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Let me tell you a tale about 2 cheeky local lads and their passion for American BBQ.
Meet Angus and Angus. Long-time friends turned business partners, slinging perfect pulled pork and baller brisket to the streets of Adelaide.
Here’s the story of the Low and Slow American BBQ food truck.
It all began on a road trip through the United States in 2011. Along with a few other mates, the boys bought a van, drove down South and immersed themselves in legit American BBQ food and culture. They experienced a style of barbequing different to what we know as our traditional Aussie method of ‘hot and fast’ and alternatively, saw the tasty results of cooking meat ‘low and slow’. See what they did there?
They returned home savouring that smoky taste left in their mouths and started mucking around with recipes and cooking for mates from two small smokers purchased at BBQ’s Galore. They soon knew they were onto a good thing and shortly upgraded to a home built smoking pit in Angus K’s backyard.
(Sorry, not sorry to the locals of Northhaven)
They read books, watched heaps of TV series and YouTube videos about BBQ and quickly mastered their recipes for the meat and house made sauces.
So we’re going back a couple of years ago now and food trucks were just beginning to emerge into the Adelaide food scene. A random aligning of the universe, and just proper good timing resulted in an old converted caravan with cooking capabilities popping up on Gumtree. The dream was born, and would soon become a reality.
In these early days they needed to build cashflow to bring the BBQ out of the pit and onto the streets. At this time Angus H was working full-time at Say Cheese at The Central Market. He had access to great product and knew the right people. Although American BBQ was always the goal, first came Little Big Cheese Co. A sign was made, placed upon the van and they started catering events like Fork on the Road and East End Wine Down selling gourmet cheese toasties.
Next move for the boys and their van was to take up a temporary weekly residency parked outside The Wheatsheaf Hotel in Thebarton. Now for any punters who frequent The Wheaty, you will be aware of their lack of kitchen, but why spend money on installing one when you can have one on wheels (build a microbrewery instead hey?).
This was a very transitional period in time for the business. They were doing a solid sell of 60-80 covers per night at The Wheaty, but regular spots at Fork on the Road were their bread and butter (excuse the pun). They were beginning to build a great reputation and getting the cash together to start phase 2. The BBQ recipes were perfected, the van turned bad-ass in black paint, they changed their name and Low & Slow was born.
While still attending Fork events regularly, they were one of the initial 40 food trucks to secure a permit from the Adelaide City Council to be able to sell on the streets. This upped the ante and an on average, 3 day per week trade was growing tiresome with full time jobs elsewhere and still cooking from the pit.
You could say that the period in which they were using the smoking pit could be compared to that of the early experiences of parents with a newborn. Nights of minimal sleep and getting up every two hours to tend to their baby. Sure, the meat was crazy good, but they were dead tired.
Soon enough, there was another change in the smoke-filled air. About 8 months ago they were approached by David Sprigg, owner of Grill Pro and distributor of Yoder Smokers in Australia and soon they were in possession of a Yoder YS1500 Pellet Smoker, imported from Kansas City in the U.S.
When I was clarifying the details of the exact smoker they have, Angus K responded with “That’s our boy. He helps us sleep”. A solid investment one might say.
So. Let’s talk about the meat hey, ‘coz that’s what it’s all about. Pulled pork was the beginning but the brisket is where they hit their stride. To help support local business, they source the pork and beef from Marino Meat & Food Store in the Adelaide Central Market, busting their balls on a weekly basis (Angus H’s words, not mine) to get the right and best cuts of meat. If you’re looking to try your hand at a bit of American BBQ at home, ask for Ricky at Marino’s and tell him the Low & Slow boys sent you.
The brisket is cooked for anywhere between 14 and 20 hours dependent on the size of the cut and the outside ambient temperature. Although the Yoder takes a lot of the hard yards out of the process, there is still a lot of involvement in terms of figuring out the right type of rub for the meat, the most optimum cuts and learning to understand what the meat is doing just by looking at it.
Although the meat is the ‘hero of the dish’ if we want to get our Masterchef-wank on, Low & Slow go alright with their sides too. House made apple slaw, potato salad and 2 of their own sauces. A sharp, mustard based, Carolina style to suit the pulled pork; and a tangy tomato based BBQ sauce to compliment the brisket like you would find in Texas. If you’re slapping your choice of meat in a bun, it’s of the glossy brioche variety.
So have I got you salivating and wanting to haul-ass across the city on your next lunch break yet? Good, I’ve done it many a time.
So what’s next for the boys of Low & Slow American BBQ? Well, as with any successful business – they want to grow and expand; and bricks and mortar is the goal. They’re currently scouting city and inner suburb locations with the hope that one day in the near future they will follow in the footsteps of their mates at Burger Theory and find themselves a permanent establishment. Think BBQ, blues, beer and whisky – yes please.
Until then, lunch time trade, events and private catering are their go-to. To find out their locations, to drool over their food porn photos and to keep up to date with all things Low & Slow, social media is your best friend. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram on the links found below.