Cheap eats best BBQ: Best-in-class smoked meats in NYC

It’s no secret that Gotham’s seen a wave of smoked meat joints—a boon to budget dining. We break down the new versions of BBQ classics, across the spectrum.

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Good barbecue shouldn’t cost a pretty penny. Whether you’re craving juicy ribs or luscious pulled pork, check into New York’s best BBQ restaurants for affordable gut-busting meals. Here’s where to find our new favorites of classic dishes.

RECOMMENDED: Best cheap eats in NYC 2013

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Best new BBQ chicken: Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbecue

    Bill Fletcher and Matt Fisher slap a heap of bold flavor onto their bird at this Gowanus ’cue cafeteria. Before a four-hour smoking over red oak and sugar maple, the poultry is covered in a dry rub of 30-plus seasonings (allspice and thyme are in the mix). It gets a glistening glaze of tangy Red Hook Red barbecue sauce at the finish. 433 Third Ave between 7th and 8th Sts, Gowanus, Brooklyn (347-763-2680). $9 for ¼; $16 for ½; $30 for full bird.

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Best new BBQ brisket: Mighty Quinn’s

    The smoked brisket is the pièce de résistance of Hugh Mangum’s critical darling. Simply seasoned with a salt-pepper-paprika rub and lovingly smoked for up to 22 hours in the J&R, the beef is a minimalist masterpiece, moist with a hefty top cap—request slices from the fatty end—and charred, flavorful bark. The only thing more delicious than the generous pile of meat is the bargain-bin price. 103 Second Ave at 6th St (212-677-3733). $8.85.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Best new BBQ pulled pork: Fort Reno

    There’s no dainty way to eat the sauce-slathered pulled pork from this Park Slope joint. Slapped unceremoniously onto a butcher-paper-lined tray, the greasy, luscious mound of swine is sourced locally from Heritage Foods and smoked in a Cookshack until it’s so fall-apart tender, they don’t even bother giving you a knife. You’ll look like an idiot, face shellacked in habanero–and-apple-cider-vinegar sauce, but chowing down on this stellar, low-priced pork will be the smartest thing you do all day. 669 Union St between Fourth and Fifth Aves, Park Slope, Brooklyn (347-227-7777). $6 for ¼ lb; $11 for ½ lb; $19/lb.

  • Photograph: Alex Strada

    Best new BBQ beef ribs: Alchemy, Texas BBQ

    Grab a friend—heck, grab two—before diving into the massive beef ribs at this meat counter from Queens ’cue booster Josh Bowen. Coated in a spiced-up Texas rub—fenugreek, guajillo and pasilla chilies join the standard salt and pepper —the ribs emerge from a hulking J&R smoker with a charred crust and succulent deep pink flesh. Actually, you might want them all to yourself. 71-04 35th Ave between 71st and 72nd Sts, Jackson Heights, Queens (718-803-8224). $7 for ¼ lb; $14 for ½ lb; $28/lb.

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Best new BBQ pork ribs: BrisketTown

    Brisket may be in the name of Food & Drink winner Daniel Delaney’s Williamsburg joint, but his pork ribs—pepped up with a paprika-and-cayenne rub—are just as top-notch. Attentively smoked in an oak-fueled fire, the glistening meat are so tender and juicy, it won’t take long for you to blow through the roll of paper towels at your table. 359 Bedford Ave between South 4th and 5th Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-701-8909). $4.75 for ¼ lb; $9.50 for ½ lb; $19/lb.

Photograph: Jessica Lin

Best new BBQ chicken: Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbecue

Bill Fletcher and Matt Fisher slap a heap of bold flavor onto their bird at this Gowanus ’cue cafeteria. Before a four-hour smoking over red oak and sugar maple, the poultry is covered in a dry rub of 30-plus seasonings (allspice and thyme are in the mix). It gets a glistening glaze of tangy Red Hook Red barbecue sauce at the finish. 433 Third Ave between 7th and 8th Sts, Gowanus, Brooklyn (347-763-2680). $9 for ¼; $16 for ½; $30 for full bird.


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