Texas State of Mind (Lesson 1) - The Texas BBQ

Trip Start Dec 16, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Sunday, March 11, 2012

We've been in Texas a couple of months now and the great thing about being in one place for a while is that once the shock has worn off you start to notice the little things that really define a place and the people who live there. But in order to really get into the mindset of a Texan you've got to do what the Texans do....... and one of the things that Texans have perfected (or should I say are continuously perfecting) is the Texas BBQ. Forget everything you know about a BBQ, to BBQ Texas style requires a whole new state of mind, the Texas BBQ state of mind. You have been warned though - once you decide to go down this route you open yourself up to a whole new World of The Meat Cut, The Rub, The Sauce, The sides, The Wood and this is all before you even get to the grilling bit, or should I say the smoking. We decide to enter the world of the Texas BBQ and this is what we learnt....

First you've got to get your smoker. Meet Thomas the Tank BBQ.

Second, choose your cut and prepare the meat (sausage, brisket (flat or point) or ribs (baby back ribs, St Louis ribs etc. etc). Marinade in your rub (dry or wet; which can be made from an infinite combination of herbs, salt, pepper, vinegar, lemon juice, chillies and any number of secret ingredients). The rub can be put on the outside of the meat or injected directly into the meat.

Once you have your meat you have to prepare the smoke....... the charcoal and wood (choose from mesquite, cherry, apple........) are burned in a side box and the smoke drafted over the meat which may or may not be wrapped, AND that is seasoned with rub which may or may not have been injected. The objective - cook it long and slow, monitoring temperatures in the meat and the smoking chamber. This requires constant monitoring and refuelling at least half hourly.

8 hours ish later (longer if you can but 8 hours minimum) the food is ready to eat. Eat with a homemade or shop bought BBQ sauce (another infinite number of options and combinations) and prepare the sides (my domain) anther infinite number of recipe combinations.

So  - we started at 09:00am and sat down to eat and 07:00 pm. Chris did all the hard work with me as his able wing man BUT WE DID IT - AND IT TASTED GOOOOOOD and we have a list as long as your arm of little things to try and do differently for next time - I think we are hooked!!!

We’ve now just go to hope we can do it again for our house warming BBQ and have the meat ready to eat at 3pm instead 7pm.

Other upcoming Texas state of mind lessons on the things to do list.........
1) take a road trip in a truck
2) own a pair of cowboys boots
3) go to a Texans football game
4) be a cowboy for the day
5) watch the Astros hit the ball out of the park
6) see the Texas wildflowers
7) go to a county concert
8) hit the rodeo
9) And many more I'm sure I'll think of in time
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