TOP AWARD: Barnie Nolan from Circle T Meats has won the prize for best bacon in Queensland.
TOP AWARD: Barnie Nolan from Circle T Meats has won the prize for best bacon in Queensland. Rob Williams

Barnie's bringing home the bacon ... again!

THIS little piggy went to the market, this little piggy stayed home and this little piggy was made into award-winning bacon by Barnie Nolan.

Barnie, who last year was inducted into the Australian Meat Industry Council's Sausage King Hall of Fame, has appeared in the QT more times than just about anyone.

Now, he has claimed the title of Queensland's best bacon.

As part of Australian Bacon Week, he finished second to a Canberra contestant with Schulte's Meat Tavern at Plainland taking third.

For the prolifically prize-winning butcher, who runs Circle T Meats in Raceview, the latest meat medal is pretty much the sauce on the steak.

"It gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling. It reaffirms we're doing the right thing; keeping up there with the best of them," Barnie said.

"We don't win everything but we're right there in the mix all the time. It means we're consistent."

There were 125 entries in this year's Australian Bacon Awards. "The guy that won it, I was reading an article the other day, he's doing 800-1000 kilos of bacon a week. I'm doing 100," Barnie said.

"Same as Schulte's; they've got a lot more to choose in entering these competitions but we manage to sort of stick in there and just annoy them a little bit."

So what makes good bacon?

"I get my pigs from Willpak Foods and I only use the female pigs in the 75-85kg weight range," Barnie said.

"I like the female because you don't get what you call the boar taint. It's not pleasant; I can smell it a week away.

"When you enter these competitions, you're obviously going to pick out your best middle; you're going to put your best middle forward."

Has good bacon changed over the years?

"Your pigs have got leaner because the market wants them to be leaner and the pork producers do a much better job in terms of getting consistency throughout the growing season," he said.

So what competition is Barnie looking at next.

"I've just about reached the end of my race," he said.

"Now it's just maintenance, in a sense."

"But don't think that means Barnie has lost his competitiveness.

"It's like reaching the top of your game. And it's interesting," he said.



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