Food - Drink
The 4 Styles Of Texas Barbecue, Explained
By NIKITA EPHANOV
Just the thought of some tender brisket, country-style ribs, and a potato salad can make one's mouth water, and while delicious barbecue is cooked all around the U.S., Texas barbecue is particularly famous. Even within the state of Texas, there are four major sub-styles that belong to different regions of the area.
Central Texas-style is what most people think of as “Texas-style” barbecue; it is the oldest style out of the four and is all about slow smoking, with a focus on moist and flavorful brisket and pork sausages. Seasonings tend to be simple, as the central focus is smoking, which can last as long as 20 hours over a hardwood fire or wood chips.
Long, low-heat cooking is also part of East Texas barbecue, but spices and tomato-based marinades impart a distinct flavor. Slow-cooked brisket is popular, but pork and Cajun sausage is also used; meats are typically served chopped or pulled on sandwiches to soak up all the juices, alongside mac and cheese, okra, and more.
South Texas barbecue involves Mexican influences, so guacamole and salsa replace BBQ sauce, and goat or beef offal like head and tongue are cooked barbacoa-style. This method uses a deep pit covered in rocks where mesquite wood is burned and used for cooking, resulting in unbelievably tender meat served in tortillas.
In West Texas, meat is seasoned simply and placed directly on the flame, similar to grilling, so it has less smoky flavor but takes on the taste of the wood. Since brisket is slow-cooked, you won't always find it in this area, but you find chicken, turkey, ribs, and more with spiced tomato sauces, cornbread, and pork al pastor sausage.