You might have heard that American Barbecue is a big deal right now.

So who better to tell us a little more about this meaty craze and give us some tips than pit master at Big Easy in Crossrail Place Jared Male?

“Traditional BBQ is about cooking a whole animal, or using up the cheap bits of the meat well and making it go further,” he said.

“People use different techniques, but I use temperature as a guideline for when it’s done.

“It’s a 24/7 operation here. I’m in the kitchen throughout the day and then I have a colleague who comes in to make sure the smokers are working well throughout the night.”

Jared putting sauce onto chicken before returning them to the smoker - also known as the 'dip and flip'

Jared found himself in London eight months ago after a colleague at his previous workplace – New York’s Hill Country – spotted his business Randalls Barbecue.

Now working with Big Easy, his former colleague asked him to come and head up the barbecue section at the third venue for the chain.

Jared's top Big Easy recommendations are the ribs and brisket or chicken fried steak

"Or if you’re coming for the weekend brunch the Po Boy shrimp," he added.

Big Easy meat facts:

They sell:

  • 60 7kg briskets a week

  • 500 spatchcock chicken

  • 500 racks of ribs

The BBQ team is made up of about six people

Jared's four tips for approaching the meaty cooking

1. Be prepared for a lot of trial and error. Make a lot of mistakes and learn from them.

2. Take your time with it. You have to be patient and you can’t rush it.

3. You don’t necessarily need a smoker. You can create barbecue in a closed top Webber barbecue - just make sure you push the hot coals to one side and keep the meat on the grill on the other.

4. Watch it. Make sure it doesn’t burn.

Pit master Jared Male stoking the fire under the smoker

And how about a Christmas barbecue suggestion?

1. Smoke a ham. Brine it (covering in sodium nitrate) and soak for a minimum of seven days.

2. Then smoke it until it has an internal temperature of 160F or 71C or you can oven bake it and glaze with maple syrup or honey and stick some cloves in there too.