Feature

How Southern Barbecue got to Texas

Aug 4, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

This past Fourth of July weekend, Michael Twitty detailed the often-forgot influence of enslaved Africans on barbecue in the U.S. in his article in The Guardian. “At best, our ancestors are seen as mindless cooking machines who prepared the meat under strict white supervision, if at all; at worst, barbecue…

King of Barbecue

Jul 23, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

Walter Jetton, the self-appointed “King of Barbecue” in the fifties and sixties, was a restaurateur and a mega-caterer. He cooked for presidents and heads of state, and his most significant claim to fame (a good one, at that) is being LBJ’s pitmaster of choice. This clout gave him a prominent platform to serve as…

The Growth of Texas BBQ

Jul 14, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

Because eating barbecue is my job, I am often asked if I fear running out of new joints to review. The answer is no. Texas is a big place with a big appetite for barbecue, a demand that draws new pitmasters to open new restaurants all the time. In fact, my problem is almost…

BBQ Anatomy 101: Beef Head

Jul 8, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

Before there was Texas, one form of Texas barbecue was cemented in the culture of the Rio Grande Valley. How so? The answers lies in a hole in the ground. We’re talking about barbacoa de cabeza en pozo—beef heads cooked with wood coals in subterranean pits. Beef barbacoa can be…

Barbecue Fallacy: The Grandfather Clause

Jun 30, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

It’s hard to find a city of consequential size in the country that hasn’t seen a new barbecue joint open recently. The craft is more popular than ever, and restaurateurs are taking note. With this boom comes an increased awareness that great barbecue demands the type of smoke that only…

Sauce Sells

Jun 23, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

Times have never been better for small-batch Texas barbecue sauces. Six months ago, Texas-based grocery store H-E-B debuted a new line of barbecue sauces in their stores, featuring bottles from the state’s most popular barbecue joints, including Louie Mueller Barbecue, Fargo’s BBQ, Terry Black’s Barbecue, and Hays County BBQ. The…

Juneteenth and Barbecue

Jun 16, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

This Friday will mark the 150th anniversary of Juneteenth, a celebration of Emancipation Day in Texas. It was on June 19, 1865, that Major General Gordon Granger assumed his position as the appointed military governor of Texas after landing in Galveston the day prior. Five General Orders were announced and…

Sixty Minute Ribs

Jun 9, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

It was 10:00am and I wanted ribs for lunch. A good rack of pork ribs takes anywhere from four to six hours in a smoker. The low-and-slow method is pretty foolproof for making them tender and juicy, but I figured I could get the job done quicker. A lot quicker. The…

California’s Native Barbecue

Jun 2, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

California is known for a lot of things—sunshine, wine, earthquakes—but its barbecue scene isn’t one of them. Which isn’t to say they don’t have it at all. There are, of course, the smattering of “Texas-style” and “Louisville-style” and all the other ex-patriate homages to various barbecue iterations. But California has…

BBQ Anatomy 101: Beef Plate

May 26, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

Before brisket dominated Texas barbecue, meat markets served a vast variety of smoked beef cuts. The old-school meat markets of Central Texas would smoke anything left in the case too long, most often cuts from the forequarter, like shoulder clod or beef chuck. In the Dallas area during the forties and…