Feature

Low and Fast

May 20, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

When it comes time to fire up the smoker on Memorial Day . . . wait, let’s consider you, the average cook. You probably don’t own a smoker; you probably just own a grill. And perhaps those new summer issues of the glossy food magazines have convinced you that you can turn it into a…

The History of Texas Pastrami

May 12, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

Pastrami is to New York City like smoked brisket is to Lockhart, Texas: they are the signature smoked meats of their respective cities, and both lay claim to being the originator. Black’s BBQ has said in the past that they were the first to put brisket on the menu in Texas. They were…

A Sausage Evolution

May 6, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

Sausage. It’s one of the signatures of our state’s barbecue style, but the time intensive process of grinding, stuffing, and smoking sausage fell out of favor when barbecue left the meat market. With the rise of commercial sausage makers, many barbecue joints were (and are) happy to purchase their sausage…

The Soul of Texas BBQ

Apr 28, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

With the rise of review sites like Yelp and the ascent of food blogging, restaurants are scrutinized more than ever. Traditional restaurateurs have long understood the power of a negative review, but concern with the critics was rarely something that barbecue joints worried themselves with. But the barbecue zeitgeist—which I recognize that I,…

Try the Smoked Chicken

Apr 21, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

We love our beef in Texas, and historically, the rest of the nation did too. According to numbers from the USDA, beef and pork battled for protein supremacy until about 1950, when beef took a clear lead for the next six decades. Today, with falling beef consumption and the surging popularity…

BBQ in Far West Texas? I’ll Paso

Apr 14, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

On January 18, 1910, a newspaper advertisement for Watson’s Grocery included “Smoked Brisket Beef” for thirty cents per pound. It’s the earliest advertisement for smoked brisket that I have found in Texas, and it was in El Paso. With such a long history of smoking briskets you’d think they would…

A Brisket Tour in Southeast Texas

Apr 7, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

Bad brisket is nothing new on the barbecue trail, but there are some days when you just can’t catch a break—or, as was the case for me recently, two consecutive days where I searched high and low for a good slice of smoked beef in Beaumont and Southeast Texas. It began…

Scrubbing Out Austin’s BBQ Growth?

Mar 31, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

If you live on the outskirts of Austin, your suburb might be the new target for barbecue joints looking to open in Travis County. That is if prospective restaurateurs see a new resolution from the Austin City Council as too onerous. It requires that barbecue smokers (and other wood-fired cooking devices)…

Testing the Limits of Barbecue Science

Mar 24, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

Barbecue pulls at a traditionalist’s heart strings like few other cuisines, but it is no stranger to innovation. An offset smoker filled with brisket bathed on oak smoke has only been common across the state for about fifty years, but introducing science into a cooking process so reliant on…

Central Texas BBQ Road Trips

Mar 18, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

There’s hardly a better way to discover a slice of Texas, so to speak, than with a barbecue road trip—especially one that takes you outside of the city borders. In Central Texas, Austin is undeniably the area’s greatest barbecue city, and its proximity to some of the state’s  greatest smoked meats make…