Pitmaster Al Malel and his wife Amanda Malel Trevisanut are your amiable hosts at Bluestone American BBQ. But credit also goes to the company workhorse – a one-tonne wrought-iron reverse-flow smoker that quietly rumbles from around 6.30am on weekdays (and all night on weekends). It’s the first thing you see when you walk into Bluestone – closed off behind waist-high partition gates, with piles of red gum and applewood stacked to its side.

At Bluestone the meat is cooked low and slow and the smoker is kept at around 225 degrees. The Black Angus Texas-style brisket clocks about 14 hours in the smoker. It’s tender and a just little bit fatty, in a good way. Texas-style also means the meat is only seasoned with salt and pepper, and left unwrapped, so it develops a thick and chewy crust.

The 400-gram Uruguayan-inspired yearling beef short rib goes in the smoker for around 10 hours and is served with zesty homemade chimichurri. Sides include Malel’s classic Southern grits; Louisiana-style jambalaya with rice and beef sausage; tangy red-cabbage and fennel creole slaw; sweet potato chips with pimento chilli mayo; and mac’n’cheese.

Or go for one of three set-menus – Pitmaster’s Picks – which include various proteins such as sticky beef back ribs, Cuban-style pulled pork and applewood-smoked chicken chops.

The fit-out for the modest but festive 60-seat space was done entirely with reused materials from the Campbellfield Recycle Centre, including large sheets of corrugated iron and bright effervescent party lights strung across the roof.

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Updated: June 16th, 2020

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