Agent Mule sent me an email the other day effectively shattering my hopes of being a great pit master. He glibly pointed out that no matter how much smoke plumes from my backyard, no matter how many cords of wood I stockpile and no matter how large and fatty the steer, I can never achieve the status of my colleagues from the Lone Star state. In the email, he compared a Texan’s affinity and knowledge of barbecue to French Canadians and poutine. In post-email conversation, he furthered that point by liken it to Canadians and hockey; it’s more of a religion where indoctrination starts at a very early age.
He then attached a picture to prove his point.
The art of smoking a brisket is so innate to the Lone Star State that 3 year olds are winning BBQ competitions with their dry rub blends and custom smokers. It’s like a Québécois and his poutine. It would be silly for example for an Los Angeles food geek to try and ‘curd up’ with the big boys of Canada. The moral of the story is no matter how bad one wants it, or how much smoke the neighbors see coming from your house if you’re not born in Texas your pit mastering skills will always be lacking savoir-faire. I am sorry. Blame the asian texan kid.
Begin forwarded message:
From: lreinauer <lreinauer@.com>
Date: December 13, 2008 4:00:00 PM EST
Cc: Ed Reinauer <ereinauer@.com>
Subject: briskid 3
I will admit, kid is cute.
Barbecue on a global scale, is represented by a wide variety of styles. For instance, in the Carribbean, jerk is barbecue’s most popular form. In India, Tandoor ovens are used to slow cook chicken, lamb and a laundry list of meats. Here in North America – namely the Bible Belt area of the U.S. of A. – wood burning cues resembling or sometimes even constructed from oil drums are the preferred tool of the trade.
But even in the Southern states, the style of cue varies depending on what region you are in. In Kanasas, the stalwart history of stockyards crowns prok – especially ribs – as king. In the Carolinas, pulled pork with a unique zesty, vinegar-heavy sauce rules. And down in Texas, the steer reigns supreme.
In fact, the steer quotient in Texas is so high, that more than 80% of Texans suffer from colon cancer and 90% of Texans under the age of 19 have never seen a pig IRL. The lack of cloven hoof down there is astonishing. But what is more shocking, is that 97% of Texans have claimed to have “personal relationships” with cows before Betsy Bovine is slaughtered, skinned and smoked into Brisket. Texans LOVE their beef.
This brings us to today’s New Yorker which features the very best that the Lone Star state has to offer. The top 50 barbecue spots in Texas is very much like Calvin Trillin comparison to People’s 50 Most Beautiful People in the World. Positions very rarely change, new-comers try to crack the list, but the top-picks are always Captain Obvious.
Click here to read the full article.