Re: [gardeners] Oh, Lord; here we go with Barbeque! was Re: Barbeque, was Re: [

Harry Boswell (
Fri, 3 Jul 1998 09:46:27 -0500 (CDT)


You are (almost) absolutely correct.  The major difference between Texas
barbeque, and Mississippi barbeque (which is very close to Alabama
barbeque, but nothing like Tennessee BBQ, or Georgia BBQ), is that Texans
seem to regard brisket as the first choice of meat, then beef ribs, or
maybe pork ribs;  whereas I prefer pork shoulder, then brisket, then pork
ribs or chicken;  but the preferred method of preparation is very similar,
differentiated by the types of wood, hickory or mesquite, but either is
very good.  We are like Protestants and Catholics, observing our
differences, yet knowing that we are more alike than different, and
certainly nothing like those pagans and heretics Back East.

On Thu, 2 Jul 1998, Catharine Vinson wrote:

> Harry wrote:
> > Texas gets the sauce right, but they have this morbid
> > insistence on putting it on beef.  
> It ain't what you put *on* the meat that makes it's how you 
> cook it, IMHO (although yellow, mustard-based sauce is an abomination).
> As you know, Texians are opinionated <bg>. On the subject of barbeque we 
> come down on the side of  downright obnoxious. I'm no exception <gosh, 
> what a surprise!).
> Proper barbeque calls for the following:
> a) DEAD ANIMALS -  (beef BRISKET, pork RIBS, chicken, sausage, 
> cabrito generally being favored, with Brisket forming the basis of the 
> religion).
> b) A PROPER PIT - You can't buy 'em at the ACE hardware store. Not even at 
> the Wal-Mart (well, I've seen a couple that could do in a pinch). Best pit 
> is one you build. First you get yourself some bricks, some stone or such. 
> And then you get to it. Build up a "coffin" about 15 feet long and 4 feet 
> high. Suspend rack about 3 ft. off the ground. Add lid that you raise and 
> lower with pulley and chains. Fiddle to get the dang thing to draw right. 
> Fiddle some more. Keep fiddling while you let all your friends put in 
> their two cents worth on How to Build a Pit. Have lots of beer and 
> bandaids on hand to cool things off.
> c) FIREWOOD - Massive stacks of well-cured hardwood logs and kindling, 
> including oak, mesquite. NO PINE, for god's sake!! 
> d) IGNITION DEVICE - a match.
> e) THE RUB - Top secret. No two cooks are the same. (Hint: the rub is a 
> dry one most often).
> f) THE COOK - The high priest of the pit. Word is law. Attitude to job is 
> one of bliss, reverence and devotion.
> g) TIME - The longer the better. Good barbeque takes a l-o-n-g time and a 
> s-l-o-w fire.
> h) SAUCE - Optional and served ON THE SIDE!!!!! The purist eats his/her 
> brisket naked as it comes from the pit. He/she doesn't drown it with 
> sauces. It needs nothing. It is perfection. It is Barbeque.
> Catharine, who finds her eyes filling with tears at the thought of one of 
> Ken Hall's luncheon plates: brisket, ribs and choice of sides. Amen.

Harry Boswell         
USDA Zone 8 (Mississippi USA)
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