Last week on the Posse’s Facebook page, we had a good discussion with readers about the use of real wood or other means to smoke barbecue.
One reader, Mark “The Hogfather” Gabrick, suggested that we lead an initiative to get Texas to pass a truth in barbecue law. Or, more simply, we should designate joints that use only wood as “Posse approved.”
Gotta admit, that last phrase does have a nice ring.
The Hogfather noted that “Carolina” passed a similar law a while back, which sent us scrambling to the Internet archives to substantiate.
Indeed, in 1986, Gov. Richard Riley — a Democrat — of South Carolina signed a law requiring barbecue joints to prominently display decals that declared whether their meat was cooked with wood or a “heat source other than wood.”
Being Carolina, the law only pertained to pork, but it did carry misdemeanor penalties for false declaration of up to 30 days in jail or up to a $200 fine.
From our brief research, it’s unclear how strictly, if ever, the law was enforced.
Still, it’s an admirable notion. And it recalls the time a couple years ago when we called out Texas Monthly for including joints that used gas-fired pits on its list of the Top 50 in the state.
We know Gov. Perry has many other serious issues to worry about. But this is Texas. Real Texas barbecue should be cooked with real wood. And if someone says they are cooking with wood, but aren’t, those penalties should be much more severe than South Carolina’s.
(Photo of Snow’s BBQ pit ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)