Barbecue

Texas barbecue, the classic version of which is found primarily in Central Texas and distinguished by its use of beef brisket and its indirect smoking method, is superior to all other regional varieties of barbecue. This is an incontrovertible fact. However, the state boasts tremendous variety of barbecue styles, from the cabrito pits of South Texas to the sweet tangy ribs of East Texas. Over the years, Texas Monthly has written about them all. In our first barbecue story, “The World’s Best Barbecue is in Taylor, Texas. Or is it Lockhart?” Griffin Smith Jr. wrote that, “at first blush, the East Texas chopped pork sandwich with hot sauce has little in common with the slab of Central Texas beef. . . . The emphasis in Central Texas is overwhelmingly on the meat itself—sauce, if available at all, is usually just a side dip.”

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Food & Drink |
January 21, 2013

Ode to Pulled Pork

Though I am proud to claim Texas associations, I am from the South. So when it comes to barbecue, my first thought is not of brisket but of pork. Does a pig have brisket? It may be hard to find, on a pig.A cow spends more time standing up and

BBQ |
January 20, 2013

Smokin’!

Don’t miss your ’cue: We pick the top joints in Texas for brisket, ribs, sausage, and all the sides. Plus, the godfather of barbacoa, the biggest free feast in the state, and more.

BBQ |
January 20, 2013

Underground Round

On the first Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in August for the past 61 years, thousands have converged on a park on the outskirts of Dalhart for the XIT Rodeo and Reunion, celebrating the history of the XIT Ranch, once the biggest ranch in Texas. (This year’s dates: August 7—9.) In

BBQ |
January 20, 2013

Gone To Kansas City

I went; I ate; for the most part I snickered. Of all the alleged barbecue capitals in the United States, the only serious rival to Texas is Kansas City, Missouri. This is because Kansas City barbecues beef, whereas Memphis, the Carolinas, and the rest of the Deep South barbecue pork.

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

Holy Smoke

For photographer Wyatt McSpadden, the barbecue joints of Texas are soot-stained temples of meat and their pitmasters solemn keepers of an old-time religion.

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

Pit Stops

Where are the best places to eat barbecue in Texas? Six years ago we published a highly subjective—and hotly debated— list of our fifty favorite joints, and now we’ve gone back for seconds. Ten intrepid souls drove more than 21,000 miles in search of 2003’s worthiest ‘cue. Here’s what they

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

You Can Take the BBQ Out of Texas . . .

MANHATTANHill Country Barbecue MarketLast year, word of a new barbecue restaurant spread through New York’s Texas-expat community. Usually, this kind of thing doesn’t cause much of a stir. We see a lot of “Texas barbecue” joints up here where they take a brisket that tastes like pastrami and drench it

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

Ode to . . .

Ode To BrisketWhen you’re a food writer, people are always asking about the best meal you’ve ever eaten. I know they’re expecting tales of an unforgettable lunch at Michel Bras or a poetic kaiseki meal in Kyoto or a beluga extravaganza on the banks of the Volga, but what always

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

PITS: The Encyclopedia Entry

The traditional way to prepare Texas barbecue is in a pit, the more smoke-infused and grease-encrusted the better. The word “pit” harks back to the days when meats were cooked over smoldering coals in an earthen pit or trench, especially for large gatherings. Nowadays, such buried ovens are extremely rare,

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

Lockhart: Kreuz Market

The old Kreuz Market was like a one-room chapel. The humble brick building off the courthouse square in Lockhart had turned out divine smoked meat since 1900. But just as churchgoers nowadays worship in larger halls, so too does the visitor to the new Kreuz Market, which opened in 1999

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

Lockhart: Smitty’s Market

Don’t bother going in the front door. You’ll end up in the parking lot behind the boxy brick building anyway, doing the Smitty’s shuffle: At peak hours, the lines invariably stretch out the back door. Patiently, you inch your way forward, passing the waist-high brick pits and perusing the list

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

Luling: City Market

You’ve come for wholeness, for satisfaction deep within your soul. Your searching has brought you here, to the company of fellow pilgrims in the snaking line. Slowly, you advance across the tile floor, past the knotty-pine walls, and up to the inner sanctum: a glass-enclosed chamber where a host of

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

Taylor: Louie Mueller Barbecue

Forty-nine years of post oak coals in the pit have smoke-cured the building, which previously housed a ladies’ basketball court and a grocery market. Louie moved in with his barbecue business in 1959; his son, Bobby, took over more than three decades ago, but not a thing has suffered from

Recipes |
January 20, 2013

State Fare: Texas Creole Barbecued Shrimp, Texas Cornbread Pudding, and Jicama Salad

Some like it hot; Texans like it hotter. That’s why Carl Walker, the chef at Brennan’s in Houston (3300 Smith), branded his barbecued shrimp with black pepper and poblano chiles. Double-daring the Southwest palate, he paired the shrimp with his spicy version of a down-home favorite. “I wanted to make cornbread pudding

Eat My Words |
October 17, 2012

A New Definition of Cow Tipping: Tell Us Your Favorite BBQ Joints!

Dear barbecue buffs, fans, mavens, hounds, fanatics, cognoscenti, nuts, addicts, maniacs, aficionados, zealots, enthusiasts, devotes, groupies, and lovers: Do you have a barbecue destination that you think is worthy of being on Texas Monthly’s “The Top Fifty BBQ Joints in Texas” list? Now’s the time to tell us! Next

Eat My Words |
August 6, 2012

Scott Roberts details The Salt Lick Cookbook

You can’t talk about great Texas barbecue without mentioning Driftwood’s most famous barbecue joint of all time – The Salt Lick Bar-B-Que. Through the years this Central Texas haunt has gained both fame and popularity for its delicious barbecue meats – well known for their

Eat My Words |
March 26, 2012

Foodways Texas Is Getting Fat and Sassy

Foodways Texas, which was founded in July 2010 “to preserve, promote, and celebrate the diverse food cultures of Texas," held its second annual symposium in Austin this past weekend. A couple of hundred participants listened to talks on the theme of “Texas Preserved”—a deliberately wide-ranging topic that covered

Food & Drink |
February 1, 2012

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

For all the stories that we publish in TEXAS MONTHLY, there are always more that we don’t publish, usually because we run out of space and time. In a state that spans 261,232 square miles and contains 25,145,561 people, it’s a safe bet that the things we could cover

Eat My Words |
October 27, 2011

Second fiddle barbecue

The luminaries of Texas barbecue are justly revered—from Lockhart's century old Kreuz Market, to Taylor's estimable Louie Mueller Barbecue to the ever-popular Cooper's Old Time Pit BBQ in Llano. For the BBQ dabbler these names are familiar, but their pitmasters may as well be Hollywood celebrities

Eat My Words |
October 27, 2011

TMBBQFest, “23 Pitmasters in 23 Days:” Wild Blue BBQ

Editor’s Note: Just three more days until the Texas Monthly BBQ Festival! As you surely know by now, we’ve been interviewing all the featured pitmasters, with questions from TM staffers, esteemed BBQ experts, Twitter followers and you, the readers of this blog. Today we’re featuring Abraham Avila, 42, of Wild Blue BBQ in

Eat My Words |
September 7, 2011

BBQ Snob: Dallas Enjoys a BBQ Renaissance

Editor's Note: Daniel Vaughn, writing under the name BBQ Snob, runs the Full Custom Gospel BBQ blog and will also be writing about barbecue for Texas Monthly. This is his first column. Texas barbecue is having a moment. It seems like every time I turned around this

Eat My Words |
September 16, 2010

Trailer Thursday: Old School BBQ and Grill

Good Samaritan that you are, if you saw a school bus on the side of the road with smoke billowing from its roof, you’d probably call 911. Now, it might seem counterintuitive, but don’t dial those digits. Pull over, whip out your wallet, and prepare for some of the best

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