Hot Fast Brisket 05

Hot-and-Fast Brisket

Bodacious Bar-B-Que in Longview was the first stop on a barbecue road trip, and founder/owner/pitmaster Roland Lindsey, a barbecue veteran forty years my senior, boasted: “I can cook a brisket in three hours.” I called his bluff. I walked out the door promising to loop back through Longview on my way back home. Lindsey waved while stoking a mesquite fire in his old steel pit. His son-in-law Jordan Jackson cut open a fresh brisket with a smile, eager…

TAMU Brisket Study 03

The McKensie Project

Researchers at Texas A&M are seeking to improve Texas barbecue. This isn’t the first time that an institution of higher learning has aspired to this lofty ambition; Harvard students already tried to design the ultimate smoker. And now the Aggies are focusing on the meat of the matter, so to speak. Earlier this week A&M’s Rosenthal Meat & Technology Center hosted a barbecue “town hall,” and among the many topics discussed, Dr. Jeff Savell mentioned a new study they were about to…

Smoked Brisket 01

The Many Briskets of Texas

Not all briskets are created equal. That much is obvious to anyone who’s had a great one—or a bad one. Those experiences are easy to contrast, but what about when it’s not a question of good or bad? When it’s a matter of simply being different? I was struck by the variety in briskets during a recent barbecue road trip between Belton and Luling. As much as the barbecue changes across the state, we know the catch-all term of…

Killen Menu

The Karma of Brisket Prices

Ronnie Killen has had enough with high-priced brisket at his Houston-area barbecue joint. Killen’s Barbecue has garnered praise for his juicy smoked briskets (and just about everything else on his menu) from Texas Monthly, and even the Food Network, but it didn’t come cheap. Along with big names like Pecan Lodge in Dallas and Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Killen’s has been charging $20/lb for brisket in response to high beef prices, especially on this specialty cut….

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…