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Tug or no tug on pork ribs? A Posse dialogue

The pork ribs at Truth BBQ in Brenham were excellent, taking no tug to get off the bone. One of the great things about weekend-long barbecue tours is the drive time between stops when Posse members can discuss some of the big philosophical issues regarding smoked meat. We had one of those experiences Saturday on the road to Houston after visiting Truth BBQ in Brenham. We’ll post the full tour story later, but first, the big issue: tug or no tug on pork ribs? There was almost no tug on Truth’s ribs and they were excellent. In texture, they reminded…
 - 06/13/2017
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The secret to great BBQ Chicken — brining!

The whole bird with rub applied from Bryan Gooding’s award-winning recipe for brining and smoking BBQ chicken. Our brining and smoking BBQ chicken recipe earned the Posse its first category win at the Blues, Bandits festival in Oak Cliff, Tx. The key to any good chicken — from fried to smoked– is brining. We all have endured a tough, stringy, dry piece of chicken and making it juicy is an easy fix. Ingredients for Bryan Gooding’s BBQ chicken recipe. (Photo ©Bryan Gooding) Just take a little extra time to brine. Ingredients: 1 small whole chicken ¼ cup Dijon mustard Brine:…
 - 06/08/2017
smoked pork butt

Foolproof smoked pork butt for beginners

By Bryan Gooding. In the beginning, I wanted to smoke and had no idea where to start. Just about every book on the subject suggested using a pork butt for a test flight. The reason is simple: it is almost impossible to overcook. The abundance of fat and the sheer mass of the cut gives the beginner a lot of room to hide any loss of focus. Everyone loves a pulled pork sandwich and it is a great start for the backyard BBQ. Because it is a massive muscle I find that with this much pork the meat next to…
 - 05/02/2017
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How-to videos: Prepping pork ribs with Posse pitmaster Marshall Cooper

Texas BBQ Posse pitmaster Marshall Cooper puts pork ribs on the Jambo smoker at his north Dallas home. Welcome to our first batch of short videos featuring how-to BBQ techniques from Posse pitmaster Marshall Cooper. Marshall has been cooking barbecue in his backyard for 30-plus years, after learning the craft from his late father. Now using his fourth custom Jambo pit, Marshall has cooked with such BBQ legends as Chris Lilly, Jamie Geer, John Mueller, and John Lewis. One of the missions of the Texas BBQ Posse is to share ideas and tips to help you become a great backyard pitmaster. We…
 - 04/16/2017
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Smoked pastrami recipe that is sure to impress your guests

By Bryan Gooding It was more than two years ago when the Posse heard a rumor that Cattleack Barbecue in Far North Dallas was going to be serving smoked pastrami for its Saturday special. I remember thinking “Wow! This is different!” Pitmaster Todd David would be cooking “outside the box.” Afterward I told Posse co-founder Gary Jacobson that Cattleack had thrown down the gauntlet with its smoked pastrami and that there would be a lot of pitmasters experimenting with recipes over the next year.  The times were ripe for some new barbecue. In the fall of 2015 Gary and I…
 - 04/05/2017
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Smoked beef tenderloin recipe the Lopez Island way — hot and fast

Smoked beef tenderloin recipe Editor’s note: Posse members not only love to eat barbecue but they also love to cook. Bryan Gooding, who recently retired and moved from Dallas to Lopez Island in Washington state, shares his secrets for smoking great tenderloin. By Bryan Gooding Though I love to barbecue meats you can’t treat a beef tenderloin like a brisket or pork butt. The smoking needs to be hot and fast since there isn’t enough fat on a tenderloin to survive a long time in low heat. So I use my smoker with a lot of heat from a wood…
 - 12/29/2016
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How to put some smoke on your prime rib roast before using the 500-degree reverse sear

The Gagne’s prime rib roast ready for carving. (Photo ©Texas BBQ Posse) Warning: This isn’t a normal Posse blog post. Just how atypical? I had to look up how to spell sous vide. But don’t worry, that vacuum-sealed cooking method was used only for warming up some wonderful leftovers from the meal that long-time Posse member Mike Gagne cooked on Christmas Day. Mike is a University of Texas law school grad and serious Longhorns fan, so when we (Mike is married to my daughter, Libby) decided to cook prime rib for the holiday, he went right to the source of…
 - 10/24/2016
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How to make the best smoked pimento cheese in the world*

From start to finish, here’s a look at Bryan Gooding’s amazing smoked pimento cheese. Photos ©Bryan Gooding * Or, at least in Oak Cliff, Texas For a while, I’ve been trying to persuade good friend and fellow Posse member Bryan Gooding to write about some of his barbecue recipes. But the reigning chicken king of Oak Cliff has been reluctant to share. He has guarded his secrets as closely as Kentucky Fried. Maybe for good reason. Bryan has twice won the award for best chicken at the Blues, Bandits & BBQ cook-off, including last year. He also has won best…
 - 08/28/2016
Cornellchicken

In praise of the Cornell Recipe and Bob Baker, the Aaron Franklin of chicken

Cooking Cornell Recipe chicken at the Rochester Canoe Club in the early 1980s. Photo: Gary Jacobson Within our great barbecue family, none of us stands alone. We’re all influenced by someone or something else. Friends, relatives, pit masters, other cooks, experts, bloggers, books and all the joints we’ve ever visited, good and bad. One of my main influences occurred almost 40 years ago when I first encountered the Cornell Recipe. For fans of Texas barbecue who love dry rubs and post oak smoke, this may be a bit jarring. The Cornell Recipe is for a sauce — a vinegar and…
 - 08/27/2016
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Cattleack Barbecue’s Todd David reveals his secrets for great pastrami — some of his secrets anyway

Cattleack BBQ pitmaster/owner Todd David works the cutting board. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) After eating at Cattleack Barbecue last Saturday, the Posse declared the Dallas joint the equal of any in town. We especially loved the pastrami. Salty with a hint of sweet, the taste pleasantly lingered long after swallowing. During an email exchange this week, I asked pit master Todd David for more details about how he prepared his pastrami. Here, in edited form, are his comments: “I have made pastrami a few times in the past in all my experimenting but never for the public. While my…
 - 06/19/2015
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The Posse tells you how Texas barbecue is different from the rest

A father & son wait on their order at Gonzales Food Market. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) (Note: This item was written as a guest post for the blog at FoodyDirect, a Posse advertiser, and is being republished here.) As the popularity of Texas-style smoked meat spreads across the country, one of the great philosophical questions of our time is emerging. What makes Texas barbecue different from other barbecue? The answers are many and can lead to intense debates: Beef vs. pork. Dry rubs vs. sauce. Wood vs. charcoal. Indirect heat vs. direct. Austin vs. Memphis or Kansas City or…
 - 02/11/2015
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The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Wine Tasting

Brisket and wine were on the menu for the Posse at Pecan Lodge. (Photo ©Daniel Goncalves/fotobia.com) By Bruce Tomaso/Texas BBQ Posse On Tuesday, the BBQ Posse was invited to join the Dallas Morning News Wine Panel for a tasting at Pecan Lodge. The mission: Find the red wines that pair best with Texas barbecue. (Look for the story in the July 30 Arts & Life section of The News.) Diane and Justin Fourton served up platters of Justin’s other-worldly smoked brisket. Cathy Barber, the paper’s food editor, and Tina Danze, a Dallas freelance writer, served up 26 bottles of wine.…
 - 07/17/2014
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In Texas, barbecued bologna is not the new turkey

Pitmaster Terry Massey slices smoked bologna at Lazy S&M BBQ in Joshua. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) A year ago, after our best of Austin tour, we wrote about how turkey breast was making a move to join the royal family of Texas barbecue: brisket, pork ribs, and sausage. We’re still not ready to give the big bird equal status, but we order it whenever we see it on menus. A lot of joints in the state are smoking great turkey. On our recent South of DFW Tour, three of the four places we visited served barbecued bologna. Different, we…
 - 03/22/2014
Snows BBQ

Soft on gassers? Not so says Posse member Bruce Tomaso…..

Snow’s BBQ pit boss Tootsie Tomanetz tends the pits as the sun rises over Lexington. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) By Bruce Tomaso/Texas BBQ Posse Gary Jacobson is a friend of mine. He’s a gifted writer, an extraordinary journalist with a sharp wit and a sharper mind. And he knows his barbecue. He’s been riding with the Posse longer than just about any of us. So it pains me to say this: On the subject of gas-fired smokers, Gary Jacobson is full of gas. A few days ago, he wrote on this blog that “perhaps we have mellowed a bit”…
 - 03/01/2014
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Is the Posse going soft on gassers?

Massive wood pile outside Smitty’s Market in downtown Lockhart. (Photo by Jeff Haynes) In the 4-year history of this blog, no topic has incited more passion than the wood-fired versus gas-fired smoker debate. The Posse has been pro-wood. All wood. Almost to an extreme. We once called out Texas Monthly for including gas-fired joints on its Top 50 list. But perhaps we have mellowed a bit as at least one of us edges ever closer to Medicare eligibility. On our recent Mid-Cities mini-tour, we liked the food at Eddie Deen Crossroads Smokehouse in Arlington even though the ribs and chicken…
 - 02/20/2014
iwojima

After Blues, Bandits & BBQ IV, the Posse salutes its sales team and bribery on a crostini

Bryan Gooding & R.J. Hinkle set up for the Blues, Bandits & BBQ cook off.  Photo by Chris Wilkins A barbecue competition team operates pretty much like a typical manufacturing company. That comparison became clear after the Posse competed in the fourth annual Blues, Bandits and BBQ cook off in Oak Cliff this past weekend. We had our production staff, the guys who actually cooked the meat, working around the clock. We had distribution staff, the meat cutters and runners who made sure contest entries got to the judges on time and food samples got to our serving table. And we…
 - 10/31/2013
filets

Why I love and hate — at the same time — Tim Byres’ new cookbook, Smoke

Filets with Tim Byres’ BBQ Beef Coffee Cure (Photo by Gary Jacobson) My friend, Martha Gooding, says if you get one good recipe out of a cookbook, the book is worth the price. By that measure, Tim Byres’ new cookbook, Smoke, is a tremendous bargain. I got two great recipes, and if you stay to the end of this post you’ll get one of them: Byres’ BBQ Beef Coffee Cure. So far I’ve used it twice, on New York strip steaks and filets. It’s wonderful. Hope to try it soon on brisket. The other great recipe is for homemade sour…
 - 06/20/2013
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Turkey makes a move to join the royal family of Texas barbecue meats

The turkey breast at Franklin Barbecue was amazing. (Photo by Tom Fox/DMN) On Posse tours, we’ve noticed that more joints are adding smoked turkey breast to their menus, so we added it to our standard order during our recent Best of Austin barbecue tour. Brisket, pork ribs, sausage… and turkey. The holy trinity — plus one — of Texas barbecue. All four places we visited had turkey. Mainly, it was good. The best we had was at Franklin Barbecue. It was worth the wait in line just to see the meat cutter take the turkey breast from its butter bath,…
 - 04/24/2013
city_lede

What the Posse looks for in great Texas BBQ

A diner eats his lunch at City Meat Market in Giddings. (Photo ©Guy Reynolds) Here’s the third video from our Best of Texas BBQ Tour multimedia package on dallasnews.com. In this piece, Gary Jacobson, Jim Rossman, Bruce Tomaso and me talk about what we look for in great Texas barbecue. When we sit down to a plate of brisket, ribs and sausage, here are the basic criteria used to judge what we’re eating: Taste, tenderness, appearance, texture and smokiness. Click the video below to see more of our tips on judging great Texas BBQ.
 - 03/25/2013
woodgoodNEW

Here’s the best comment we’ve ever seen about wood and Texas BBQ

Over the past four years, we’ve gotten a lot of comments from readers about our observations on Texas barbecue. Good or bad, we post them all, with the exception of those with extreme profanity. Texas BBQ is an emotional issue. However, a comment on Gary Jacobson’s Monday post “Memo to Gov. Perry: Texas needs a truth in BBQ law” set a new bar for comments on our blog. A reader tagged as “Anonymous” left a pronouncement that summed it all up better than we could ever do. Here’s an open offer to Anonymous: you have permanent membership in the Posse and…
 - 02/26/2013
IMG_3787

My crash course in smoking with the Knights of Columbus

  Tom Rossman loads the pit with pork butts. This weekend I had the pleasure of hanging out with my dad Tom Rossman and the Knights of Columbus Council 6950 in Katy for a full day of smoking meat. Several times each year the Knights sell barbecue as a fund-raiser. They presell briskets, ribs and pork butts, cook on Friday and customers pickup on Saturday. This time they prepared 42 briskets, 75 racks of ribs and 12 pork butts. The preparation of the meat was done Thursday and cooking commenced Friday at 6 a.m. The Knights were using 4 large smokers (three for…
 - 02/03/2013
rossmanribs

A meditation on “creamy, crunchy” BBQ perfection

Recently, one of our readers, probably from Houston, took issue with a reference here to the spectacular ribs at City Market in Luling, seen in the photo above. A Posse member called the best rib he had ever eaten — just that morning at City Market — “moist, creamy, crunchy perfection.” Our reader wondered how any real barbecue fan could ever call a rib creamy. Of course, he was probably more upset that the same post essentially said the best barbecue in Houston was average when compared to the best in Dallas. Hot barbecue opinions, like hot sports opinions, do…
 - 06/15/2012
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Cooking backyard BBQ with John Mueller & John Lewis

Last Sunday I hauled my Jambo pit to Austin. The first stop was John Lewis’ house. Both Lewis and I had been invited to a backyard BBQ with John Mueller the next day. John Lewis is a pitmaster (I call him The BBQ Genius, food critics call him the BBQ savant) who works at Franklin BBQ in Austin for Aaron Franklin. Franklin’s has been named the best BBQ joint in America. That also means best in the world, says John Mueller, because no place else cooks real BBQ except Texas. I help John Lewis on national KCBS BBQ competitions. John’s…
 - 03/09/2012
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The wood versus gas BBQ debate rages on: “extramsg” responds to his critics

We were introduced to blogger and Portland, Oregon, deli owner extramsg last week when he responded to Gary Jacobson’s post The wood versus gas BBQ debate continues as we analyze a Southern Pride recipe. His take on the piece? “Ah, bullshit.” You can read his initial comment under the original blog post to get the gist of his argument. Basically, he says that he can cook BBQ every bit as smokey as the best wood-fired Texas BBQ joints on his gas-burning Southern Pride oven. To that, I say: “Ah, bullshit.” When extramsg sent a lengthly followup comment last night, we…
 - 02/23/2012
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