Chasing BBQ: Texas Flavors
with Samuel Garrett
Barbecue Chasing BBQ Texas Texas Barbecue Texas Spices
They say that, “Everything is bigger in Texas.” This is especially true when talking about real Texas BBQ. Texas ‘cue focuses on beef as the protein of choice, and even the cattle in Texas are big. The average weight of a cow ready for processing is around 1,500 pounds, the same weight as a small car!
The state of Texas has a rich history in cattle ranching, dating back nearly three centuries. With a surplus of cattle grazing thousands of acres of land, it was only natural that beef became the primary protein for barbecuing. Texas BBQ can be traced back to the German butchers that settled in Central Texas in the 1800’s. They used rubs and smoked their meats with woods, such as hickory.
Texas Meats & Spices
In order to make true Texas barbecue, we need to start with the basics about what makes Texas barbecue so good: the meats and spices.
Through Mike’s Texas travels, we discovered that the best Texas BBQ focuses on three specific types of protein: brisket, beef ribs, and sausage (specifically jalapeno-cheddar flavor).
When it comes to the right spices for Texas BBQ, keep it simple. Many BBQ joints in Texas will use a simple mixture of black pepper and salt on their brisket or beef ribs. This provides the meat with a wonderful crust while not overpowering the flavor of the meat, letting the smoke bring out the flavor.
These peppercorns have a bold and well-rounded flavor, which is just a bit fruity. Our extra coarse pepper is a 15/20 mesh size. This is an ideal size for rubs.
Kosher Salt has a bigger flake than regular table salt as well as a crisp, clean flavor. Its larger surface area helps to absorb more moisture than most salts, making it perfect for curing meats. Additionally, kosher salt is popular for marinades, pickling, and brining.
At Savory we love adding spices to everything (it’s what we do!), so in addition to traditional Texas BBQ recipes, we’ve incorporated some of our most popular seasonings for a Texas-inspired BBQ feast into our Texas leg of Chasing BBQ.
This cut of meat comes from the breast or lower chest of the cow, highlighted in blue. The brisket contains a large amount of connective tissue as it supports a significant part of a cow’s weight, becoming a very strong muscle. If brisket is not cooked correctly to tenderize the connective tissue, it will result in a tough and chewy cut of meat. However, any good Texan pit master knows that if you cook that brisket low and slow, you have a great chance of that brisket becoming “melt-in-your-mouth” delicious.
This paprika has a sweet taste and a remarkable color that provides an exceptional look to everything that it is applied to. No one pepper is used to make paprika; it is made from a variety of different peppers.
This blend is a wonderful representation of Texas BBQ, with a strong base of salt, garlic, paprika, and black pepper. Native Texan is the perfect BBQ rub for beef, as well as poultry, pork, or seafood.
With a chili powder base, this is one of our bolder blends. The big flavor stands up to beef and red meats, as well as game. Try using it on venison, wild boar, ostrich, goose, or duck.
As mentioned, these are Texas BBQ staples. Salt & pepper will give your brisket a nice crust and complements the natural flavor of your beef.
This perfect-for-beef rub is crafted with dry grey sea salt, black pepper, garlic and parsley. The flavor might have originated in California, but the ingredients make it perfect for Texas-style brisket.
Beef ribs can be subdivided into two categories: spare ribs and short ribs. Spare ribs come from the belly portion of a cow’s rib cage, above the breastbone. Compared to the more well-known pork ribs, beef spare ribs are usually longer, wider, and have more curvature. The upper tips of the spare ribs can be cut off to make short ribs. Short ribs can also come from the brisket, plate, and flank sections of a cow. Both spare ribs and short ribs contain connective tissue which, like brisket, requires low and slow cooking to become tender and succulent. Again, salt & pepper are the primary Texas BBQ spices, but we have some signature Savory seasonings that are perfect for beef ribs.
This blend highlights a less common flavor in rubs and seasonings, coffee. The rich impact of this seasoning is perfect for any meat, but may be best on a Cowboy cut of beef or bison.
This versatile seasoning is our version of a classic Montreal beef spice with a twist to make it usable for more than just steak. We retained that classic French Canadian flavor while enhancing it even more.
One of our most popular seasonings, Pike’s Peak is our take on a coarse garlic-pepper. We call it a “butcher’s rub” because it’s great for meat and the coarse grind holds up well in high heat or long cooking applications (like smoking!) Pike’s Peak, with chunks of sea salt, bell peppers, and peppercorns makes a beautiful presentation.
While you might normally think of sausage as pork based, Texas pit masters stay true to their heritage and put those often discarded beef trimmings to use in delicious smoked sausage. One of the most popular Texas style sausage is jalapeno -cheddar. With Spanish and Mexican culinary influence, jalapenos play a major role in Texas cuisine and have been incorporated into their juicy smoked sausages. Then hearty cheddar cheese is added. The resulting sausage is a true Texas delicacy that you will not want to pass up. For Texas sausage pit masters get a bit more creative, as evident with the standard jalapeno cheddar flavoring. This allows for more spices to be added, such as minced garlic and crushed red pepper flakes.
Cultivated in Texas and the southwestern United States, this dark green pepper with a fruity, yet spicy hot flavor is about 4 or 5 on a heat scale of 1 to 10.
Garlic has a strong, spicy flavor that mellows and sweetens with cooking. While cooking softens the flavor, roasting gives garlic a well-balanced, delicate, nutty flavor.
Also known as red pepper flakes or “pizza pepper” this spice has become a must in every kitchen. These chiles are about a 3 to 4 on a heat scale of 1 to 10. Red pepper flakes are not made of one type of chile, but from various combinations of ancho, bell, cayenne, and more.
Flat Irons, featuring the balanced flavors of onion, pepper, and herbs, is perfect for prime rib but also has many other uses. Try this for a perfectly seasoned beef sausage.
A very versatile blend, Homestead has a balance of salty, sweet, peppery and garlicky flavors. This blend is great used as a rub or marinade for beef, chicken or pork. Also try it for a pop of flavor in your Texas BBQ side dishes.
Frying Pan is one of our four seasonings formulated specifically for sausage making. This spice mixture is based around sage and savory herbs; the addition of honey enhances an already wonderful flavor.
Our Backyard Brisket recipe is approved by legendary Texas BBQ pit master Aaron Franklin— the man behind the famed Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Texas.