Monday, October 8, 2012

BBQ sauce in Texas: Evil but necessary

The overarching sentiment in Texas about BBQ sauce is that good BBQ doesn't need it. Though good BBQ sauce would make a nice addition to a meal, if a piece of meat is flavorful and moist on its own (i.e. if it's a good cut of meat cooked properly), it very well can survive on its own. The problem is that this is simply not the reality at most BBQ joints. After more than 5 years of eating BBQ in Texas, my list of places whose meats are successful sans sauce (or side or something else to add moisture and/or flavor) is way, way smaller than the list of places whose meats need nothing. My list of dry/chewy meats dwarfs my list of succulent, flavorful meats. Is this true for you? I have no problem with saying that legit BBQ doesn't need sauce. And, to be clear, there are many places in Texas (and elsewhere) where the meats can succeed alone. The problem is that such places are the exception, not the norm. Even in Texas.