Texas born, Compton raised king of BBQ Kevin Bludso – the man behind San Antone by Bludso’s BBQ at Crown Towers, Melbourne – availed us of his expert knowledge about smoking meat during a recent visit to Australia.
A larger than life character with all the tips that any man with penchant for smoking meat, fine cognacs or hot sauce could want, Kevin Bludso is a regular visitor down under thanks to his San Atone by Bludso’s BBQ at Melbourne’s iconic Crown Towers. During one of his recent Masterclass visits we quizzed about his secrets to smoking meat the right way.
What’s something BBQ rookies need to know about the art of smoking meat?
Leave the pit alone. Once you learn how to regulate your temperature you’re good, so learn your Smoker. Don’t make it that serious. Smoking is fun . . . smoking meat that is!
What sort of hand-picked woods do you use to smoke the meat?
At San Antone by Bludso’s BBQ we love dried nut woods like oak hickory, and some fruit woods. The oak is strong and gives the meat that true BBQ flavour, and the fruit mellows it out and adds a little sweetness to the meat.
You cook your meat ‘slow and low’ — what does that mean?
Slow and low is a slow cooking process at a low temperature. We generally cook our briskets for 15 hours at 240 degrees Fahrenheit. This process lets the smoke do all the work.
What are you looking for in the meat itself?
I don’t know any real use for skinny ribs except to piss me off! I like a meaty rib with a good fat marble on it.
You grandmother taught you your secret recipe aged nine — obviously you can’t reveal that, but what tips can you give people about making a good sauce?
Sauce base is pretty much the same everywhere. Water and some type of tomato base or ketchup paste with molasses and vinegar. Then you add what you like. So many recipes online use those as a base and then branch out from there.
What sides go nicely with smoked meat?
Baked beans and potato salad are the staples, but I get down with the Collard greens as well.
San Antone by Bludso’s BBQ exclusive to Crown Melbourne has recently opened — will tasting your BBQ help people with their own cooking?
Yes! We feel we do authentic home Texas ‘Q down under at Crown. Come check us out and you’ll see why we are up there with the best BBQ in the world.