Friends share the love of “low n slow” BBQ


Reyan Fernando and Mark Kuch formed an “instant bromance” when they first met over a few beers in college days.

Over the past two decades, Highton’s friends have since bonded over everything from starting a bowling team to joining a cycling team.

They also shared a passion for barbecued ribs and started the Rib Appreciation Society which saw them seek out the best ribs in Geelong, the Surf Coast and beyond.

In early 2020, Reyan bought himself a new barbecue to explore the American “low n slow” style of barbecuing meat. Mark was inspired to do the same.

They each created Instagram accounts to share their barbecue exploits – Reyan being @RibAppreciation and Mark being @BBQandTheGeek.

Mark and Reyan have just launched a YouTube channel to share The BBQ & Brews Show with a wider audience.

A new chapter in their friendship quickly unfolded when they began recording a live segment on Rib Appreciation Instagram, aptly titled The BBQ & Brews Show, to share the highs and lows of their space journey. n slow.

“As COVID hit and we were locked inside, we thought it would be a little fun to host an Instagram Live Show, treat it like a traditional talk show, where we can talk and share what that we cook on the barbecue for a few beers and see where that got us,” says Reyan.

“A few episodes later, we decided it would be best to interview other people in the BBQ community.

“It was so much fun, we got hooked and it became a regular Saturday night show during all the lockdowns we’ve been through.”

For those unfamiliar with the low n slow barbecue, the duo explain that it has become a popular way of cooking in Australia over the past five to 10 years, with an increase in the number of people using it during lockdowns .

“Basically, it’s the art of smoking a secondary cut meat, like ribs or brisket, at around 120-130°C, or even lower in some cases, for several hours, which helps break down the tissues connectives and intramuscular fat, leaving the meat tender, juicy. and full of flavor,” they say.

Their goal with The BBQ & Brews Show was to keep it alive, keep it real, always have a beer and talk to everyone in the BBQ community – from backyard heroes to pit masters and owners. barbecue businesses.

Highton’s pals have taken part in the Meatstock meat and music festival at venues across the country. Photo: Nigel Barrie Photography

At the start of each show, they discuss the beer they drink and ask their guest to do the same.

“We love our beer, but we are by no means experts. It’s just a great way to showcase local beer producers,” says Mark.

“We have worked closely with Brewicolo in Ocean Grove for the past six to 12 months, primarily drinking and promoting their beer.”

They now have over 50 episodes and are loving it, attracting viewers from across Australia and as far away as the UK.

“It’s the highlight of my week,” says Mark.

“We had some amazing guests on the show, and one of the real highlights was having one of the people responsible for organizing a low n slow barbecue competition in Australia and the organizer of Meatstock, Jay Beaumont, on the show for our 50th episode.”

This interview led to Mark and Reyan being invited to be part of Meatstock at locations around the country, including the Sydney leg of the popular meat and music festival held over the weekend.

“It was such a privilege to be invited to be part of such an incredible event.

People watch the show from all over Australia and as far away as New Zealand and the UK.

“We had so many highlights in Melbourne, Toowoomba and Sydney, it was fantastic to meet and talk to some of the great local and international pitmasters like Christina Fitzgerald, Laura Romeo, Mike Patrick, Martin Goffin and the great Tuffy Stone.

“It was also amazing to meet so many people from the BBQ community that we have chatted with online over the past two years. It felt like a family reunion, it was just awesome.

The Meatstock couple’s interviews are now posted on their latest project – a YouTube channel.

“The show will be moving away from Instagram, unfortunately that social media platform has been a little mean to us over the last six months from a reach perspective and we’re moving to a cross-platform show, where it will be in live on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter at the same time, we’re really excited about it,” says Mark.

So what are Mark and Reyan’s tips for those looking to get into low n slow barbecuing?

  • Choose a barbecue that fits your budget, a second hand Weber kettle is a great place to start, there are plenty of YouTube videos that will teach you how to set up whatever barbecue you get.
  • Buy good quality meat that is within your price range from a local butcher. There are some brilliant butchers in Geelong like Lara Quality Meats and Belmont Finest Meat & Poultry, never buy ribs or brisket from a supermarket; and
  • Get an instant read thermometer and give it a try.

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