Matt Flanagan

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’ve been competing in barbecue since 2017 with our team ‘Mile Marker 66’. Barbecue has given me so much; close to 5 years of competition, awesome mates who are as passionate about this style of cooking as I am, the ability to create our own barbecue content, run classes and much more.

I love competition barbecue. The competitiveness, the great community of competitive barbecuer’s we have, the constant striving to gain that little edge, the highs, and the lows. Everything about it just keeps me coming back.

When I’m not competing, I love cooking for friends and family. There is a social aspect to barbecue that’s hard to replicate with other styles of cooking. You’re not hidden away in a kitchen; guests can sit or stand around the barbecue and are interested in what’s going on. They are part of the process; sharing a laugh or a drink while you cook.

I also love that barbecue is an ever-evolving thing. I’m constantly learning which keeps it challenging and interesting.


Hamilton, New Zealand

Favourite dish to grill:

Very hard to just pick one so I’m going to say that brisket is hands down my favourite protein to cook, and either Huevos Rancheros or a good pub style burger are my favourite dishes to do on the barbecue.

Fun Fact:

At the time I first discovered barbecue there we’re very few charcoal barbecues around in New Zealand, so I made my own. It was a drum and used parts from old dining chairs, discarded light fittings and pieces from a removed fireplace. The whole thing would have cost less than $50 to make.

Favourite Activity:

Outside of barbecue I enjoy strumming the odd tune on the guitar, reading a good history book, watching a little sport, and spending time with my family and friends.

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Akorn® Kamado Charcoal Grill

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