The Big Smoke BBQ Co. – metal style


What looks like a little black train is parked down one side of the Bethlehem Countdown car park. It’s big! People are gathered round and photos are being taken. It’s like finding Santa Claus at the beach.

What is it? I stroll on over and talk to its designer and owner Mike. The train is a custom-built, competition style, real smoke barbecue. Created in the USA for Mike as a feature of a barbecue business. He’s just come from cooking for a wedding and the sides of the little train are still warm.

And it is what it says, a real barbecue. Mike opens up the doors and I see the fire boxes and smell that smell. Real charcoal and real smoke. It’s barbecue heaven! Real old-fashioned barbecue!. I laugh and tell Mike I’m so old I remember when the Kiwi barbecue was half a 44 gallon drum on homemade legs fired with manuka and the barbecue was predominantly meat cooked by a “the men” outside at the back of the section while they drank a beer and had a yak.

Mike and his wife have created an unusual branding symbol – it looks like a deranged piggy chef with flames shooting out of its ears. Both the barbecue train and its branding are unique examples of creativity.

Take a look at or email Mike Jeffries on or call him on 021 0263 9046

Rosemary Balu


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