Texas Wants to Know

Texas Wants to Know: Why is Texas Barbecue the Nation's Best?

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Once known as an outlier in barbecued food, Texas now holds the crown as being the originator of brisket-focused barbecue restaurants.

Owner and pitmaster at Austin's Interstellar BBQ, John Bates, explains how important brisket is to Texas culture.

"Texas barbecue is definitely built around a few key concepts," he said. "It's very much driven by offset smokers. Our style is typically very low and slow with a lot of smoke and clean flavors going through the pits. It's also built on mostly brisket. It's definitely the most important item in all Texas barbecue."

Pitmaster at Corkscrew BBQ in Spring, Will Buckman, discusses why he left his career in communications to open the restaurant.

"I was spending a lot of time out in the driveway cooking these things for free to share with friends and family," Buckman said. "It wasn't until my wife stepped in because she was fighting for my time that said, you know, you should really be charging for these efforts."

And Texas Monthly BBQ Editor Daniel Vaughn tells host Baylee Friday what he looks for when he reviews a new restaurant.

"Almost every barbecue joint in the state has sliced brisket, ribs, pork ribs, and sausage. So I usually start there," Vaughn said. "I'll ask if the sausage is housemade. If not, I'll probably look for something else on the menu. Like maybe a smoked turkey, which has gotten a lot more popular in Texas over the last decade."

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