How to Make Texas Barbecue

texas bbq

Texas Barbecue is the preparation of barbecue which is unique to Texan cooking. It includes various smoked meats, including beef brisket, pork ribs, and sausage. Traditionally, side dishes are served alongside the smoked meats. Listed below are some essential tips on how to make Texas barbecue. These tips will help you make the most authentic barbecue possible. Read on to learn more!

Mesquite wood

The most common food to smoke over mesquite is beef. While the meat itself won’t be overpowered by the wood’s smoke, it can overpower lighter proteins. You may want to try blending mesquite with other fruitwoods, such as oak or hickory, to reduce its potency. Mesquite is especially good for smoking and grilling, so try a combination of them for the best results.

Mesquite is an intense wood, so you’ll have to take your time when cooking over it. Its flavor is similar to that of hickory, but the latter tends to be stronger. Both woods have earthy, sweet, and mellow flavors. It is best to choose a wood blend based on the type of meat you’ll be cooking. Lighter meats require a mellower wood, while heavier meats need a stronger flavor.

If you are a fan of Texas BBQ, you might be interested in trying mesquite wood as a smokewood. This hardwood is native to Texas and produces a strong smoke. It’s often combined with other wood to create a flavorful smoke. However, mesquite’s flavor is so potent that it can overwhelm milder meats. If you’re interested in learning how to smoke meats, check out the cookbook ‘Texas Barbecue’ by Aaron Franklin.

While mesquite remains a popular fire fuel for Texas barbecue, you can also buy it in retail stores. You can buy mini logs, chips, and chunks of mesquite at a local store. Some barbecue joints even buy the wood in truckloads, as it’s not often available in retail stores. Aside from mesquite wood, other popular barbecue woods used in Texas barbecue include oak, hickory, and pecan.

Texas barbecue sauce

Unlike commercially packaged BBQ sauces, Texas barbecue sauce is not a thick, cloying substance. It is a traditional take on the classic barbecue sauce. Unlike typical BBQ sauces, it is easy to customize, allowing you to add your own unique touch to the dish. Whether you’re serving pulled pork sandwiches, hamburgers, or grilled chicken, Texas barbecue sauce is an excellent choice. If you’re interested in trying this sauce, read on to learn how to make it at home.

The main ingredients in Texas barbecue sauce include tomato sauce, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Combine these ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Once the mixture has reached the desired consistency, you’re ready to serve. Enjoy! Make sure to save extra sauce for another use. It will last you for several weeks in the refrigerator, so keep an extra bottle on hand for a few weeks!

For best results, allow the sauce to rest overnight. You can use it for brisket, ribs, or even cheeseburgers, or you can store it in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. It’s best when served alongside barbecued meats. Moreover, this barbecue sauce is great for sandwiches, burgers, and other grilled dishes. Once prepared, Texas barbecue sauce will stay fresh for about 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Traditional Texas barbecue sauce is a well-seasoned blend of tomato, spices, and vegetables. It includes tomato, garlic, celery, and onions. The traditional sauce has a strong beef flavor from the drippings of the meat. Most Texas barbecue sauces are made using ketchup, but it is possible to add chili powder and cumin for a generic Texas flavor. You can use the sauce for burgers, chicken, and other barbecue dishes.

Meats used

Meat plays an important role in Texas barbecue. Although different regions use different meats, pork and beef are the two most common. Pork can be cooked as steaks, ribs, roasts and pulled pork, while the loin and side cuts are used for country-style ribs. Aside from ribs, pulled pork is also a common type of Texas barbecue. It is best to follow the recommended temperature range for a particular type of meat.

One of the most popular meats used in Texas barbecue is brisket. Although this cut is difficult to cook, a properly seasoned brisket is an extremely delicious meal. Another type of meat used in Texas barbecue is burnt ends. This cuts are usually sold denuded. They pack a surprising amount of flavor. The burnt ends of beef are often eaten with the meat, so be sure to order these.

The West Texas style of Texas barbecue is cooked over direct heat. The wood used is mesquite, and it is often referred to as cowboy BBQ. South Texas barbacoa uses thick barbecue sauces to keep the meat moist after it has been cooked. The most iconic cut of meat in Texas barbecue is beef brisket, which is cooked over direct heat. While barbecue styles vary, the ingredients are similar.

Meats used in Texas barbecue vary according to region. Barbecue from the West Texas style is typically called “cowboy style” and uses meats like goat or beef. In addition to beef, other meats are commonly used, such as chicken, pork ribs, and goat. Some West Texas barbeque even uses pork ribs, brisket, and sausage. There is no standard definition of Texas barbecue, but you can find a barbecue joint near you.

Side dishes

Besides the meat itself, Texas barbecue offers plenty of side dishes. Many of these dishes are inventive riffs on traditional favorites, and others completely break the mold. You can serve brisket-and-cream cheese-stuffed jalapenos wrapped in bacon or creamy scalloped potatoes. For something a little more adventurous, try preparing a bowl of greens swimming in a gochujang-spiked broth.

Another easy side dish is savory parmesan oven-baked tomatoes. These are a quick and easy way to dress up a barbecue. They’ll finish chewy but soft. Make sure to use a deep baking dish to prevent the tomatoes from drooping while baking. Sprinkle the savory tomatoes with mozzarella and parmesan cheese before serving. These side dishes are easy to make and are a must-have for any barbecue party!

As far as sides go, the main event would be incomplete without the right side dishes. Texas barbecue goes best with baked pinto beans, grilled corn on the cob, and Texas-style baked beans. You can’t go wrong with any of these options! Just be sure to pair them with your chosen meat. Aside from that, you can also serve the sides with the meat. Make sure you try them all to get the most out of your Texas barbecue.

A traditional Texas barbecue will feature beef brisket, German-style sausage, meaty ribs, and a tangy tomato-based sauce. The cuisine of Texas barbecue is influenced by many influences, including German, Czech, and Spanish immigrants. The term barbecue actually originates from the Spanish barbacoa, and cowboys also played a part in the tradition. Besides these tasty dishes, Texas barbecue is not complete without these tangy side dishes.

How to Make Texas Barbecue Step By Step

Texas barbecue is famous for its flavorful, slow-smoked meats and distinct regional styles. The two primary styles of Texas barbecue are Central Texas and East Texas barbecue. Here’s a basic guide to making Texas barbecue, specifically the Central Texas style, which is known for its emphasis on high-quality meat, simple seasoning, and slow smoking over hardwood coals:


  • Brisket, pork ribs, or other meat of your choice
  • Wood for smoking (post oak, oak, mesquite, or pecan are commonly used in Texas)
  • Coarse kosher salt and black pepper (for the Central Texas rub)
  • Optional: garlic powder, paprika, and cayenne for added flavor


  • Offset smoker or barbecue pit
  • Meat thermometer
  • Fire management tools (charcoal chimney starter, firebox, or fire ring)
  • Aluminum foil


  1. Select the Meat

    • Central Texas barbecue often focuses on beef, particularly brisket. Choose a high-quality, well-marbled piece of meat. You can also prepare pork ribs or other cuts if you prefer.
  2. Prep the Meat

    • Trim any excess fat from the meat, leaving about a 1/4-inch fat cap. This helps flavor and moisten the meat during the cooking process.
  3. Prepare the Rub

    • Central Texas barbecue typically uses a simple rub of equal parts coarse kosher salt and black pepper, sometimes with the addition of garlic powder, paprika, or cayenne for extra flavor. Mix these seasonings together.
  4. Season the Meat

    • Coat the meat with the rub evenly on all sides. Allow it to rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes before smoking.
  5. Prepare the Smoker

    • Preheat your smoker or barbecue pit to a low and steady temperature, around 225-250°F (107-121°C). Use hardwood coals for a clean and authentic Texas smoke flavor. You can add soaked wood chunks or chips for extra smokiness.
  6. Smoke the Meat

    • Place the seasoned meat on the grill grates or in the smoker. Ensure the fat cap is facing up to baste the meat as it cooks. Maintain a consistent temperature and smoke the meat low and slow. The cooking time will vary based on the meat’s size and type; for brisket, it can take anywhere from 10 to 16 hours.
  7. Use a Meat Thermometer

    • Monitor the meat’s internal temperature with a meat thermometer. For brisket, you’re aiming for around 195-205°F (90-96°C) for the perfect tenderness. Pork ribs should reach an internal temperature of about 190-203°F (88-95°C).
  8. Wrap in Foil (Optional)

    • If you want to speed up the cooking process and retain more moisture, you can wrap the meat in aluminum foil when it reaches the “stall” phase, where the temperature seems to plateau.
  9. Rest the Meat

    • Once the meat reaches the desired temperature, remove it from the smoker and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute and results in a more tender, juicy final product.
  10. Slice and Serve

  • Slice the meat against the grain and serve with traditional Texas barbecue sides like pickles, onions, white bread, and barbecue sauce (though many purists argue that great Texas barbecue doesn’t need sauce).

Making Texas barbecue is an art that requires patience and practice, but the result is incredibly rewarding. Experiment with different woods, seasonings, and cooking times to create your ideal Texas-style barbecue.

Read more great BBQ articles at Bob’s BBQ Secrets