Out of more than 250 teams, ABA team Manning Valley Natural Smokers wowed the Texans with a stunning beef result.
Using a 300 day grain fed Angus beef imported from Australia, the Manning Valley Natural Team achieved a phenomenal feat by placing second in the brisket category. “Texans, what they want is the taste of the meat,” said Grant Coleman, the team’s head cook, who travelled from Wingham, NSW. He continued: “presentation here is probably not as big as in Australian barbecue competitions but smell, texture, taste are their three big ones here.”.
Along with Manning Valley Natural Smokers, the Smoking Hot Smartfires team also made the journey across the pacific to fly the Aussie flag high.
The Australasian Barbecue Alliance is the only sanctioned body in the Southern Hemisphere who holds the right to send two teams to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s world’s championship bar-b-que contest. The site is visited by over 215,000 BBQ fans over the three day cookoff, turning the enormous parking lot of NRG stadium into a temporary BBQ city.
“In regards to the competition I strongly advise the teams travelling over to visit as many BBQ Restaurants in Austin, Lockhart & Houston area to understand the taste profile that is required for the judges”, advises head cook Grant Coleman. “The ABA in their sponsorship organise a fantastic pit for you to use from Pitts & Spitts and the hospitality from the Houston BBQ team is fantastic and very helpful in organising supplies that you need”
The Cookoff itself is a giant fundraising activity – and while the three week Rodeo raises more than $26.7 million in scholarships, the BBQ component alone is responsible for $5 million of that amount.
To earn their place at the prestigious invitation only event, top performing teams at both Port Macquarie BBQ Wars and the ABA leaderboard were invited to throw their entry into the lottery. The ABA is proud to hold a continuing exclusive relationship with HLSR Cookoff, so be on the lookout for the lottery later this year.