Smoked in Texas

Full Fat Beef Ribs at Knife

You don’t have to look far to find a beef short rib on a barbecue joint menu, and chef John Tesar* has eaten many of them. [Full disclosure: Tesar and I share a literary agent, I’m mentioned in his new book, and I we’re friends in beef.] He’s a big fan of Texas barbecue, as you might expect from the guy at the helm of Dallas’s premiere dry-aged beef palace, Knife. “I have enormous respect for…

Pastrami Pork Ribs at Wheelhouse

Underdressed in my standard attire of jeans and a barbecue t-shirt, I dropped my car with the (mandatory/complimentary) valet at the new Dallas Design District restaurant, Wheelhouse, and found a seat on the breezy patio. A sculpture of a man who didn’t quite make it through a wall—think Han Solo in carbonite, but in reverse and in gleaming white—separates the patio from Oak Lawn Avenue, blocking a bit of the noise for the smartly dressed…

Burnt End Boudin at Bodacious Bar-B-Q

Two culinary school graduates joined forces in an East Texas barbecue joint, and have created a barbecue synthesis like none other. Every Wednesday, and only on Wednesday (for now), Bodacious Bar-B-Que in Longview smokes a batch of burnt end boudin. A marriage between Cajun cuisine and Texas barbecue has never tasted so good. Jordan Jackson and Scott Turner met at Le Cordon Bleu in Austin, then went their separate ways. Jackson chose a barbecue path that…

Barbecue in a Bag

Professional pitmasters order their wood by the cord, but us backyard cooks don’t usually need that much to smoke a brisket. Besides, flavoring your steaks and burgers with a little wood smoke doesn’t even require a log. Chunks of hardwood and even wood chips work better on a grill, and Texas-based W W Wood Inc. packages them all. You’ve likely seen their bags of Western Premium BBQ Products in the grocery store, right above the bags…

Stuffed Chicken Legs at Baker Boys BBQ

In Luling, Wayne Baker grew up on the basics of barbecue. Brisket, ribs, and beef sausage came wrapped up in butcher paper at City Market, the favored barbecue joint of his youth. “I didn’t really know a barbecue plate existed,” he told me at his barbecue joint, Baker Boys BBQ in Gonzales. The Baker boys are a little less orthodox than City Market, but then Wayne and his father Phil, who opened the place together in 2015,…

Avoiding Dirty Smoke

Several years ago on a backroad near Galveston, I happened upon a roadside barbecue stand. Of course I stopped and ordered a combo plate. As I opened the styrofoam container, I was hit with the smell of a smoldering fireplace. The brisket and ribs were jet black. It was the smokiest barbecue I’d ever eaten, and at first I couldn’t figure out if that was a good thing. The numbing sensation on my lips and tongue that followed certainly…

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