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Old 01-15-2010, 04:28 PM   #1
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The BBQ Thread

There's been a steak thread and a sushi thread and even a BBQ sauce thread so I figure why not do a BBQ thread devoted to all the top BBQ places around the country.

I live in Austin, Texas. Right in the middle of a 100 mile radius of land lovingly called by some locals "The Smoke Ring". The BBQ in Austin while good, is not mind blowing like some of the places in small Texas like Taylor or Lockhart or Luling or Lexington.

While folks outside Texas often bring up The Salt Lick, local foodies realize that Salt Lick is a mid tier BBQ place and their original popularity stemmed more from their atmosphere and their BYOB policy.

Texas BBQ is predominately known for Brisket and to a lesser extent Beef Ribs.



That is a picture of Brisket , Beef rib, and sausage from Louie Mueller's in Taylor. One of the most venerable of central Texas BBQ joints.



The above is a slice of brisket from Kreuz Market in Lockhart.

Brisket has a fatty end and a lean end, typically the fatty end is better tasting at least to me. The key requirement for a good piece of brisket at least for me is a deeply flavorful bark ie outer layer, followed by a layer of smoky fat about 1/3 inch in thickness followed by tender meat that does not require much chewing but doesn't fall in to shreds like stewed meat either. The Seasoning rub should be minimal, salt, Pepper, maybe some cayenne and the meat should be enjoyable without sauce. The brisket should glisten with a deep smoke ring in appearance and should have a pronounced smoky flavor.


more to come.... in the meanwhile, name some of your favorite bbq.
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:12 PM   #2
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Re: The BBQ Thread

I've never had BBQ at a restaurant that even sniffed the same league as decent homemade BBQ.
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:19 PM   #3
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Re: The BBQ Thread

I love BBQing, but since I don't have a smoker I can't make many of the slow cooked stuff. I usually stick to chicken, steaks, salmon, and sausage. My pops will cook just about anything on his webber. Turkey's, Chickens, Salmon, Ham, steaks, flank steak, etc.

Actually BBQing is one of my favorite things to do. Grab some beers, some meat, and spend some time on the deck drinking and cooking.

Anyway, being from the Pac NW, our legit BBQ places are limited. Most places posing as BBQ really aren't anything special. However, there is one place here in Portland that is legit. Its called Podnah's Pit, on 15th and Prescott, and they make a delicious pulled pork or brisket sandwich. It is some slow cooked BBQ goodness.
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:21 PM   #4
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Re: The BBQ Thread

that looks so good. no good bbq in boston imo. any suggestions oot?
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:21 PM   #5
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Re: The BBQ Thread

I can make a lot of delicious pork based bbq from home but Brisket I really struggle with. BTW, JackinDaCrak, that looks delicious. What is that? pork loin?
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:23 PM   #6
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Re: The BBQ Thread

Those smoke rings are the most beautiful things ever.
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:24 PM   #7
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Re: The BBQ Thread

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I've never had BBQ at a restaurant that even sniffed the same league as decent homemade BBQ.
then you obv haven't eaten bbq in central texas where op resides

i used to live there and greatly miss the bbq, because bbq pretty much sucks in dallas and i have to make it myself if i want good bbq

incedentally my fave bbq in austin is Ruby's (not top be confused with Rudy's) and it's a tiny bit untraditional but i love it still and they smoke it in a true old fashioned woodfired pit not a glorified oven

bbq beef brisket, incedentally, is imo the true test of a pitmaster because it's an incredibly unforgiving cut of meat to smoke. ribs/sausage/butt are pretty easy to smoke, chicken to a lesser extent.

i will go head-to-head against anyone with a baby back bbq ribs contest.

bbq is heavily regional btw, and cen-tex bbq is vastly different than KC (sweet molasses sauce on ribs or chicken) or the carolinas (pulled pork with the sauce of the subregion) or socal (tri-tip) and the term "BBQ" is far too broad for meaningful comparisons
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:25 PM   #8
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Re: The BBQ Thread

Just got a Bradley Digital electric smoker for Xmas.

Going to try and smoke some cheese tomorrow morning and then ribs and sausages in the afternoon.
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:26 PM   #9
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Re: The BBQ Thread

After consistently hearing about Slow's BBQ located in Detroit I ventured down there earlier this week to see what all the fuss was about. A few days before I caught Man V Food on the travel channel where he actually went to Slow's and tried their Triple Threat Sandwich which is Applewood Bacon, Pulled Pork, and Ham on a poppy seed kaiser roll. The sandwich was absolutely delicious as well as the spare ribs that my girlfriend had as well. If anyone in the Detroit Metro area hasnt been to Slow's I would recommend checking it out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HQm41ALRcs

The Slow's part of the show starts at 6:40
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:27 PM   #10
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Re: The BBQ Thread

Amoeba - loin-back pork ribs. Meatier babybacks, essentially.
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:29 PM   #11
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Re: The BBQ Thread

As far as Kansas City restaurants go

Jack Stack > Arthur Bryant's > Gates imo
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:34 PM   #12
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Re: The BBQ Thread

I really don't want this to become a dumb "my region has better bbq" thread.

I am just hoping people post their local specialties and favorite places.


My next topic is Texas style BBQ sausage. Traditionally, you will find either pork and beef or all beef sausage and there will be a regular version and a jalapeno version. Typically, sausage is the best at BBQ joints that have a Czech/German immigrant origin.

The hallmark of good sausage is a snappy crisp natural casing filled with smoky peppery ground meat with no filler. The meat should be juicy and coarsely ground and should release some rivlets of fat and juice when the sausage is cut in to yet not quite so much to overwhelm you with fat.



that is sausage from Smitty's also from Lockhart.

The current Smitty's owner's father was the original owner of the original Kreuz market. Before he passed away, he gave the right to use the Kreuz Market name to his Son and left the original Kreuz Market BBQ building to his daughter. Thus when his daughter got remarried, the original Kreuz market because Smitty's and the son moved down the street and opened a new Kreuz Market.



smoked prime rib also from Smitty's
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:37 PM   #13
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Re: The BBQ Thread

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I can make a lot of delicious pork based bbq from home but Brisket I really struggle with. BTW, JackinDaCrak, that looks delicious. What is that? pork loin?
brisket, imo is not that tough once you get the routine down. I have a weber smoky mountain, but any smoker that can do 200* for 12 hours will work. I slit the fat in a criss/cross pattern, and add a ton of rub, and make sure there is a lot of water in the drip pan. I do 6 hours just normal, than I will put it into some tin foil and spritz some apple juice + watered down sauce, 2 hours in the foil, flip for 2 hours, and than let it sit wrapped tightly for 30 minutes. best thing in teh world
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:39 PM   #14
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Re: The BBQ Thread

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bbq is heavily regional btw, and cen-tex bbq is vastly different than KC (sweet molasses sauce on ribs or chicken) or the carolinas (pulled pork with the sauce of the subregion) or socal (tri-tip) and the term "BBQ" is far too broad for meaningful comparisons
Gee, thanks for the knowledge.
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:43 PM   #15
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Re: The BBQ Thread

Places for BBQ here in Southern California are pretty few and far between. Lucille's might be the best around here. I like the food, but it doesn't compare to really good BBQ (memphis being my fav).

I am smoker-less so when my friends BBQ we head to the one friend's house who has a smoker. I don't particularly care for the way he prepares his ribs. He will smoke them with mesquite wood chips for like 5-6 hrs and then he finishes them in the oven by slicing them up and pouring beer & sauce, covering and baking for 2-3 more hours. I prefer to mop ribs while they smoke and then finish them on a very very hot grill.
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:44 PM   #16
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Re: The BBQ Thread

ew mesquite on ribs. do not want. Get him to try some apple/cherry wood, or hickory, or a mix of the two.

Sounds like he way overcooks them too. Even spares only take 5 or so hours total in the smoke at 250 for me.
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:45 PM   #17
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Re: The BBQ Thread

slicing up ribs then cooking for 2-3 more hours seems really bad especially if they are submerged in sauce.
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:54 PM   #18
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Re: The BBQ Thread

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Places for BBQ here in Southern California are pretty few and far between. Lucille's might be the best around here. I like the food, but it doesn't compare to really good BBQ (memphis being my fav).

I am smoker-less so when my friends BBQ we head to the one friend's house who has a smoker. I don't particularly care for the way he prepares his ribs. He will smoke them with mesquite wood chips for like 5-6 hrs and then he finishes them in the oven by slicing them up and pouring beer & sauce, covering and baking for 2-3 more hours. I prefer to mop ribs while they smoke and then finish them on a very very hot grill.
thats also cooking them for way to long, mesquite is only good for brisket, and even than it is overpowering; ribs only need like 4hours
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:55 PM   #19
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Re: The BBQ Thread

New Yorker article on Snow's in Lexington Texas

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2...?currentPage=1

Snow's Fatty Brisket


Last edited by amoeba; 01-15-2010 at 06:15 PM.
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:59 PM   #20
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Re: The BBQ Thread

Also since I'm a member of the forums there I should pimp this:

www.virtualweberbullet.com

the forums are an amazing resource for all things bbq, and lots of general culinary knowledge as well
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Old 01-15-2010, 06:12 PM   #21
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Re: The BBQ Thread

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i will go head-to-head against anyone with a baby back bbq ribs contest.
If anyone takes you up on this, please invite other Dallasites tyvm. I'll bring potato salad.
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Old 01-15-2010, 06:15 PM   #22
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Re: The BBQ Thread

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Originally Posted by JackInDaCrak View Post
ew mesquite on ribs. do not want. Get him to try some apple/cherry wood, or hickory, or a mix of the two.

Sounds like he way overcooks them too. Even spares only take 5 or so hours total in the smoke at 250 for me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by amoeba View Post
slicing up ribs then cooking for 2-3 more hours seems really bad especially if they are submerged in sauce.
Quote:
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thats also cooking them for way to long, mesquite is only good for brisket, and even than it is overpowering; ribs only need like 4hours
Yes, thank you! I enjoy tender meat, but you pick up the bone and the meat just falls off. There is not bite, I like a little bite. I suggested apple wood once and he shrugged it off. He is very set in his ways and seems to think his ribs are amazing.

What sort of spices do you guys put in your dry rub? I usually just open up my pantry and make a combo of salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, cumin, onion powder. Anything else? How long should ribs sit with the rub on before they go into the smoker?
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Old 01-15-2010, 06:17 PM   #23
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Re: The BBQ Thread

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Originally Posted by JasonInDallas View Post
bbq is heavily regional btw, and cen-tex bbq is vastly different than KC (sweet molasses sauce on ribs or chicken) or the carolinas (pulled pork with the sauce of the subregion) or socal (tri-tip) and the term "BBQ" is far too broad for meaningful comparisons
Quote:
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Gee, thanks for the knowledge.
You're welcome!

After having read countless BBQ threads on the interweb and talking BBQ with lots of folks, it's pretty clear that few people understand the vast differences in regional BBQ which is why I added that part.

So many ppl will grow up on one kind of BBQ, move/travel somewhere else and complain "BBQ here is terrible" when the BBQ may in fact be excellent and merely a different kind.

Unfortunately, not everyone is as awesome as you so I thought I'd point out some differences.
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Old 01-15-2010, 06:22 PM   #24
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Re: The BBQ Thread

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Yes, thank you! I enjoy tender meat, but you pick up the bone and the meat just falls off. There is not bite, I like a little bite. I suggested apple wood once and he shrugged it off. He is very set in his ways and seems to think his ribs are amazing.
Seems to be a Yankee thing, the crockpot style of ribs that are slowcooked util they turn to mush and have tons of sweet sauce. I'm not a fan. To me BBQ is perfect when it does not need any sauce at all.

As for the dry rub question, it depends on what you're cooking. My rib rub is similar but I also add cayene, msg, mustard powder. I go pretty heavy on the paprika.

Someone posted about aluminum foil ... sacrilege IMO. That turns your smoker into a steamer and at that point you might as well just use an oven or boil them.
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Old 01-15-2010, 06:22 PM   #25
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Re: The BBQ Thread

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What sort of spices do you guys put in your dry rub? I usually just open up my pantry and make a combo of salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, cumin, onion powder. Anything else? How long should ribs sit with the rub on before they go into the smoker?
You've got the basics covered wrt: spices. I often use celery salt, or herbs in my rub too. And I never use paprika, it's worthless. Try using a mild ground pepper like Ancho instead. It imparts a lot of flavor.

You also may want to experiment using brown or turbinado sugar instead of white. Burning sugar isn't a concern at temperatures under 350 but different sugars have subtly different flavors.

I actually usually omit salt from the rub, choosing instead to salt the meat separately about 30-60 minutes before cooking, and then applying the rub to the moisture the salt draws out. This lets you change the salt amount to taste depending on the cut of meat, and saves from having to use a slather of mustard or whatever to get your rub to stick.

I rub ribs immediately before cooking, and don't notice a difference in flavor by doing it overnight, and it's a hassle to wrap them up in the fridge. Much easier to just rub them down outside before throwing them on, and you don't have to worry about making a mess. Especially with salty rubs, I find that leaving them on for too long (24h+) produces a "hammy" texture/flavor in the outer layer of the ribs.
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