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Smokestak created a whole series of DIY meal kits last year, and they have now perfected the art of delivering smoked meats, deserts and cocktails all over the UK.

Many of us become more adventurous cooks during these lockdowns. We make some sourdough bread, bake all manners of cakes, dabble in creating our own pasta and perhaps even go down the pickling and fermenting route of things. Anything to stave off boredom.

But there are some dishes we just can’t recreate at home. And beef brisket, slow cooked in a smoker has got to be one of them. That’s when Smokestak restaurant comes in – with its extensive DIY kit menu.

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Must have: the Smokestak beef brisket bun

These guys are London’s smoked meat kings – serving up blackened chunks of meat to carnivores across the Capital. But you want this stuff to be piping hot when you eat it – not getting all cold and soggy during the journey from the restaurant to your house. That’s why they are delivering these meal kits, which come with super easy instructions on reheating and assembling.

We opted to try their beef brisket buns which have become a cult dish which any meat-loving Londoner must try at least once. We’ve had them at Smokestak’s Shoreditch restaurant before so had high expectations.

Every component comes individually packaged (sadly there are a lot of single-use plastics involved) and labelled. First and foremost, there is the holy beef brisket which has already been cooked and wrapped up in butcher paper. And they are more than generous with their portions. You get a proper slab of meat to play with.

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Then they have some fat, chopped chillies, pre-sliced buns and a whole heap of their own thick and rich barbecue sauce. You’ll heat up the meat (which doesn’t lose any of its juiciness), grill the buns, warm up the fat and sauce, and then assemble it all. It takes about 20-minutes altogether – rather than the many, many hours it would take to cook yourself (if you were bougie enough to have your own smoker at home).

And, in the end, it tastes just as good as what you’d get when dining in at Smokestak – with the added satisfaction of feeling like you’ve made yourself. You get heaven sandwiched between two buns. But we didn’t end the experience there. We also tried out their jacket potato smothered in a mustard rarebit. The potato comes pre-cooked, with the cheesy rarebit already made for you too.

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Finish it all off with the moorish sticky date pudding

All you’ve got to do is heat up the potato and grill the rarebit so it both melts all over the plate and gets that crunchy cheesy top. This rich and heavy side dish was washed down easily with a few beers we bought for ourselves – sadly they don’t deliver beer or wine.

But we were able to delight in their pre-made cocktails when diving into their DIY dessert. The burnt peach old fashion came in a sealed plastic bag – one of the strangest vessels to get a cocktail in, if we’re being honest. But once poured into our own glass, over ice, you couldn’t fault it. The boozy whisky drink is exactly what we need when hiding away at home during these cold nights.

And it went perfectly with their sticky toffee pudding which just needed to be quickly zapped in the microwave. The toffee sauce was heated in a pan over the stove and that was it. Super easy. Exactly what you need from a dessert at home – you’re already fairly full and a little tipsy. You don’t want to then spend a lot of time and effort putting together your final dish.

Like each of the kits, dessert was just so damn Moorish. We scoffed the whole thing down in record speed, while reclining on the couch watching tele. This is an experience you can’t get in a restaurant. So, lean into the lockdown life, by indulging in some of the Smokestak DIY cooking kits.

Your healthy eating will take a hit, but do we really need to be bothering ourselves with that these days? We’ll take any kind of treat we can. With Smokestak’s decadent dishes being pretty high on that list.

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