[dropcap size=small]G[/dropcap]listening slabs of juicy meat with dark-as-sin caramelised crust and a light pink smoke ring just below are increasingly making their appearance on tables here.

This sweet chewy black rind, called the outer bark, is the result of lowand- slow smoking of meats, an American-style of barbecue that is being rolled out at several smokehouses around town, including Meatsmith, Red Eye Smokehouse and Decker Barbecue.

Secondary cuts such as brisket are seasoned with a dry rub comprising a mixture of spices, then placed in a wood-fuelled smoker – where fi re has no direct contact with the meat – and left to cook for hours at a low temperature. Brisket, for instance, can take up to 14 hours at a temperature of about 108 deg C.

“Tough cuts like the brisket and short ribs come from parts with more heavily used muscles, and these tend to break down nicely through low cooking temperatures over long periods of time as the collagen between the muscles breaks down, creating a wonderful ‘falling apart’ texture,” says Jan Yeo, co-owner of Red Eye Smokehouse. To complement the smoke-kissed meats are sides like coleslaw or beans, and an ice-cold beer to wash it all down.