Where it all began
by Toby Shea
A lot of people ask how I got into real BBQ, and the simple answer is by accident. We had our kitchen ripped out about 7 years ago and I needed a way to cook for the family. It was September so the BBQ season was coming to a close, I had always been one of the “New BBQ every year” person up until then.
Killing time in a DIY store I noticed a Brinkman Smoke and Grill reduced to £100. It had the capacity to cook for everyone and more so took “another BBQ” (to quote the wife) home.
The Brinkman was barrel shaped and I soon realised that if I put the coals to one side and the food on the other I could cook an entire meal with minimal effort.
Like a lot of people we love entertaining and I realised the added benefit of this style of BBQ was, cooking over several hours, a joint of meat with sweet corn and potatoes I could actually socialise when guests arrived rather than standing over the BBQ flipping burgers and sausages.
The food always went down well and I decided to enter the British BBQ Championships in ilminster to see whether my food would hold up in a competition. Out of four categories I won the Pork, the Brisket and came second in chicken, I don’t talk about the dire ribs which is why I ended up as reserve grand champion.
As there was not a regular competition circuit in the UK I decided to withdraw from competition and set up the British BBQ Society. This has become a great social circuit, we currently compete twice a year and get together for social weekends throughout the year.
We are currently looking for a hotel with central courtyard so that we can get together for Christmas cook the meal and have a bit of a party.
The British BBQ Society prides itself in being a social, family orientated group of people, everyone is welcome and hints and tips are always shared.
This year we have teams competing and the American Royal BBQ Competition in Kansas City and the Jack Daniels Invitational in Lynchburg Tennessee. We wish them all the best.