TAFE welcomes an array of meats for judging in the annual Sausage King and Best Burger Competition

MEAT N' GREET: Judges Martin Bennett, Dennis Tuck and John Finlayson critique the burgers in the uncooked stage of judging with help from Australian Meat Industry Council Officer Craig Wright. PHOTO: Jake Humphreys
MEAT N' GREET: Judges Martin Bennett, Dennis Tuck and John Finlayson critique the burgers in the uncooked stage of judging with help from Australian Meat Industry Council Officer Craig Wright. PHOTO: Jake Humphreys

Every year butchers from the region submit their products to be judged in the Sausage King and Best Burger Competition.

On Thursday, inside TAFE Western’s hospitality block, a panel of three judges snacked on sausages and burgers with the task of picking a winner from eight special categories.

The sausages were split into six different groups: traditional Australian beef, traditional Australian pork, poultry, Australian lamb/open class, continental and gourmet/open class, while the burgers were divided into two: best beef burger and best gourmet burger.

For the last three years, TAFE sales officer Martin Bennett has put his hand up to judge the competition and he’s got a firm idea of what to look for when assessing the products.

“I look at it from a consumer’s point of view as far as if I was buying it in a shop,” Bennett said.

“We look out for several things such as how does it look uncooked, are there bubbles in it and how it looks inside the casings of the sausages.

“When it’s cooked, we want to see if it’s shrunk a lot or has it kept its shape because if it’s shrunk it means they’ve used a lot of water in the sausage to make it look plump.”

The other two judges were John Finlayson and Dennis Tuck and after analysing the appearance of the meats, they began taste-testing. 

Bennett spoke about some of the important qualities to look for while eating the products.

“We want the name of the food to represent the taste,” Bennett stated.

“We’re also looking for texture and flavour.”

The judges then selected eight winners from each category.

Martin Timms Farmgate (Bathurst) and Gulgong Butchery took our first prize in two different categories each.

Timms scored first for his pork sausage and beef burger whereas Peter Roche from Gulgong won the poultry sausage and gourmet burger categories.

Jay Parkes from Woodward Street Quality Meats in Orange placed second for this Australian lamb with a honey, mint and rosemary creation.

The winners from each category will advance to the state final, held in Tamworth on the September 23.