Texas is the KING of Barbecue! When it comes to brisket, sausage, and pork ribs Texas stands out among other states.
In Texas, we specialize in grilled and smoked meats and many side dishes. Texas-style barbecue has also merged with Tex-Mex cuisine, many barbecue restaurants offer tacos with their amazing beef brisket sandwiches and spare ribs. Texas BBQ originated from German and Czech immigrants that came to Texas in the mid-nineteenth century. Their communities were mainly in central Texas (between Austin and San Antonio). There are many Texas towns that have a strong German influence. Meat and sausages that were previously sold fresh in markets, were smoked and slow-cooked in order to preserve the meat for a longer time. The rich, smoky flavor of the meats attracted many people. The love of Texas barbecue spread across the state to cities like Tyler, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio.
There is not one single style of Texas barbecue. Texans all over the state have distinctive preferences. The barbecue in Austin Hill Country serves different BBQ than a barbecue place in Laredo.
There are four main styles of Texas BBQ:
- Central Texas BBQ: Where Texas BBQ began. Central Texas Barbecue is typically simple, with a dry rub, salt, and pepper. The meat is smoked for several hours at low temperatures over mesquite, oak, or pecan wood. Then the meat is presented on a plate or butcher paper, with white bread served as a side dish.
- East Texas BBQ: involves slow smoking with indirect heat for a very long cooking time. The BBQ in East Texas is famous for meat that falls off the bone. Typically, East BBQ places use hickory wood. The meat in East Texas usually comes marinated in a tomato-based sauce. Beef and pork are the most popular meats in East Texas. Pulled pork and beef brisket are served on a bun topped with hot sauce and pickles.
- South Texas BBQ: South Texas BBQ uses a molasses-based barbecue sauce that keeps the meat moist. South Texas BBQ is merged with Mexican cuisine and is known as barbacoa. There are Cuts of meat such as tongue and cow’s head that are popular here.
- West Texas BBQ: The barbecue in West Texas is cooked over the direct heat of an open flame. Their barbecue is more traditional than the smoking type BBQ style in the other parts of Texas. West Texas BBQ typically is cooked with mesquite wood that grows in the surrounding area.
The Texas BBQ experience is more than grilled and smoked meats, a majority of BBQ restaurants serve their meats with side dishes such as: white bread, coleslaw, pickles, jalapenos, baked beans, potato salad, cornbread, and sliced onions. These side dishes go perfectly with the smoked meats in Texas. Pair your meal with a cold beer and some live music in the background and you’ll have yourself a nice authentic lone star Texas BBQ experience.