brisket

Big Beef 01

The End of Cheap Beef

That beef is more expensive than it was a year ago is no surprise, and this trend doesn’t look to be easing up anytime soon. As David Anderson, a Texas A&M professor of ag economics, told a room full of barbecue joint owners last month at the university’s first-ever Barbecue Town Hall, retailers should plan on two or three years of elevated pricing. Of the many slides he presented that illustrated the corn, pork, and beef markets, the one on average wholesale…

Lean Brisket - Killen's Barbecue, Pearland

Love the Lean

In a state currently obsessed with brisket, the lean side appears to be always the bridesmaid. The bride, of course, is the fatty stuff. (As the tired saying goes, “fat is where it’s at.”) Further evidence of this love for adipose was on full display in a recent article for Maxim magazine, where Texas barbecue expert Robb Walsh wrote, “It’s the fatty end brisket that discerning barbecue aficionados desire most.” (See also The Evolution of Fat in Barbecue.) Aaron…

Photograph by Jody Horton

Brisket Ain’t Cheap

Two weeks ago Cranky Frank’s Barbeque in Fredericksburg finally bit the bullet. They raised their prices for barbecue and posted a sign on the door explaining the change to their customers. Not two days later I received a question over Twitter with a photo of the sign. @bbqsnob Is this a supply-demand byproduct of the central Texas BBQ renaissance? At Cranky Frank’s, Fredericksburg. pic.twitter.com/UjvtJ7WJgH — Chris Creel (@chriscreel) March 30, 2014 Not even close. Complaining…

reheat 1

The Best Method for Reheating Barbecue

The barbecue you eat can’t always be fresh. Maybe grandma sent you a brisket in a care package. Sometimes you might even have some leftover ribs. So, what is the best method to reheat it? While eating around the state I know that even in the hands of a microwave maestro, brisket is never going to be great if you hear a DING coming from the kitchen. Throw a fully smoked rack of ribs straight…

kosher symbol

The History of Smoked Brisket

What you know about the history of smoked brisket in Texas is probably wrong. People have been eating brisket since the first pits were dug in the earth, but only by a sort of default: it was standard practice to cook whole animals for the big community celebrations, which means people ate that cut of meat as part of a smoked-meat meal where all the various cuts were served. These days, smoked brisket on its…

Camp Brisket 5

What I Learned at Brisket Camp

The director of Foodways Texas, Marvin Bendele, asked me to come and lead a couple of panel discussions at the organization’s annual Camp Brisket, held last weekend at the Rosenthal Meat Center on Texas A&M’s campus. And even though I was presented as an expert to talk about the history of brisket, I found there was still, ahem, a lot to chew over and learn.  As someone who feels as though he knows most everything…