Kiwi blokes are set to get a grilling from formidable American BBQ master Moerlando 'Big Moe' Cason, at next weekend's sizzling Meatstock festival.

Twenty two teams of enthusiasts will descend on Auckland's ASB Showgrounds to battle it out for the first ever Meatstock New Zealand barbecue war.

The festival features two famous pitmasters who will run classes for both the competitors and public.

'Big Moe', a favourite on the BBQ Pitmasters reality show, is all fired up for his appearance.


"New Zealand is a passionate foodie nation, renowned for producing quality beef and lamb and I look forward to passing on my hot tips to the Kiwi BBQ community," he said.

Big Moe, a navy veteran and Iowa native, entered his first barbecue competition about 10 years ago. He has been hooked ever since, with over 130 competitions under his belt.

The man-mountain is a fan favourite on BBQ Pitmasters and has appeared as a judge and finalist, and has competed against some of the biggest names in barbecue worldwide.

"What initially was a hobby is a way of life. I am passionate about maintaining the integrity of BBQ by cooking with authenticity, using simple recipes and honouring the history of BBQ," Cason said.

Before his time on the grilling circuit, he served as a sailor aboard the USS Missouri. He loved grilling and barbecuing, but couldn't do much while serving in the forces.

"Obviously when you're on a ship you can't really barbecue when you're out in the middle of the ocean," he said.

When he got back from his tours, and discovered competition BBQ, it became a way of life.

He said whether someone is grilling on their deck or wants to enter BBQ contests, the best way to improve is to practice.

"I've done many competitions but I still practice and practice."

Aussie celebrity pitmaster and Good Food AU winner, Hillbilly Wes, will also be heading to Meatstock.

For Wes the meat sweats started in Lockhart, Texas, the barbecue capital of America, where he was mesmerised by the calibre of the food.

He eventually set up his own restaurant in Sydney called Bovine and Swine Barbecue Co.

"It is awesome to see the barbecue movement gaining real traction in New Zealand and Meatstock brings the nations BBQ community together in one big rocking festival," Wes said. "Things are going to get messy".

The flaming hot two-day line-up starts on Saturday and includes other competitions such as the 'Butcher and Barber Wars', as well as demonstrations and workshops.

The event is garnished with a backdrop of live bands, BBQ-inspired food trucks and craft beer.

The details
What: Meatstock festival

Where: ASB Showgrounds

When: Next Saturday and Sunday