Meet the locals putting their own spin on the iconic Aussie barbecue. Many people are content to use their barbecue for the standard steak and sausage routine. But for others heating up the grill is where their culinary skills shine.

Free from the gender stereotypes of the kitchen, more local men than ever before are discussing the intricacies of making a meal and swapping recipes. Like which wood chips create the best flavour? Which rubs pair best with particular proteins? They share cooking tips for succulent meat and offer advice on how to tweak their “signature” creations. 

For busy blokes like Dr Charles Blair (AKA Mr Crush), it’s a hobby to help them unwind. Charles makes everything from scratch himself and cooks it in the pizza oven he built using a kit from Fraser Coast Wood-fired Ovens. 

He’s famous for his handmade pizzas (his dough takes days to make). His roasted suckling pig with a fennel, salt and garlic rub, and Asian-style five spice sticky ribs are always firm favourites. 

Passionate backyard cooks are proudly sharing their grilling successes on social media. Bundaberg’s Leon Hart, has created a dedicated Instagram account, hart.of.grill, to showcase his delicious dinners of meatloaf, ribs, brisket, corned meat and even cheesecake. He inspires others by sharing his tips and tricks.

It’s no coincidence that when we were working on this issue of Crush Magazine, several contributors told us their passion for barbecuing overtook the love of their day jobs; prompting them to trade in the nine-to-five for fully-fledged foodie businesses.