New York City's new barbecue pits

A plate of barbecue at The Mighty Quinn's, A plate of barbecue at The Mighty Quinn's, 103 Second Ave. in Manhattan. Photo Credit: Nick Solares

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For far too long, what passed as barbecue in New York City was steamed or grilled chicken and ribs in a cloyingly sweet sauce. The idea of actually smoking meat over wood and embracing a distinct regional style -- such as Texas, Kansas City, Tennessee, North or South Carolina -- was as remote as those places themselves. A handful of restaurants -- Blue Smoke, Dinosaur BBQ, Daisy May's USA, RUB and Hill Country -- transformed the scene in the early to mid-2000s. Today the city has more distinctive barbecue than ever. Meet four of the new pitmasters:

 

1 HOMETOWN BARBECUE

WHERE 454 Van Brunt St., Brooklyn

PITMASTER/OWNER Billy Durney

STYLE NYC

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INSPIRATION Many of the dishes at this Red Hook joint have distinctly local influences. Durney serves a jerk chicken, for example, that comes from the Jamaican immigrants who lived close to his childhood home in Brooklyn. His sausage and most of his meat is provided by local butcher Paisano's.

RECOMMENDED ON FIRST VISIT Brisket, baby-back ribs and jerk chicken

INFO 347-294-4644, hometownbarbque.com

 

2 MIGHTY QUINN'S BARBECUE

@Newsday

WHERE 103 Second Ave., Manhattan

PITMASTER/OWNER Hugh Mangum

STYLE NYC/"Texalina"

INSPIRATION Mangum grew up with a deep love for beef brisket inherited from his Texan father, an amateur smoker. He applies this background to his fine dining sensibility, gleaned from years spent in high-end restaurant kitchens. To placate his wife's North Carolina family, he fused that style with Texas to arrive at "Texalina" -- but what has emerged is uniquely NYC.

RECOMMENDED ON FIRST VISIT Brisket and spareribs

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INFO 212-677-3733, mightyquinnsbbq.com

 

3 FLETCHER'S BROOKLYN BARBECUE

WHERE 433 Third Ave., Brooklyn

PITMASTER Matt Fisher

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OWNER Bill Fletcher

STYLE Brooklyn

INSPIRATION Fisher was exposed to barbecue on summer road trips down South with his father. He turned his passion for backyard barbecue into a full-time career working at RUB and Wildwood BBQ in Manhattan before teaming up with Bill Fletcher to open Fletcher's in 2012. He met Fletcher during an amateur barbecue competition, and the two hit it off immediately, sharing a love for barbecue and a "shared vision of hospitality."

RECOMMENDED ON FIRST VISIT Burnt ends and Char Siu Pork

INFO 347-763-2680, fletchersbklyn.com

 

4 BRISKETTOWN

WHERE 359 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn

PITMASTER/OWNER Daniel Delaney

STYLE Central Texas

INSPIRATION When asked how he decided on Texas-style barbecue, Delaney's answer was simple: "I opened my mouth."

He fell so deeply in love with beef brisket cooked at Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor, Texas, that he bought a smoker and drove it up to New York City hitched to a U-Haul. What followed was a period of intense experimentation called BrisketLab, during which he perfected his craft before opening BrisketTown in 2012.

RECOMMENDED ON FIRST VISIT Brisket and spareribs

INFO 718-701-8909, delaneybbq.com/briskettown

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