When you think Texas BBQ, you might imagine fork-tender brisket with a dark outer bark. But Texas is no one-trick pony, and neither is our BBQ. There are, in fact, four distinct styles to sample here — each with its own take on our most famous food.Less
It’s all about the dry rub. Brisket in the Hill Country is smoked over mesquite, oak and hickory woods for 12-24 hours. You’ll want to eat it with a couple of slices of white bread and sauce on the side (if you need it). Here are just enough briskets to start the day at LeRoy and Lewis Barbecue in Austin.
We do it cowboy style in West Texas, with chicken, sausage and ribs grilled over an open pit. High direct heat means faster cook times. West Texas BBQ uses mesquite wood as well but has much less smoke flavor than other styles. When sampling BBQ in West Texas, make sure to check out Convenience West in Marfa.
South Texas-style BBQ is where BBQ meets Mexican American traditions. In this region, brisket is smoked for 12 hours in an underground pit (or in an oven or steamer in most modern kitchens). Cheek or lengua (yes, tongue), otherwise known as barbacoa, is usually used in tacos. Add Vera’s Backyard Bar-B-Que to your list when you visit Brownsville.
Southern cooking heavily influences East Texas BBQ. With a heavier focus on sauces for chopped meat sandwiches, East Texas BBQ uses a lot more pork than other regions, especially pork ribs. Here, you’ll find even more sides to add to your plate. More southern dishes and flavors join the party, like boudin, okra and banana pudding. Drool over the entire smoked meat menu from Bodacious Bar-B-Q and add Longview to your list of cities to visit.