Station One Smokehouse in Plainfield turns old fire station into wood-smoked barbecue wonder

PLAINFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- You can smell the smoke before you even walk through the front door of Station One Smokehouse in south suburban Plainfield. Located next to a microbrewery in an old fire station, they're taking a very Texas-sized approach to barbecue.

"Beef is king of the castle. Brisket is definitely our number one here. Beef short ribs are a huge sell for us as well," said Owner Brad Hudetz.

The dry rub is pretty simple for the brisket.

"Heavy on the salt and black pepper. We throw in a few other ingredients just to give it a little depth," he said.

Left in their Oyler smoker for up to 14 hours, cooked only from oak wood smoke, they emerge with a solid black bark on the outside. One slice through the middle and a few more slices reveal the soft collagen and tender meat within. Don't be alarmed by that pink smoke ring on the ribs, which tells you smoke was used to cook these proteins, not a convection oven.

"We do St. Louis spareribs, pastrami is a huge sell out here. Pastrami you're gonna have a lot of black pepper, a lot of coriander, there's some mustard seed, garlic in there," said Hudetz.

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Links are made in-house, painstakingly cranked out into casings, then smoked, grilled and sliced up into thick, fatty coins. There's smoked salmon, turkey breast and they even smoke the beets for one of their unique side dishes.

"We start fresh daily, so we will run out of food a lot of the time, and I'm OK with that because last thing we want to do is sacrifice quality at what we do," he said.

Other unique sides include pit beans with knobs of pork belly, creamy-thick potato salad, broccoli salad and a corn "elote" featuring queso fresco, chili powder and cilantro.

Hudetz said his experience working at Green Street Smoked Meats in the West Loop taught him how to use great product, and to do the work necessary to create great barbecue, even when the product isn't barbecue, like creamy-smooth banana pudding and homemade peach cobbler using local fruit.

"Makes my job a lot harder but it makes the end product a lot better for the customers," he said.

There are of course sauces on the table, but the official line from the restaurant is they're there to complement the meat. That means please, do not drown this beautiful barbecue in sauce.

Station One Smokehouse
15025 S. Des Plaines St., Plainfield
815-271-6328

https://www.stationonesmokehouse.com/
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