brisket

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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

Photo composite by Nicholas McWhirter

Brisket > Chili

That barbecue is not Texas’s state dish is a travesty. Paul Burka first made the argument decades ago in his scathing article “I Still Hate Chili” claiming that “never has the legislature so abandoned its sworn duty to enhance the public welfare as when it certified chili as the official state dish.” More recently he fired the first shots in Texas Monthly’s very real effort to finally right the wrong from 1977. That’s when the chili…

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Breaking Down Brisket

Brisket is our favorite cut for barbecue here in Texas, and it’s also pretty popular elsewhere, as evidenced by the sheer number of brisket recipes one can find on a shelf of barbecue cookbooks or can pull up using a Google search (searching “how to smoke a brisket” calls up more than 1.8 million hits). But how much variation is there between these innumerable recipes? I combed through 22 cookbooks* (I didn’t have time to…