Smoked in Texas

The Zeke Sandwich

After an incredible championship game on Monday night, this season of college football is (sadly) behind us. But that means we can now focus solely on the NFL playoffs, in which the Texans are still alive and the Cowboys look to avenge Dez Bryant’s “non-catch” from a 2015 game against the Green Day Packers. In Sunday’s match-up against the Packers, though, the Cowboys have new stars—Dak Prescott and Ezekiel “Zeke” Elliott are the rookies to watch. And…

Smoked in Texas: Texas Twinkies at Hutchins BBQ

Leftover brisket is a fact of life for most barbecue joints, but how they use it says a lot about their commitment to quality. It’s far better suited for fortifying pinto beans than to be back on the slicing block for day two. I’ve eaten fine chopped brisket sandwiches, tacos, and even enchiladas made from leftovers, but at Hutchins BBQ in McKinney they’ve found the most regal reuse of brisket in Texas. In the afterlife of brisket,…

Smoked in Texas: Bacon Burnt Ends at Heim BBQ

Burnt ends aren’t just for brisket anymore. And let’s get something out of the way, Kansas City barbecue fans: don’t get too sanctimonious about proper burnt ends only coming from a brisket; I’ve had ham and sausage burnt ends in your city. Beef belly burnt ends were the special last week at Cattleack Barbecue in Dallas. Pappa Charlie’s in Houston and Killen’s in Pearland both serve a decadent version of burnt ends made from pricey beef…

Smoked in Texas: BBQ Tacos at BBQ on the Brazos

Combining barbecue and tacos is a damn-near perfect culinary Texas creation. In fact, it is the barbecue tacos at Valentina’s Tex-Mex BBQ in Austin that has made this one of my favorite joints in the state. I’ve often wished that more tortillas were stuffed with smoked meat, so I was happy to find another joint that gives even Valentina’s a run for their money: BBQ on the Brazos, in Cresson. The smoked meat does its part to make the tacos at BBQ on the Brazos…

Smoked in Texas: Smokehouse Burger at Lakewood Smokehouse

Until recently, every smoked burger I’ve eaten has resulted in a contradiction of the palate. Smoky beef seasoned with salt and pepper hits all the positive taste receptors, but to trigger those you have to chew on a patty as dry as mesquite. It doesn’t take long to overcook a burger in a smoker, which isn’t a surprise because it’s a tool generally used to cook meat far beyond well done. That’s why every juicy bite…

Smoked in Texas: Dry-Aged Brisket at Killen’s Barbecue

The experimentation never seems to end at Killen’s Barbecue in Pearland. Some days you can do a side-by-side taste test of different beef rib varieties, on others owner Ronnie Killen and pitmaster Manny Torres are serving flights of various smoked briskets. And when I stopped in last week they were having some fun with dry-aged brisket. Dry-aging is a revered process in steakhouses that provides a signature nutty flavor to ribeyes and strips and fetches big…

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