off for a couple of seconds before cooking) will result in pork that’s full of flavour.


Mmmm pork loin. Yes, the inside is still pink but it’s okay to eat (Chris says so and I’m still alive so…)


7. However, if all that pink is freaking you out, you only need to rest it for five minutes before the colour becomes more even.


8. Sea salt and cracked pepper really goes a long way.




9. Guys who run BBQ schools tend to not like vegetarians. If your mate brings his or her vegetarian partner to your BBQ, trip him or her out by making a mushroom potato (use a knife and an apple corer).

wp1310. Pork butts are more expensive (and harder to find) than lamb shoulders. Stuff the American pulled pork trend that’s ‘in’ at the moment and be all Sam Kekovich by making pulled lamb instead. All you need to do is to chuck it in the Traeger for 12 hours and you’re done.


Hell, it still tastes good when it’s cold.


11. Chris says that the guys at Hog’s Breath chuck a big piece of meat into a slow cooker to let it ‘cook’ for 18 hours. When someone orders a steak, all the cook needs to do is chop away whatever cut the customer requires…

wp16… then chuck it on the grill.

Chris says that it’s an effective and efficient way to bring the steaks out to customers in no time but it often makes the steaks taste horrible. Doing the same thing on a Traeger, however, will give it more flavour.


That’s the difference between a roast (beef that’s just been taken out of a Traeger) and a steak.


12. You can also cook curries in a Traeger (just letting you know that I’m not endorsing Traegers or even Chris’ BBQ cooking school). All we (well, Thanh and Agnes) did was cut a coconut in half, take the water out, and put chicken pieces and Passage to India’s korma curry mix in it. The results were divine.

wp1913. Sweet lovers can also enjoy BBQs. Coat some pineapple pieces in brown (or palm) sugar, raw sugar and chilli flakes, put on the BBQ and be amazed at how amazing it tastes.


We ate them until they all disappeared.

The class went for two hours and although Chris said that there was still a lot of things he wanted to cover, I went away knowing more about barbecuing techniques that I ever did. I can’t wait to show off my new skillz the next time one of my friends holds a BBQ. The class may have ended at 11am but the BBQ festival was in full swing so we had the rest of the day to walk around and listen to blues music, sip on some cider and enjoy some briskets under the sun. Unfortunately, I had to dash off to another event in the city so I guess I’ll have to come back again for another Gourmet BBQ Festival next year.

I eat too much.


  1. Martin
    March 5, 2013

    I’m hungry now… 🙁

  2. msihua
    March 5, 2013

    OMFG you had this up so quickly! And also, loved the way you blogged it! I want to steal the idea 😛

    1. libishski
      March 8, 2013

      Haha yeah, I normally blog about events as soon as I can. Eateries though are another story…

      Feel free to steal!

  3. milkteaxx
    March 6, 2013

    that piggie ( the ppink one) is adorable! and i love a good BBQ!

  4. Hotly Spiced
    March 7, 2013

    Brining meat seems to be becoming more and more popular. You do have to be super organised though. I would have loved to have done the class. It sounds like it was a lot of fun xx

  5. Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake
    March 7, 2013

    Wowww that’s so much meat! Love a good bbq though, looked like such a fun event! Injecting chicken sounds like fun 😉

    1. libishski
      March 8, 2013

      It was definitely one of the more useful events I’ve been to! 😀

  6. I’ve never injected meat before! I’m a bit scared of needles but I suppose it’s more from being on the other end of one rather than wielding one! 😛

    1. libishski
      March 8, 2013

      Haha you’re braver than me, Lorraine. I think I’d be too scared to poke a needle into someone. Hate blood!

  7. Daisy@Nevertoosweet
    March 11, 2013

    What a great event!!! 🙂 And thanks for sharing the tips! I had never thought of ‘injecting’ the chicken with marinade hahaha that’s a really smart idea and I guess when you do that, you wont need to marinade it for as long? And I’m always freaked out about meat not being cooked through but i guess when it’s resting it continues looking 😉 I’m definitely gonna keep these hints and tips in mind next time we have a BBQ!

    1. libishski
      March 12, 2013

      I still think that marinating the meat is best – the flavours are more intense that way. But if you can’t be bothered waiting overnight (or a few hours) to marinate the meat, then injecting it is definitely a good idea if you want the insides of the meat to have a bit of flavour 🙂


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