Saturday, 31 August 2013

Hang Fire Smokehouse - review

The food buzz in Cardiff at the moment is BBQ/smoked meat. Everywhere is trying it, even the Park Plaza bar has a pulled pork roll on the menu (strangely paired with Asian style slaw) although it's really not that great in terms of what pulled pork should be like, points for trying though.

Without a doubt the place that people are raving about at the moment is Hang Fire Smokehouse based at The Canadian pub on Fridays and Saturdays and now in Porters on Sundays. For those who have not yet heard of the Hang Fire Smokehouse, it started off after Samantha and Shauna travelled around America on a road trip in order to find out what American BBQ is. After learning how to 'cue and smoke they headed back to the UK with a vision of recreating authentic BBQ. 

The rave reviews that they're getting are worth it, as I found out last night. Finally, after much nagging on my behalf Matt and I ventured to Splott eagerly anticipating meat, lots and lots of meat. When we got there it was already packed, and it was only 6.30pm. Thankfully my brother and his girlfriend had arrived ahead of us and grabbed a table, although apparently my brother hadn't warned his girlfriend what kind of food Hang Fire serve and she didn't like a single thing on the menu. Maybe BBQ isn't a big thing in Germany? After they left we moved to another table to allow four people who had been waiting to have our table.

After browsing the menu Matt went for the Hang Fire Plate, consisting of pulled pork, wings and ribs. I went for the BBQ Pork Rib Plate, both of us decided to order the beans and fries on the side. A short while later our food arrived. And what food!

A picture of Hang Fire Smokehouse ribs

My ribs. Look at them people, just look. I can't even describe how they smelled, but "freaking amazing" would probably be about right. I snapped one photo of them before chowing down. I started on the beans, a wonderful mix of smoky, meaty, beany goodness. I've never had BBQ chili beans before so I have nothing to compare them to but I could easily have eaten a whole bowl of them with some saltines.

Onto the ribs, the highlight of my week night. The meat was perfect, so tender that it was falling off the bone, and there was a lot of it too. When I think about the ribs I've eaten and enjoyed in the past it makes me cringe, these guys were the real thing. Be prepared to get messy if you order the them though, they are sticky and covered in a good amount of sauce, thankfully wet wipes are provided. Never again will I order ribs from a chain restaurant.

A picture of the Hang Fire Smokehouse plate

This was Matt's plate, which he wasn't prepared to wait until I'd taken the photo before tucking into it. After eating his first bite of pulled pork he exclaimed "Now this is pulled pork!" He compared the Hang Fire pulled pork to the offerings from another well known Cardiff smokehouse that we visited in July that he really didn't like, noting that the Hang Fire pulled pork actually looks like it's been pulled, with big chunks of pork in a light amount of sauce. Too many places make the mistake of drowning their meat in sauce but Hang Fire get it right in my opinion, if you want more sauce they have three different types on each table.

A picture of Hang Fire Smokehouse sauces
Naturally we both went for the Kansas City BBQ Sauce, what with Matt being a Kansas boy

Matt quickly wolfed down everything and was finished long before me, I asked him a couple of times how each meat was but all I was getting in response was the occasional grunt and nod before he bit into more meat. 

After we had both finished our food we had a breather and discussed the other items on the menu, both of us want to try the brisket and I wouldn't mind trying out the hot links. A trip to Hang Fire's Sunday venture at Porters is definitely on the cards. 

Good luck to Samantha and Shauna, they know what they're doing and they're doing it well.



  1. Hooray! I need to go back definitely. So good.

  2. I should not have clicked on this post, I am drooling! That looks so good. xx

    Leanne - A Slice of My Life


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