Ever wanted to learn how to BBQ like the pros? Well here's your chance to win a free lesson.
That's right, my fellow carnivores, Fire & Smoke will be taking over Smithfield Square with a pop-up rustic barn, equipped with a fire pit, smokers, BBQs and all the trimmings to bring alive the world of Deep South US cooking. On the day, winners can expect to learn BBQ basics from smoking meat, fire grilling and all important low ‘n’ slow cooking.
After the class, you will be let loose on a mouthwatering deep south banquet including smoked chicken, ribs and the holy grail, BBQ chicken wings.
Your host for the day will be DJ BBQ, a meat lovin', spandex wearin', pitmaster extraordinaire, joined by Andy Noonan, founder of the Big Grill BBQ festival in Ireland.
In the past five years, DJ BBQ has become the second most popular BBQ cook on YouTube. Jamie Oliver even signed him to the Foodtube channel, which has more than 2.7 million subscribers.
He appears regularly on This Morning and was invited onto Jamie Oliver’s Channel 4 show to help create the ultimate burger recipe.
But who is DJ BBQ? What brings him to Dublin all the way from the US? And why does he wear mad costumes while cooking?
We put some tough questions to the man born Christian Stevenson...
Can you tell us a little about what we can expect at the upcoming Fire & Smoke Pitmaster Academy?
You can expect delicious BBQ with loads of hints, tips, techniques, hacks and recipes at the Pitmaster Academy. I'm all about goof-proof cooking. And I'll be teaching the good people of Dublin how to handle live fire.
You’ve been described as a master of ‘catertainment’ — what exactly does that mean?
I cook beats and meats. We do the festival circuit during the summer and build big sound systems next to our smokers. The quickest way to someone's heart is through their stomach and ears. So we feed people great BBQ and good tunes.
How did you end up being involved in such a unique area?
My dad taught me how to cook BBQ at a young age and I've always had a passion for live fire cooking and low 'n' slow BBQ. Luckily, Jamie Oliver saw my work and championed me on his Foodtube channel.
What is it about Deep South low ’n’ slow cooking methods that appeal to you?
I like the flavour and textures you get from slow cooking pork shoulder, brisket and ribs. These cuts need time to cook. The connective tissue needs to break down, but by taking the time to slow and low cook the food, you turn those tough bits into butter and they self-baste from within.
What do you think of the food movement currently taking place in Ireland?
Ireland is very exciting right now. So many artisans, chefs, pitmasters, farmers, butchers that are phenomenal at their craft. Ireland has great produce and many of my favourite people from the BBQ world are from your neck of the woods.
What is your absolute favourite BBQ dish?
Oh gosh. St Louis or spare ribs. The sweetest meat is next to the bone.
What’s your go-to flavour for woodchips, rubs and glazes?
I always use the mix of RAD on most of my BBQ. It's our special blend of spices. There's a couple videos featuring it and it's in the book. I like to use Wild Cherry and Sweet Chestnut to smoke my meat. Alabama White sauce is my absolute favourite sauce.
What drink pairings work well with Deep South BBQ?
Nothing better than a cold beer or maybe some rye whiskey.
So you’re known for wearing spandex while performing… why?
I wear spandex and crazy outfits because no one else does. I believe DJs look pretty boring behind the decks. So I try and bring some showmanship to my DJ sets and cookouts.
Tell us something about yourself that not many people know.
My mom was the disco queen of the East Coast/Washington DC area. My father was a communications officer on deck picking up astronauts after they would splash down from orbiting the earth. He called the shots to pick up Gemini 11.
Finally, and most importantly… what will you be feeding us at the Fire & Smoke Pitmaster Academy?
We're gonna be cooking up some tasty ribs, chicken and brisket and possibly some pulled chicken.
To see DJ BBQ in action, and tuck into some proper BBQ, check out the Pitmaster Academy at Smithfield Square on May 26 and 27. For your chance to win tickets, click HERE.