Everything You Need to Know About Texas Barbecue [2022 Updated]

Made from different recipes and rubs, BBQ is the way of life in Texas. Wondering why BBQ is such a popular meal in Texas is probably an unrequired waste of time. What is certain is that this Lone City is known for its barbeque in the whole of the United States. It is available in different stations and different joints and coupled with that long waiting queue every here and then. BBQ is more than just a one-time thing; it is an everyday meal.

So never mention barbeque to Texans unless you are ready to buy or in for colossal debate. This article is enough to draw you helplessly to taste those melting, mouth-watering briskets if you are new to Texas. Again, here is everything you need to know about Texas barbeque.

BBQ means Barbeque in Texas

While there is a distinction between BBQ and barbeque in some other countries, BBQ and barbeque are used interchangeably in Texas. So in this article, barbeque and BBQ are also used to mean the same thing.

Texas BBQ is not overrated

Hearing it here and there, you probably think BBQ is overrated in Texas. However, that thought is definitely wrong. BBQ in Texas deserves the hype and popularity. From the traditionally laid down recipes to the jaw-dropping experience you get from a single bite, this meal deserves all the hype. Though BBQ is made from different recipes in Texas, what is unique and familiar is the flavor and taste in every bite.

Styles of Texas barbeque

The origin of barbeque in Texas accounted for the different styles of barbeque found in Texas alone. Therefore, while the barbeque is available in other parts of the United States, Texas is further classified alone. The four styles are the Central Texas Barbeque, the West Texas Barbeque, the South Texas Barbeque, and the East Texas Barbeque.

Central Texas barbeque was introduced by the German and Czech settlers who often preserve leftover over meat by smoking it in their butcher shops. Mexicans are known for their barbacoa introduced South Texas barbeque.

East Texas barbeque was introduced by African-Americans who settled in the United States after the abolition of the slave trade. Finally, West Texas barbeque is also referred to as cowboy introduced by Anglo ranchers.

  • Central Texas Barbeque: This barbeque style is made by applying a sexy dry rub and spice all over the meat; it is then smoked with pecan or oak wood using direct heat.
  • West Texas Barbeque: This style is cooked by smoking meat from direct heat using mesquite wood.
  • South Texas Barbeque: with this style, barbeque is made using a dripping, thick, and nicely prepared sauce that helps to marinate the meat during the cooking process.
  • East Texas Barbeque: This style involves slow cooking of meat to the point where it is so tender that it falls off the bone. The meat is marinated in a sweet sauce that further increases the taste and flavor.

"Texas barbeque style" means Central Texas barbeque

If you are new to Texas, you may find out that when people ordinarily say Texas Barbeque, they are talking about the Central Texas Barbeque. This style involves cooking the brisket on low and slow direct heat and is found almost everywhere in Texas. However, the fact that you find it around has nothing to do with quality. It is still delicious.

Texas Barbeque favors meat over pork or other types of types

While pork is commonly used for barbeque, you have the ribs barbeque served nicely with coleslaw. However, in Texas, barbecues are made using meat. The most popular is brisket, which is slowly cooked on low heat until even the toughest one becomes incredibly tender and juicy. Irrespective of the rampant health irregularities tagged with red meat, Texans cannot be stopped or convinced.

Texas Barbeque also favors charcoal over gas or grill

There is an unpopular opinion that smoked barbeque using wood is more delicious; the smoke is everything when it comes to Texas barbeque. Unsurprisingly, even those homemade barbecues in an oven used paprika powder to add the smoky flavor.

While there is a gradual move to gas in some restaurants, many still prefer their barbeque smoke directly from heat using wood. You find oak as the most commonly used wood, especially in Central Texas. However, you still find pecan, hickory, and mesquite wood.

Barbeque is made slowly on low heat

When it comes to barbeque, cooking it at the right temperature has a lot to do with getting the right taste. Hot temperature tends to ruin it all, from taste to tenderness. Hence, barbeque is prepared on very low heat until the meat is tender. While this may demand a lot of time, it has a unique way of retaining the meat's juice and flavor, resulting in a tender, melt-in-the-mouth, mouthwatering barbeque. When I say a long time, I mean it might take up to 5 hours to prepare an already chilled brisket.

Most Texas barbecues are prepared outdoors

Even for special gatherings, barbecues are made outdoors. You find them at different joints in Texas. This is due to regulations prohibiting indoor smokers coupled with the low start-up fund required to run a small barbeque joint outside. Though barbeque is also prepared indoors using an oven and gas grill, it is more common to find them outside.

Texas barbeque is made with very simple spices and rub

Unexpectedly, Texas BBQ is made using a not-so-special rub and spices. This is the direct opposite of what is expected. Given the taste and popularity of this barbeque, one expects it to be made from one secret recipe. However, what gives Texas BBQ the taste everyone wants to taste is the simplicity in making it and allowing the brisket flavor to take proper control over the taste.

Traditionally, salt and black pepper are added to amplify the flavor of the meat. Even now, no complication is needed in crafting the rub for the barbeque. Black pepper, salt, and cayenne powder are found to be commonly used.

Barbeque joints and restaurants are known for the long wait

Barbeque in Texas is extensively famous because every joint and restaurant is known for the long wait. This wait can last for two hours during the weekdays. Weekends happen to be the busiest time; the wait can last for four hours.

This wait has been associated with a barbeque in Texas so much that it is nothing big. Reportedly people sell their spots sometimes. One good thing about this wait is that you may find out that those hard-die lovers of barbeque on the long queue are never thirsty; there is always a free beer.

The barbeque is still served in the traditional market-style

In many restaurants, barbecues are still served in Texas the old way. After slicing it over the counter, it is served in a plastic tray covered in butcher paper. The tray is used in place plates.

Texans eat barbecue without any sauce

You may find out that in Texas, barbecue is eaten without sauce. As mentioned earlier, the bud-satisfying taste of Texas barbeque is credited to simple rub and spices. Similar to this, barbeque is often served dry without any sauce. Pitmaster prefers to have barbeque served alone; there is no need to mask up the flavor.

There are other barbeques in the United States, but Texas barbeque is the best

With the popularity of Texas, barbeque one wonders whether that is the only place you can find barbeque in the United States. Well, this is not true; in the United States, there are other types of barbeque; we have the Kansas City barbeque, the Memphis barbecue, and the Carolina barbecue. Despite the presence of different regional barbeques in the U.S, Texas barbeque is known even outside Texas, given the flavorful taste of this carefully prepared meal.


Aside from the bursting taste and long queue, Texas barbeque symbolizes diversification. It is a sign of a multicultural meal enjoyed by everybody in the community. Even those who are not Americans are usually after having a bite of this meat irrespective of the style used in preparing it.

Over time, these traditionally laid down recipes have witnessed modification and improvement without actually losing their originality. Made using a thick or dry rub, simple spices, and often served dry, Texas barbeque style cannot be easily categorized; it is found everywhere and loved by every Texans.

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