Since Santa Anna had the Alamo surrounded Texans have been using native woods to fire Beef, Pork, Chicken and virtually everything with four legs other than their horses. What was first a necessity to survive grew into an art form called “Texas BBQ.” Oh you probably see places all over the world advertising “Texas BBQ”, you see people on the travel channel, the food channel squawking about “BBQ”. They will tell you their version of “BBQ”. Heck they have even got most of you convinced that you know want “BBQ” is. There are manufacturers selling BBQ grills, smokers, electric, gas and charcoal. Well ladies and gents hang on a minute and I will explain BBQ in its truest sense.
First thing to know is that BBQ sauce isn’t BBQ! Liquid smoke isn’t BBQ either. All that stuff is smoke flavoring. That’s why all that stuff says smoke flavor added on the package. Yes there is such a thing as BBQ sauce but it goes on BBQ’d meats that already have smoke flavoring in the meat because the meat has been BBQ’d. If your eating BBQ sauce that has smoke flavoring added its because the meat your about to eat hasn’t been BBQ’d. So what is Texas BBQ?
Texas BBQ is meat cooked in an INDIRECT heat generated by fire from WOOD. Whether that wood is Oak, Mesquite, Pecan or Hickory is up to the Pit Boss s it will change the smoke flavor of the meat. But rest assured direct flame will never touch the meat. That’s called grilling or broiling. What were talking about here in BBQ.
Now since we have a pretty good size chunk of dirt here in Texas BBQ can get pretty regional as far as how that indirect heat is delivered but basically it comes down to two different ways. Pit BBQ and Smoker BBQ. Pit BBQ Chefs burn the wood down to charcoal and shovel the coals into a pit either at opposite end of meat of under the meat well below the meat so that the temperature of the heat is low enough to slow cook the meats. The indirect heat is accomplished by having the coals well below the meat or off to one side of the meat. Pit BBQ takes a lot of maintenance as controlling that heat is a challenge. Pitters usually have a shovel in there hands most of the time. Smokers on the other hand are engineers of the bunch. Over the years they have come up with designs that can regulate the temperature of there cooking chamber by cutting, bending and welding steel to the point of obsession and in the process have created the ability to cook large amounts of meat with little oversight and virtually no flipping of meats. Even the pitters have joined in by placing steel over coals to reroute the smoke but keep the heat.
Well that’s quite an introduction so lets get down to the real question…..who’s got the best BBQ in Texas. I’m from Funky Town also known as Ft. Worth so I’m partial to our local BBQ joints and I will let you know why.