BBQ Anatomy 101

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BBQ Anatomy 101: Pork Shoulder

A quarter century ago Isaac Tigrett brought the Southern-style pulled pork sandwich to Texas. The Hard Rock Café founder from Jackson, Tennessee, opened a Dallas location in 1986, and in the following year the Dallas Morning News wrote that he “has trotted the pig into steer territory, offering the famed Tennessee Pig Sandwich.” It certainly wasn’t the first barbecue pork sandwich served in Texas. The public barbecues in the second half of the nineteenth century featured…

Riscky's Stockyards beef ribs

BBQ Anatomy 101: The Other Kind of Back Ribs

Last week, after I wrote about beef short ribs, I got a few responses from folks who said they flat out didn’t like beef ribs. After pressing them a bit more, I found that some of them had only eaten beef back ribs instead of the giant beef short ribs I had written about. Beef back ribs are the anorexic cousin of short ribs–all bones, no meat. Why don’t they leave more meat on those bones? To…

Texas A&M Meat Science's Beef 101 hanging room.

BBQ Anatomy 101: The Slaughter

For three days this week I was a student at Beef 101, an intensive course taught by the Texas A&M University meat science staff, led by Dr. Davey Griffin, Dr. Jeff Savell, and Ray Riley. The class covers everything about cattle, from the time that they’re weaned to the moment their meat makes it to your plate. The first day began with all of us students introducing ourselves. It’s a very cordial way of breaking…

TM_FranklinSlices_2013

The Mount Everest of Barbecue

IN OTHER PARTS OF the country, the goal of barbecue is to make something delicious in a reasonable amount of time with the greatest chance of success. In those places the pig is the chosen animal. We Texans cook pig ourselves, having found that spareribs make an excellent hors d’oeuvre, but let’s be candid: anybody with half a brain can cook pork. The meat is juicy and soft, and in many Southern barbecue joints, the…