Monday, September 7, 2009

QOTD: Is a smoker a necessity for true Texas BBQ?

It's Labor Day, so it's a safe bet that Texas will see her share of outdoor cooking today. It is, thus, an appropriate day for today's Question of the Day: Must a smoker be used for the meats to qualify as authentic Texas BBQ? What about a rotisserie? Open pit? Or just a regular grill?

This begs a larger question: What is Texas BBQ in the first place? Does it matter what is used for the cooking? Is it about the meats that you cook? Or will any cooker and/or any meat suffice, so long as you're cooking in Texas? Or is it the person doing the cooking? The attitude behind it? WHAT IS TEXAS BBQ?!?! Unlike the first time I posted on this, I'm hoping to get at least one person to weigh in!


Unknown said...

This might be the easiest question of the day yet. Texas bbq is simple. Sure, we can complicate it with smoker vs. open pit, brisket vs. pork and any number of other variables. But to be true Texas bbq you only need a couple of things: good friends, good texas country, and good cold shiner (or in Drew's case, tea). If you have all of these, the bbq will always turn out just fine.

Kate said...

I think it has everything to do with WHO is cooking!!!

Todd said...

A smoker is not a necessity for TX BBQ, but if you want good TX bbq, stuff that's worth eating you might want to invest in a smoker or a pit. 'grilling' is different than 'bar-b-quing'.

Now, as to the meat...the meat must be beef. I could be persuaded to include others, but TX bbq = beef!

And I'm pretty sure that being a native Texan gives you a competitive edge.

FSJ said...

I don't know about Texas BBQ, but in my opinion, BBQ needs to be on either an open pit or some type of smoker. Friends, Alabama football, and a cold beverage are good additions too.

Grilling isn't BBQ.

I love all BBQ meat, be it Brisket, Pork, Turkey, whatever...

Don O. said...

I have no idea. But I'm going to keep eatin' it until I figure it out. Probably after I figure it out, too.

robot malone said...

I would say yes, a smoker is a necessity for making Texas BBQ. Yuo can get away with doing it on a grill with indirect heat and wood chips, but a smoker is the best way to go.

kevin said...

Hi, I guess I'm weighing in on things a bit late. But let me say you certainly can make very good Texas style barbecue without a smoker. I am an apartment dweller so I have no choice other than to use the grills available at our complex.

I get the best beef I can and set up for indirect heat. I put a foil pan with water in the center of the coal basket and good lump charcoal on either side. Once that's going good I put the meat on in the center of the grill and add some wood. I keep the temps around 250-300F using a candy thermometer. I always get a good smoky flavor with a good smoke ring.

Sure this method might take some more pampering than if you had a smoker - but it can be done! I've cooked good bbq digging a hole in the ground, and lots of people have. It's all about being patient and conscientious.

BTW - For new bbq-ers I would not recommend starting off with brisket. It takes a long time to cook and if you don't have the ability to reg the temp very well this will be a lot of effort. A better choice is to get a shoulder roast, a shoulder clod if you're feeding a large group, or tri-tip. Use lots of salt and pepper and smoke. Check your baby with an internal thermometer. And Good Luck!