Jamie Day - Bare Knuckles BBQ

If you haven’t realised by now, barbecuing is a lot of fun but is also exhausting. For some, cooking is a chore and then for others it is a lifestyle.

Barbecue is genuinely a labour of love, that only a pit master will truly understand. Long hours and sleepless nights, just so they can produce the absolute best product for you, the public.

Our guest today is one of the most passionate pit masters in the game. Taking his dream to reality from Pop up catering to restaurant owner and is loving every single minute of it. 

Meet Jamie Day, the bbq aficionado behind Bare Knuckles BBQ right here in QLD! 

Thank you, Jamie for taking the time to answer a few questions.

Q: From Pop ups to Restaurant owner - How did you venture into Smoking food and outdoor cooking?

A: I always had a hunger for American Style food and chased down as many restaurants and food trucks as I could, where ever I was travelling to.  I love to sample their offerings. During one of my many IT redundancies I had the opportunity to do some work for a small local BBQ food truck and fast food burger joint - Brisket, Pulled Pork, etc.  This kicked off my deeper fascination for BBQ and had me starting to experiment at home on old Weber’s, then Gas Smokers and finally the bigger investment in to a Hark Offset Smoker. Eventually after 17+ years I’d had enough of IT and wanted to get back to cooking (I’m trade qualified through my 12 years of Service in the Navy, Submariner Chef), so my obvious choice was BBQ. I started looking for catering equipment on Gumtree and fell across a job for a chef in a BBQ restaurant in West End, “Original Daves”, so after some very casual conversation I ended up working there for just on a year (big thanks to Alix and Jimmy for some good times). I then worked for a bigger BBQ outlet for another 12 months before purchasing my amazing 24” Radar Hill Trailer smoker and heading into the world of “Pop Ups”, all the while looking for a place to setup shop.  During this time I also found and bought my 30” Radar Hill (now setup at the shop) and then, eventually, I found our new home base in February of this year.  There was work to be done, while I aimed for a July/August opening it eventually became a September opening, and now here we are!

Q: You’ve been a massive supporter of Lane’s BBQ Australia for so many years now. What makes Lane’s important to you?

A: I’ve been using Lanes since my first discovery of the ‘Signature’ rub at Aussie Fireplaces and BBQ’s Murarrie, a place I invested a lot of money in, back in the day. I progressed to Brisket and Ancho for my Beef Brisket and Sweet Heat for my pork, all of which I continue to use to this day here at the shop.! Lane’s is the consistant perfect mix for use on quality meats (Cape Grim and Tender Valley for me), it’s top shelf, consistent and the crew here in Australia have my back (Thanks Brett and Daniel), even when I let them know short notice I’m almost out.! Quality Product, Service and People ! Lanes is a big part of why my customers keep coming back ! I’m now also stocking your amazing product in the shop for retail purchase.! 

Q: If you had to plan your perfect day, what would you do from the moment you wake up to going to bed?

A: Ummm, sorry BBQ folks but as I do BBQ most days, my perfect day starts with me up early and on one of my bikes (Harley’s – one of them is planted in the shop, another on the wall, the other my daily) some music in my ears (to turn off my mind), riding through winding roads, open countryside’s and beautiful National Forest, north or south, pulling up for the occasional beer, pub lunch or swim in a natural water hole.  Preferably riding with mates, but not always - it’s my way of switching off, recharging, rebooting the soul. End of day, park the bike, collapse on the couch, sleep, oh.. or.. spend the day with one or more of my five kids, yes, that’s it, the kids, oh, and amazing wife (My biggest supporter), who I rarely get one on one time with, but.. bikes.. LOL..

Q: You spend countless days and nights cooking bbq and serving the public delicious food. What does it take to be a Pit master apart from a little crazy?

A: A serious lack of sleep and strong back and lots of crazy.  It’s a big day at the shop, starting at 6am, finishing at around 10:30pm with a 20 min drive each side, you do the calculations of my off/sleep time. Days off are spent playing catch up on sleep and lots and lots of paperwork..!

Q: Do you have a cooking idol?

A: My biggest inspiration for where I am now is the lads from Black Bear BBQ in Sydney, I discovered them many years ago when they had just their Blacktown store. I knew from that moment that I wanted to do the same sort of thing here in Brisbane, with my twist on it. The lads are now building on a Global Domination, but for now I’ll settle for my one little store, I’m sleep deprived enough..! Some local folks I love and support – Chris Davey, has supported and helped me from the get go, thanks Chris. Mick Hobson, not so sure he’s taught me as much as he’s corrupted me, but he’s been a big part, thanks Mick. And Daniel White, another true Gentleman of BBQ, his support is bloody amazing, thanks bud. Shane from 2M8’s BBQ – you know I appreciate all your help..! Then there’s Jim and Katie from Bluebird, Graeme from Stockpot, Chris and Michelle from Old Skool, Rusty from Rustys.. ah so many folks that have encouraged and inspired me to do what I’m doing.. sorry for anyone I’ve missed.!?

Q: What bit of advice would you give to someone looking to get into food?

A: Food is fun, but do your research – Know where you want to be in that part of the world. I thought pulling the trailer around for 2+ years and setting up and packing up was hard work, being a team of mostly one or with help from my family. NO, the shop, it’s the Real Hard Work, physically and financially. 16+ hour days, I now have ten staff and my average shift in the shop requires 5 to 6 staff on at one time (add that up).! But it is yours, you do get to step back at times and see the beauty of it and I’m sure there’s a bucket at the end of the rainbow, eventually!? Ohhhh.. to go back to those pop ups.. ahhhh…

You can find Jamie and Bare Knuckles BBQ on Instagram @bareknucklesbbq and Facebook @bareknucklesbbqaus  

If you’re local to the area (Salisbury), get down and support this family business. You won’t be disappointed and tell Jamie, Lane’s BBQ sent you.

Bare Knuckles BBQ

617 Toohey Rd, Salisbury, Qld, 4107

Open – Lunch:  Wed to Sat - 10am till 2pm – Dinner: Thurs, Fri and Sat 5pm till 8:30pm