Brisket

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…

Smoked in Texas: Dry-Aged Brisket at Killen’s Barbecue

Sep 27, 2016 By Daniel Vaughn

The experimentation never seems to end at Killen’s Barbecue in Pearland. Some days you can do a side-by-side taste test of different beef rib varieties, on others owner Ronnie Killen and pitmaster Manny Torres are serving flights of various smoked briskets. And when I stopped in last week they…

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…

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 Texanist

Jan 27, 2016 By David Courtney

Our estimable advice columnist on the pronunciation of “Fort Worth,” the pros and cons of spring break south of the border, the best way to deal with the brisket illiterate, and the Texan who mistook himself for a Floridian.

The McKensie Project

Dec 16, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

Researchers at Texas A&M are seeking to improve Texas barbecue. This isn’t the first time that an institution of higher learning has aspired to this lofty ambition; Harvard students already tried to design the ultimate smoker. And now the Aggies are focusing on the meat of the matter, so to speak. Earlier…

The Many Briskets of Texas

Dec 1, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

Not all briskets are created equal. That much is obvious to anyone who’s had a great one—or a bad one. Those experiences are easy to contrast, but what about when it’s not a question of good or bad? When it’s a matter of simply being different? I was struck by the variety…

The Karma of Brisket Prices

Oct 23, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

Ronnie Killen has had enough with high-priced brisket at his Houston-area barbecue joint. Killen’s Barbecue has garnered praise for his juicy smoked briskets (and just about everything else on his menu) from Texas Monthly, and even the Food Network, but it didn’t come cheap. Along with big…

The End of Cheap Beef

Jan 6, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

That beef is more expensive than it was a year ago is no surprise, and this trend doesn’t look to be easing up anytime soon. As David Anderson, a Texas A&M professor of ag economics, told a room full of barbecue joint owners last month at the university’s first-ever Barbecue Town Hall,…

Love the Lean

Sep 23, 2014 By Daniel Vaughn

In a state currently obsessed with brisket, the lean side appears to be always the bridesmaid. The bride, of course, is the fatty stuff. (As the tired saying goes, “fat is where it’s at.”) Further evidence of this love for adipose was on full display in a recent article for Maxim magazine,…

Brisket Ain’t Cheap

Apr 11, 2014 By Daniel Vaughn

Two weeks ago Cranky Frank’s Barbeque in Fredericksburg finally bit the bullet. They raised their prices for barbecue and posted a sign on the door explaining the change to their customers. Not two days later I received a question over Twitter with a photo of the sign.

The Best Method for Reheating Barbecue

Jan 31, 2014 By Daniel Vaughn

The barbecue you eat can’t always be fresh. Maybe grandma sent you a brisket in a care package. Sometimes you might even have some leftover ribs. So, what is the best method to reheat it? While eating around the state I know that even in the hands of a microwave…

The History of Smoked Brisket

Jan 24, 2014 By Daniel Vaughn

What you know about the history of smoked brisket in Texas is probably wrong. People have been eating brisket since the first pits were dug in the earth, but only by a sort of default: it was standard practice to cook whole animals for the big community celebrations, which means…

What I Learned at Brisket Camp

Jan 17, 2014 By Daniel Vaughn

The director of Foodways Texas, Marvin Bendele, asked me to come and lead a couple of panel discussions at the organization’s annual Camp Brisket, held last weekend at the Rosenthal Meat Center on Texas A&M’s campus. And even though I was presented…

Brisket > Chili

Dec 9, 2013 By Daniel Vaughn

That barbecue is not Texas’s state dish is a travesty. Paul Burka first made the argument decades ago in his scathing article “I Still Hate Chili” claiming that “never has the legislature so abandoned its sworn duty to enhance the public welfare as when it certified chili as the…

Breaking Down Brisket

Dec 6, 2013 By Daniel Vaughn

Brisket is our favorite cut for barbecue here in Texas, and it’s also pretty popular elsewhere, as evidenced by the sheer number of brisket recipes one can find on a shelf of barbecue cookbooks or can pull up using a Google search (searching “how to smoke a brisket”…

The Evolution of Fat in Barbecue

Nov 22, 2013 By Daniel Vaughn

Not everyone vilifies fat.  Heritage hog varieties rich with layers of fat are gaining in popularity, leaf lard is now a chic ingredient to pie crust, and noted author Michael Ruhlman just published The Book of Schmaltz: Love Song to a Forgotten Fat. No longer do we value…

The Importance of Wrapping Brisket

Jun 7, 2013 By Daniel Vaughn

There are plenty of ways to screw up a brisket, but when you get it right it’s a beautiful thing. If you’re smoking it at home, it’s not a terribly difficult process. Start by purchasing the right grade, then trim it properly, season it with your favorite rub, and…

BBQ Anatomy 101: Know Your Brisket

May 31, 2013 By Daniel Vaughn

IF YOU’RE EATING BRISKET in Texas, chances are that your favorite pitmaster is ordering Item No. 120: a beef brisket, deckle-off, boneless. The number corresponds to the cut of meat defined by the Institutional Meat Purchase Specifications, or IMPS. No. 120 is “boneless,” meaning that ribs one through four have been…

VIDEO: John Mueller is on Fire

May 23, 2013 By Daniel Vaughn

John Mueller is on fire. His barbecue is better than it’s ever been, he just made it into our list of the fifty best barbecue joints in the state, and now Zagat has featured him in a slick video about the Austin barbecue scene. Where does Mueller fit…