Smoked in Texas

Stuffed Chicken Legs at Baker Boys BBQ

Mar 27, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

In Luling, Wayne Baker grew up on the basics of barbecue. Brisket, ribs, and beef sausage came wrapped up in butcher paper at City Market, the favored barbecue joint of his youth. “I didn’t really know a barbecue plate existed,” he told me at his barbecue joint, Baker Boys BBQ in Gonzales.

Avoiding Dirty Smoke

Mar 22, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

Several years ago on a backroad near Galveston, I happened upon a roadside barbecue stand. Of course I stopped and ordered a combo plate. As I opened the styrofoam container, I was hit with the smell of a smoldering fireplace. The brisket and ribs were jet black. It was the smokiest barbecue…

Smoked in Texas: Gut Pak at Vitek’s

Feb 7, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

The Gut Pak is to Waco what rings of smoked sausage are to Lockhart. It’s part of the city’s barbecue identity. A Gut Pak is smoked sausage, barbecue, beans, and cheese, and a few other items piled high atop a mess of Fritos, making this the huskier cousin of a Frito pie. Sometime…

Smoked in Texas: Oysters Gilhooley at Gilhooley’s

Jan 24, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

Oyster shells crackled under the car tires as I pulled into Gilhooley’s in San Leon. The parking lot is paved with them, and a pile taller than me rose like a dune at one end of the parking lot. A storm was rolling into the small town on the Gulf…

The Year Old Brisket

Jan 19, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

After thousands of barbecue meals, I’ve never been struck ill by smoked meat. Maybe it’s the long cooking time, or the preservative qualities provided by a layer of wood smoke, or maybe I’ve just been lucky. Either way, I put that streak to the test over the weekend. “How long…

The Zeke Sandwich

Jan 10, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

After an incredible championship game on Monday night, this season of college football is (sadly) behind us. But that means we can now focus solely on the NFL playoffs, in which the Texans are still alive and the Cowboys look to avenge Dez Bryant’s “non-catch” from a 2015 game…

Smoked in Texas: Texas Twinkies at Hutchins BBQ

Nov 7, 2016 By Daniel Vaughn

Leftover brisket is a fact of life for most barbecue joints, but how they use it says a lot about their commitment to quality. It’s far better suited for fortifying pinto beans than to be back on the slicing block for day two. I’ve eaten fine chopped brisket sandwiches, tacos,…

Smoked in Texas: Bacon Burnt Ends at Heim BBQ

Oct 26, 2016 By Daniel Vaughn

Burnt ends aren’t just for brisket anymore. And let’s get something out of the way, Kansas City barbecue fans: don’t get too sanctimonious about proper burnt ends only coming from a brisket; I’ve had ham and sausage burnt ends in your city. Beef belly burnt ends were the special last…

Tacos from BBQ on the Brazos in Cresson.
Smoked in Texas: BBQ Tacos at BBQ on the Brazos

Oct 18, 2016 By Daniel Vaughn

Combining barbecue and tacos is a damn-near perfect culinary Texas creation. In fact, it is the barbecue tacos at Valentina’s Tex-Mex BBQ in Austin that has made this one of my favorite joints in the state. I’ve often wished that more tortillas were stuffed with smoked meat, so I was happy to find another…

Smoked in Texas: Smokehouse Burger at Lakewood Smokehouse

Oct 10, 2016 By Daniel Vaughn

Until recently, every smoked burger I’ve eaten has resulted in a contradiction of the palate. Smoky beef seasoned with salt and pepper hits all the positive taste receptors, but to trigger those you have to chew on a patty as dry as mesquite. It doesn’t take long to overcook…