Low and slow. That’s how Steve Hellyer has been cooking pulled pork, beef brisket and brisket bacon on a BBQ smoker for more than 10 years. These days he shares his expertise in low and slow BBQ masterclasses.
The Redbank Plains-based slow cooking expert said boredom was why he started to learn about smoking meats in 2008 after a career in the electronics industry.
“I developed diabetes and had to give up my trade so my wife and I swapped careers.
“I became a stay at home dad and my wife worked in child care.
He said this led to buying a BBQ smoker.
“I played with it and spent three or four nights a week just sitting there and watching how it works.”
Mr Hellyer (pictured above) said the reason it developed into a business was when too many friends turned up in the backyard.
“After that I decided to go commercial and purchase a trailer smoker painted in confederate colours from a couple of Texans living in Ballarat.
“I started to cook large scale and for two years we were at Booval night markets.
“Then demand outstripped supply so we found a caravan at Rosewood in a paddock, drove it home and did it up over about six months.
“We went one bigger after that and purchased a bus, fitted it out American style and ran that for a few years.
“It got too busy for my wife and I to run so we eventually sold it.”
The low and slow cooking method takes many hours. Mr Hellyer said a typical preparation period would start the night before at 9pm.
“We’d start by prepping the meat by rubbing on the spice mix and put it on the smoker.
“Typically that would run at 107 degrees celsius until about 2am then pull the meat off, wrap in foil and put back on until about noon.
“At about 6am we prep for the afternoon. When the meat comes off the BBQ it is sliced ready to go.
“Once we arrived at an afternoon event we’d be there till seven or eight o’clock at night.”
He said for a typical night at Booval they arrived at midnight Friday in order to be ready to start serving customers by the time the Saturday night markets opened.
Mr Hellyer also offers local residents long and slow BBQ masterclasses. One will be held at Pumpyard Brewery 88 Limestone Street this Saturday.
“We’ll setup at the Pumpyard from 7 o’clock Friday night.
“There’s a lots classes around that focus on competition. I focus on cooking for the family.
“We tell people how to choose their pit, which is a slang term for smoker and what wood and charcoal to use.
“At the class on Saturday we’ve got a charcoal supplier from Toowoomba, a smoker builder will take about the type of smokers available and butchers will talk about cuts of meat.
“And I manufacture the rubs,” Mr Hellyer said.
To attend a low and slow BBQ masterclass this weekend contact Steve on 0412 827 647 or [email protected]