The month of May is National BBQ Month, and we at SampleHouse will be celebrating all month long! Along with recipes and celebration suggestions, we’re excited to discuss the glorious institution that is Texas barbecue.
Texas barbecue began in Texas butcher shops using traditions brought over by Czech immigrants. Butchers took scraps and cuts of meat that hadn’t been sold, wood-smoked them over low heat and sold them to laborers for very low prices. Over time, these meats became a popular item, leading the way for shops to sell barbecue exclusively. Fast-forward to today, and smoked meat is perhaps Texas’ most iconic culinary item.
Like many other states, Texas barbecue has a handful of unique characteristics that set it apart from other regional styles. We’re very specific about our sauce, require several specific sides like fried okra and baked beans, champion the merits of beef brisket over all others and consider the combination of said brisket with ribs and handmade sausage to be the ultimate trifecta of Texas smoked meats. Our preferences in regards to wood chip types, temperature and moisture settings, timing and grades of meat may all vary, but they ultimately come together to create something uniquely Texan.
Whether you’re a brisket purist who bans all barbecue sauce or a liberal dipper who loves creative flavor infusions, chances are you’ll find a place here to call home. As a result of Texans’ affinity for all things smoked, there are plenty of annual competitions and festivals to stimulate you, teachings and classes to educate you, mountains of books to guide you and countless backyard celebrations to soothe your soul. We are a state that loves to gather, and we especially love to gather over barbecue.
Once spring hits in Texas, the thunderstorms roll in and the air begins to warm, we know it’s time to start planning for barbecue season. Spring cleaning in Texas often includes putting just as much effort into the backyard as the living room: porches get power washed, grills get scrubbed and those huge, blackened, classic Texas smokers get their first breath of pecan smoke in months.
We do this because we love it. When we gather over a hot pit of meat and smoke, laughing and relaxing at the end of the week, we realize we are no more different or evolved than those who did the same thing one hundred years ago. In this moment, all of Texas and its rich, smoky history lives and breathes at the exact same time.
And that is why we celebrate barbecue.
Keep your eye out for the next installment in the blog SampleHouse BBQ series!