Update (13FEB23): Ash Kickers is no longer in operation.
Ash Kickers Briskets and Bourbon (official Facebook page) is the latest BBQ joint to hit the Bangkok food scene. If you’re a fan of smoked meats, you should be celebrating this. To describe their smoky BBQ offerings as delicious doesn’t really describe the food with justice. I had the opportunity to sample their menu and in all honesty it’s truly the best BBQ in Bangkok that I’ve experienced. Simply put, their smoked BBQ kicks ass!
Let me show you. I think you’ll see what I mean…
A taste of Ash Kickers…
During my visit I was offered a small sample of Ash Kicker’s various smoked meat offerings and sides. This turned out to be a feast. Nothing was wasted in the making of this article.
The current menu is broken up into 4 sections:
- UP IN SMOKE (platters for individual diners)
- SHARING IS CARING (platters for groups of 3-4 to share–bring stretchy pants)
- STILL SMOKIN’ (smoked meat sandwiches, upgraded sides like cheesy grits, Mac & Cheese, and wings)
- NICE DREAMS (if you still have room in your stomach for dessert)
They also have some interesting limited time specials like Iroquois Tamales with Smoked Brisket and Salsa Roja. I am vigilantly monitoring their Facebook page for when they have this again.
Let me begin with the meats and their smoking of the meats.
Looks can be deceiving…
If you’re not familiar with using smoke as a method for BBQ then you might be a little put off with the meat’s appearance at first. These smoked beef ribs look like something you forgot to pull off your Weber charcoal grill in time. But looks can be deceiving!
Unlike direct flame contact, when you smoke meat it doesn’t actually char the meat (though it certainly appears to be charred). Rather the meat exterior is coated with a delicious thin smoky crust while the inside remains juicy and succulent.
Though currently not listed on the menu, you can order these beef ribs for 820 baht for approximately 300 grams.
Ash Kickers seasons all of their meats with only salt and pepper. Then they are smoked for a very long time at a low cooking temperature. Remember this mantra: low and slow is the way to go!
Pork Belly on the Rib
For a really decadent treat, the smoked pork belly on the rib is also the way to go.
I’m not usually a fan of fat–I make an exception in this case. The translucent layer of fat and skin just melts in your mouth. You can get a hefty portion of this on the UP IN SMOKE menu along with a slice of jalapeño corn bread and a side for 465 baht.
They also offer a smoked crispy skin pork belly version!
You can find the smoked pork rib meat on the SHARING IS CARING menu 2-Layered Mexican Pizza (1,090 baht), a 12″ tortilla with smoked pork rib meat, 3 cheeses, beans, and more!
The King of Smoked Meats
When it comes to smoking BBQ, brisket is the King of Smoked Meats. Ash Kickers seems to have perfected this. Their smoked brisket solidified their standing as the best BBQ in Bangkok for me. It’s incredible.
This meat is incredibly tender with a smoky rich flavor. I highly recommend this dish. It can be found on the UP IN SMOKE menu Smoked Beef Brisket with jalapeño bread and a side (820 baht), on the CARING IS SHARING menu as a Combo Platter with Brisket, Pork Belly, Kalua Pork, and Wings (1,265 baht), and the STILL SMOKIN’ menu Smoked Beef Brisket Sandwich with Fries (490 baht).
Feel like chicken?
Most folks believe that the best way to cook a chicken is to deep fry it. I suspect they’ve never tasted a chicken that’s been smoked low and slow. You can add pulled smoked chicken to the Cheese Quesadilla (350 baht) and Smoked Wings (180 baht) on the STILL SMOKIN’ menu.
This meat is so tender and flavorful. You’ll never look at fried chicken the same.
A few more meats…
A few more notable smoked meats on the UP IN SMOKE MENU are the Smoked Kalua Pork (420 baht), BBQ Pulled Pork (465 baht), and Smoked Pork Hot Links (510 baht). The pulled pork items are made using the Boston Butt cut of pork. The BBQ Pulled Pork can be found on the STILL SMOKIN’ menu as the Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwich with Fries (320 baht).
My personal favorite was the Kalua Pork. a Hawaiian BBQ favorite. The flavor is just amazing, and there’s nothing like it that I’ve seen in Bangkok.
Ash Kickers offers several different sides to turn your meal into a sumptuous feast. Each UP IN SMOKE menu platter includes 1 side, but additional sides can be ordered for an additional 110 baht. The sides are BBQ favorites: Smoked Beans, Macaroni Salad, Tangy Slaw, Creamy Slaw, Potato Salad, Grilled Corn with Chili Butter, and Green Beans. I tried samples of all except the corn. My personal favorite was the green beans which came with smoky bits of pork. Yum!
Ash Kickers offers more than some of the best BBQ in Bangkok. They’ve also curated an amazing selection of Bourbon/Rye spirits reasonably priced between 180-480 baht. There are 17 different bourbon/rye choices on the menu with new additions frequently offered. Their cocktails are also fairly priced at 260 baht.
For fans of craft beer they have a nice selection of brews. One particular sudsy beverage I’d recommend is their Smoked Maibock Brew (285 ml/473 ml 260/320 baht). This beer is exclusive to Ash Kickers. They smoke the Maibock grains in-house and then outsource the brewing. It’s a smooth drinking beer with a slight caramel note. Of course it’s perfect for drinking with smoked BBQ dishes.
A chat with the Chef and Cofounder
During my visit I had the opportunity to chat with Colin Stevens, the head chef and cofounder of Ash Kickers. As a child he traveled all over the world with his family but grew up in Oahu, Hawaii. Colin has lived in Thailand for 20 years and has been involved in many popular F&B ventures.
Ash Kickers started off small supporting pop-up events but as popularity for their smoked meats grew the time felt right to establish a brick and mortar restaurant with Colin and Gary Stewart as cofounders. Ash Kickers Brisket & Bourbon opened its doors for a soft opening on February 22, 2019.
Colin was kind enough to give me a tour of the kitchen and introduce me to the workhorses of the operation, 2 large smokers named Ren and Stimpy. It was amazing to learn just how advanced smokers have become today. These smokers are wired. Using an app on his phone Colin showed me how he is able to monitor the temperatures and adjust the rates of cooking on the smokers from anywhere in the world.
Ren and Stimpy are fueled with a proprietary blend of local and imported woods.
A full load of wood can smolder for nearly 16 hours providing heat and flavorful smoke to slowly cook the meats. This is where the magic happens.
Of course I expected to find some smokers here, but what I found noticeably absent from the kitchen was a freezer and microwave. They don’t have them because they don’t need them. Everything is prepared in house.
All of the sauces and condiments are home made. They lactic ferment 3 different kinds of mustard: spicy brown with chipotle (yum!!), Weizen beer infused yellow, and a yellow and brown blend. Even the ketchup is homemade for their hand cut fries from fresh potatoes.
They have 2 homemade chili sauces: a spicy and smokey 6 Mexican chili blend (chillies grown in their green house) that ferments for a whole year, and a mild tomatillo (also green house grown) sauce.
Other vegetables grown in the green house are pickled using lactic fermentation. The pickled cucumbers are freaking amazing.
Colin has a passion for cooking with fresh ingredients–nothing canned. In fact, he even makes his own condensed milk to make the caramel sauce for the desserts!
He also enjoys introducing people to new flavors. Because of his Native American roots (from his father’s side) Bangkok diners have been introduced to the Iroquois Tamales with Smoked Brisket and Salsa Roja and Seneca “Ghost Bread” fried in beef tallow.
This sounds kick-ass! Where is it?
Ash Kickers is located on Ekkamai 12 Alley. It’s 1.7 km from the Ekkamai BTS station so it’s best to grab a taxi or motorbike there. If you’re feeling adventurous you can take the 23 or 72 public bus on Ekkamai to the Soi 3 bus stop (a 5 minute walk from there to Ash Kickers).
If you’re craving some seriously delicious smoked BBQ I highly recommend a visit to Ash Kickers. You’ll experience some of the best BBQ in Bangkok!
Should you visit, I’d love to hear your feedback. Please feel free to comment in the section below or contact me directly.