Save some room with Smoke in Broke returning this June long weekend

Returning this June long weekend, Smoke in Broke is the low and slow barbeque + smoked meat festival you do not want to miss! Embrace the crisp Hunter Valley air in wine country and keep warm by the fire while you indulge in barbeque tastings, food stalls, local beer + wine and soak up live music, demos and markets.

The concept of the humble Aussie barbie has truly escalated over the last couple of years, thanks to the influence of the “low and slow” food trend inspired by the American-style barbeque. Snags and steaks are on the outer in favour of beef brisket, smoked ribs and pulled pork. And Broke’s very own pitmasters, husband-and-wife team Rob and Randi Thraves are well and truly doing their bit towards the renaissance.

Rob, who grew up in Singleton, met Texan-native Randi in Canada, and following stints in America’s south, then Mudgee, the couple has returned to the Singleton area with their three kids, and food truck Smokin Hot 'N Saucy (purchased on “a whim,” according to Randi) in tow.

The business - only five years young - has already earnt a cult-like following, with three permanent dine-in locations (The Lot in Islington, Hunter Olive House in Broke and The Taco Shack at Stockland Green Hills), a suite of custom-made smokers that cater at events, plus a line of sauces and rubs. And while barbecue is part-and-parcel in Randi’s Texan DNA, it only took one evening with Randi’s dad creating rubs, preparing the protein and tending to the coals and Rob was hooked.

“Barbecue in Texas is all about family. When you throw one in Australia you do snags, steaks and maybe chicken kebabs on a gas grill. But in America, I didn’t see a gas grill anywhere. It was all charcoal, it was all wood-fired. The process to have a barbecue on a Sunday afternoon started the night before, getting ribs and brisket ready to go. I just loved the whole process of tending the fire, having a beer and the family coming together,” he said.

Rob and Randi are also the duo behind Singleton’s favourite festival Smoke in Broke– the June long weekend food fest surrounded by the aroma of Texan barbecue, live demos, beer and wine tastings, live music, good vibes and bonfires. Rob said there will be plenty for people to feast their eyes, ears and bellys on.

“Smoke in Broke is a festival that brings the best things in life together,” he said.

“We have a great line-up of entertainment, food stalls, food and wine vendors, market stalls, and don't forget some barbeque festival fun!

“If you fancy yourself as a bit of a pitmaster, you can soak up a whole lot of wisdom at the live demonstrations and stalls. Plus, you can learn firsthand from some of the best barbequers in the state who are competing at the Australasian Barbecue Alliance and a Steak Cookoff Association sanctioned comps (tasting tokens will be available too).

“This is a festival that families can come and go, enjoy what Broke has to offer, and even camp at. It is going to be a great weekend out for all ages.”

Ready to experience Smoke in Broke? 

Tickets cost $28.64 per adult (or $49.08 for a two-day pass), with children under 14 FREE, and don’t forget if you want to camp, that’s FREE too! Bus transfers will run throughout Newcastle and the valley to and from the festival. Click here for details.