brisket

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The Evolution of Fat in Barbecue

Not everyone vilifies fat.  Heritage hog varieties rich with layers of fat are gaining in popularity, leaf lard is now a chic ingredient to pie crust, and noted author Michael Ruhlman just published The Book of Schmaltz: Love Song to a Forgotten Fat. No longer do we value only the leanest cuts of beef, but for decades steers were being raised lean and large by the beef producers. They said it because the public demanded lean beef, but…

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The Importance of Wrapping Brisket

There are plenty of ways to screw up a brisket, but when you get it right it’s a beautiful thing. If you’re smoking it at home, it’s not a terribly difficult process. Start by purchasing the right grade, then trim it properly, season it with your favorite rub, and smoke it until the tough cut of beef gets as tender as a ribeye steak. At this point, you will have made your guests very happy–and…

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BBQ Anatomy 101: Know Your Brisket

IF YOU’RE EATING BRISKET in Texas, chances are that your favorite pitmaster is ordering Item No. 120: a beef brisket, deckle-off, boneless. The number corresponds to the cut of meat defined by the Institutional Meat Purchase Specifications, or IMPS. No. 120 is “boneless,” meaning that ribs one through four have been removed (Item No. 118 is just “Beef Brisket” and the bones remain intact), and the “deckle,” or the hard fat between the rib cage and…

VIDEO: John Mueller is on Fire

John Mueller is on fire. His barbecue is better than it’s ever been, he just made it into our list of the fifty best barbecue joints in the state, and now Zagat has featured him in a slick video about the Austin barbecue scene. Where does Mueller fit in? “I made the Austin barbecue scene,” Mueller tells the interviewer. Dark sunglasses shade his eyes while he leans against his behemoth steel pit, but the wry…

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The Barbecue Editor Disputes a Tar Heel

The following is a correspondence between Daniel Vaughn and John Shelton Reed. Reed lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and is the co-author, with his wife, Dale Volberg Reed, of Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue. Vaughn is the barbecue editor of Texas Monthly and the author of Prophets of Smoked Meat: A Journey Through Texas Barbecue.    Daniel, So, we are to debate the relative merits of North Carolina and Texas barbecue. Let me begin by saluting a worthy…