The round-up: Brisbane’s best American barbecue restaurants
Apologies in advance to all plant-based eaters out there – this round-up is strictly for the carnivores. This time around, we’re checking out the finest hunks of meat available around town. No, we’re not talking about Aussie Thunder Male Revue. We’re talking about barbecue – American barbecue, to be precise. Brisket, pulled pork, ribs, sausages – if it’s smoky, saucy and meaty, it’s exactly what we’re after. We’ve assembled a list of some of the best bricks-and-mortar barbecue locations in Brisbane. Be wary of reading while hungry – this list will get the salivation glands working overtime.
Proof BBQ & Booze, Windsor: This pitmaster’s paradise might be the newest on this list, but Proof BBQ & Booze has quickly made a name for itself amongst Brisbane’s brisket-loving diners. Proof’s outdoor smoker and kitchen lovingly cooks a diverse mix of meaty morsels, with a menu specialising in a by-the-pound meat selection that includes beef brisket and short rib, pulled pork, pork ribs, hot links and smoked chickens, accompanied by extras such as taxi fries (deep-fried chicken skin), sweet smoked pecan wings, double beef-and-cheese smash burger, barbecue-shrimp grits, mac’n’cheese, a 50-ounce tomahawk to share, and smoked watermelon with prosciutto and gorgonzola.
Barbecue Mafia, various locations: Looking for some of the most authentic, finger-lickin’ American barbecue in Brisbane? Let the mafia handle it. From humble beginnings as a market and pop-up operation, the Barbecue Mafia has cornered the suburban sports club scene to set up two (soon to be three) permanent locations. Genius! Drool over the gang’s signature pecan-fed pulled pork, Mafia hot links and beef ribs (lovingly cooked in Brisbane-made custom-built smokers), as well as the Secret Southern Slaw, shoestring fries and mac ‘n’ cheese.
The Smoke BBQ, New Farm: One of Brisbane’s first barbecue restaurants is also one of the city’s best, having honed its craft since the heady days of 2006. The Smoke BBQ sources imported hickory wood to fuel a huge Kentucky-made smoker, which is then employed to cook Memphis country-style pork belly, North Carolina-style pulled pork, hickory-smoked chicken, bourbon lamb ribs and Texas beef short ribs. Pair that with smoked-beef quesadillas, buffalo chicken wings and Jamaican jerk chicken and it’s easy to see why The Smoke BBQ has been on top for so long.
Brewski, Petrie Terrace: Although famed for its range of burgers (both carnivore and vegan-friendly), this craft-beer haven also has a handy selection of American barbecue that’ll entice tastebuds. Brewski’s low-and-slow morsels feature on a range of plates, piled high with meaty treats and some plant-based alternatives. The Huge BBQ Plate serves four, and boasts St Louis pork rib, Cape Grim beef cheek, pulled beef, fried free-range chicken thigh, free-range buffalo wings, porcini hot links (sausages) and sides. The plant-based plate offers smoked jackfruit, smoked plant-based rib, fries, rainbow ‘slaw, potato salad, Picklehead pickles, barbecue sauce, cornbread and vegan butter.
Smokey Moo, Newstead: Formerly an East Brisbane operation, Gasworks is now where you can find one of Brisbane’s most dedicated barbecue outlets. Shalom and Wensley Bitton are dishing up straightforward meals their charming barbecue nook Smokey Moo. Woods such as black wattle, Australian oak, macadamia wood and pecan chips are used to smoked the likes of brisket, ribs, beef cheeks and house-cured pastrami, all of which are dreamily succulent and flavoursome.
Big Roddy’s Rippin’ Rib Shack, South Brisbane and Fortitude Valley: After honing his secret rib recipe in the Brisbane market scene, Rod Saba of Big Roddy’s Rippin’ Rib Shack teamed up with pal David Kempnich to open a rib joint in Fish Lane – and they followed it up with a second location in the heart of The Valley. At this rib shack patrons can choose either baby back pork or beef short ribs, smothered in one of Big Roddy’s secret sauces. If getting your hands dirty with a rack of ribs isn’t enough, you can also devour Roddy’s signature ribwich, buffalo wings, poutine and corn on the cob.
Hudson Corner, Albion: Albion’s longstanding low-and-slow emporium is known for taking its time with its food, giving the meat the attention it deserves before it hits the plate. Its traditional pulled pork and beef brisket is cooked over a mix of wood and charcoal for at least 12 hours, while the ribs are cooked until so tender that the meat slides neatly off the bone. Throw in a collection of burgers, cornbread and dirty fries and you’ve got a great American barbecue experience.
Buffalo Bar, Brisbane City: Inner-city dwellers aren’t bereft of quality barbecue, especially as long as Buffalo Bar maintains its high level of output into the future. If you like the sound of USA-style smoked pork ribs, 16-hour smoked beef brisket, pork shoulder, chorizo and buffalo spiced chicken with tequila and pistachio stuffing, you’ll like what you find at Buffalo Bar.
Bluegrass Barbeque, Eatons Hill: One of the most popular spots for barbecue in Brisbane’s north can be found at Bluegrass – a bar and eatery specialising in slow cooked and smoked meats. Here, you can get pork ribs in Memphis and Kansas style, North Carolina-style pulled pork, Texas-style beef ribs, 14-hour smoked beef brisket and hickory-smoked chicken. How good!
Twelve Boar, various locations: Rick and Beth Palesh have been churning out top-notch American barbecue since 2015, wowing patrons with a delicious array of pork and beef ribs, smoked pulled pork and beef brisket burgers at locations in Cleveland, Wellington Point, Daisy Hill and North Lakes. Also of note, Twelve Boar’s Daisy Hill location is a cafe-style eatery that serves up an exclusive breakfast menu in addition to its popular barbecued eats.
Slow Burn BBQ, Yeronga: When we say that the journey for Slow Burn BBQ has been a – well – slow burn, we mean it literally. This concept was 12 years in the making, inspired by a trip to America and sampling barbecue prepared by a third-generation pitmaster. This hidden gem also boasts ridiculously good prices for its fare – you can tuck into the likes of ribs, brisket and crispy-skin chicken wings for under $20 each.
Got a hot tip for some fire American barbecue? Drop us a line at [email protected].
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