The first thing you should know about Texas barbecue is that it’s not all the same. Depending on where you are in Texas, you’ll generally experience a different style of grilling. Regardless, whatever style your enjoying, you’ll remember the amazing flavors and aromas that make Texas a leader in barbecue!
Here is a run down what each style offers:
East Texas style is all about slow grilling. If the meat isn’t falling off the bone, then keep going east. The meat is slowly grilled by hickory wood, making it ideal for a wood pellet grill. Meanwhile, a tomato-based marinade, which is both sweet and delicious, is routinely applied.
This style of grilling was established, mostly by German and other European immigrants, in the Central Texas towns of Lockhard, Luling, and Taylor along the Chisholm Trail during the 19th century. The immigrants owned meatpacking businesses and meat markets. They served grilled meats wrapped in butcher’s paper.
Central Texas style grilled by a pecan or oak wood fire indirectly, making it another excellent choice for wood pellet grillers. Before grilling begins, the meat is rubbed with salt and pepper. Sauce is generally frown upon though can be served on the side.
Central Texas pit barbecue is all about the meat. Sauce is usually considered something on the side if someone really needs anything more for the flavor.
West Texas style is what many people call “Cowboy Style” barbecue. The general tradition is to grill the meat over the direct heat of a mesquite wood fire. You can expect either beef or goat on your plate. Either way, you’ll got it a big win for your palate.
This barbecue uses a special cut of beef from the cow’s head. The head is wrapped in a wet maguey leaves before being buried in a pit with hot coals for a couple of hours. Its then removed and severed on a platter or in a taco. The cow’s tongue as another cut of beef. It would be removed from the head and served as another dish, typically tacos. It is also known for his Spanish name, Lengua.
South Texas style is heavily influenced by the southern border of the state. It’s where Texas meets Mexico. This barbecue is what many call “Barbacoa.” That just means Barbecue in Spanish, but in Southern Texas it means South Texas style barbecue.
The origin story for South Texas barbecue is that Mexican farmhands received partial payment for their labor with, what was considered, less desirable cuts of meat.
This style of barbecue general features molasses-like sauces to keep the meat moist.
The best way to appreciate Texas barbecue, or any style of grilling, is to try it. We invite you to ready your Z Grills and get grilling!