Feature

Sonny Bryan’s 24/7

Sep 8, 2016 By Daniel Vaughn

The headlights from a Chrysler 300 beamed through the window and into the historic dining room of Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse in Dallas. It was after midnight, and the driver was waiting for his seemingly inebriated (or maybe balance-impaired) passenger to get back with a couple chopped brisket sandwiches. I had just ordered ribs…

The New Carolina Barbecue

Aug 23, 2016 By Daniel Vaughn

Barbecue in the Carolinas means pork, but it’s not just any pile of pulled pig that’s revered in eastern North Carolina. Whole hogs cooked over wood fill the legendary pit houses in this part of the state. It’s the traditional route, but it’s harder to execute than pork shoulders, which are…

A Eulogy for the Barbecue Joint

Aug 8, 2016 By Daniel Vaughn

Barbecue joints aren’t simply born. It takes time to develop into one. A barbecue joint is a worn-in stool at a counter smoothed over by time. It’s a soot-stained ceiling, a broken-in barbecue pit, a menu with prices scratched out, and a bigger smile when you use cash. A barbecue joint evokes…

BBQ Anatomy 101: Bone-In Brisket

Jun 29, 2016 By Daniel Vaughn

At the meat markets of yesteryear, a boneless brisket would have been a special order. If beef was arriving as a half carcass, there would be no need for the butcher to remove the bones before selling or smoking the cut; doing so would have meant more work for less money. The…

Kalua Pig: The Barbacoa of Hawaii

Jun 21, 2016 By Daniel Vaughn

The world’s oldest barbecue tradition is cooking meat in underground pits. It’s a method so old, that our ancestors cooked mammoths in underground pits some 29,000 years ago. In modern day Texas, meat cooked in subterranean pits is most often referred to as barbacoa, like the barbacoa de cabeza that…

Now We’re Cooking With Brisket Fat

May 25, 2016 By Daniel Vaughn

Established barbecue families are easy to romanticize, but Mike Smolik is a realist. He’s the latest to carry on the 88-year-old Smolik barbecue legacy, but he’s not letting family traditions dictate his every move. A big, new barbecue hall out along the interstate in Mathis was a bold step, and plenty has been changing in the…

Memphis Dismay

May 18, 2016 By Daniel Vaughn

“It needs more dust,” I said. Tuffy Stone, whose Cool Smoke barbecue team is one of most prolific in the country, was about to close a styrofoam box full of pork shoulder that was bound for the judge’s table. Our team, most of which I’d first met the day prior, surrounded…

Corpus Christi Fray

May 10, 2016 By Daniel Vaughn

Joe Cotten’s Barbecue was once the pride of Corpus Christi, or Robstown, to be more specific. Founded in 1947, the joint’s mesquite-smoked barbecue and their tomatoey sauce helped define the local style of smoked meats. The joint was legendary, and legends are hard to replace. Since it tragically…

Hot-and-Fast Brisket

Apr 6, 2016 By Daniel Vaughn

Bodacious Bar-B-Que in Longview was the first stop on a barbecue road trip, and founder/owner/pitmaster Roland Lindsey, a barbecue veteran forty years my senior, boasted: “I can cook a brisket in three hours.” I called his bluff. I walked out the door promising to loop back through Longview on my way…

The Emergence of Kosher Barbecue

Mar 8, 2016 By Daniel Vaughn

Cooking barbecue like the masters is something plenty of us aspire to do. Thousands of videos and cookbooks have been published on the matter, but the best way to know the quality you’re aiming for is to experience it firsthand. Take a bite of a beef rib in Taylor or snap into…