Imagine a 1.5-tonne smoking barbeque capable of cooking a couple of hundred kilos of meat.
Well, if you’re in West Australia or planning a trip there any time soon, then there’s no need to fantasize – it’s been a reality at Margaret River’s Settler’s Tavern since March this year.
Californian Aussie Rob Gough and his wife Karen are massive foodies and love nothing more than experiencing different destinations and their regional cooking.
It was on a recent return visit to the US that the two were reacquainted with traditional American style barbequing, which reignited their passion for the distinctive dishes, and inspired them to introduce it to more Aussies.
The Goughs purchased two ‘Yoders’ – smoking BBQs made in the Kansas town of Yoder, right in the heart of the tornado belt.
The 1.5-tonne ‘Frontiersman’ uses full logs.
Rob prefers to feed it Jarrah given the local abundance, and the fact it produces a delicious smoke.
The smaller Yoder (approximately half the size of the Frontiersman) relies on pellets (American hickory), which are fed into a hopper, which is digitally controlled to deliver regulated heat for up to 12 hours.
Both Yoders are designed to ‘set and forget’, and usually require a minimum of four hours cooking, although many recipes can be upwards of 16 hours.
The concept not only embraces slow food, but enables the cook to go about getting other things done.
In the case of Settler’s Tavern, a casual family restaurant with a big emphasis on quality food that serves up to 1,000 people a day, the Yoders are a master stroke.
For Rob, they’re a chance to bring the unique and iconic flavours of classic American BBQ to an appreciative Aussie palate.
There’s nothing quite like US BBQing (don’t get Rob started on Texan Beef Brisket), and the food produced by the Yoders is an incredible match for the region’s drinkable bounty.
Thanks to their wine menu, Settler’s Tavern is now in the Australian Gourmet Traveller Hall of Fame for having won Best Australian Pub/Restaurant Wine List three years running.
But it’s perhaps the nearby Margaret River Ale Company, a microbrewery that produces four brews exclusively for Settler’s Tavern that helps send this style of dining into another stratosphere…
Add to that some great live music (Settler’s Tavern sees about 250 live bands perform a year, from local musos to some of the top musicians in Aus), not to mention that delightful West Australian climate, and you’ve got yourself one heck of a fantasy.
Indeed, the rich juices and succulent flesh of smoked BBQ meat matched with a refreshing local West Australian ale… Is it just us, or might Rob well be living every man’s dream?
Rob tends to sit the Frontiersman out in the beer garden, which spills onto the main street of Margaret River.
However, it can be mobile.
Thanks to the clever design (incredibly) it’s quite manageable for one person to move the Frontiersman around on flat ground.
Getting it into a trailer requires a few more bodies and a winch, but is otherwise pretty straight forward.
Rob is looking forward to loading it up and taking it to Fremantle for the October Beer Fest.
Something tells us he’s going to be the Man of the Moment there…
One taste of the Yoder’s pulled pork, BBQd chicken, smoked fish or of course Rob’s Texan favourite, and you realise this is a culinary show-stopper.
Not many of us have the regular need for 1.5-tonnes of smoking barbeque Mecca, so it’s good to know there are more realistic versions of smoker BBQ out there!
Check out these home smokers below ahead of Father’s Day and be sure to give this delicious Pulled Pork BBQ Smoker Recipe a go… Enjoy!