Since November 2009, members of the Texas BBQ Posse have traveled nearly 5,000 miles searching for the best barbecue in the state. True sojourners of smoked meat, BBQ Snob and prolific blogger Daniel Vaughn once called us. Back at you, Daniel.
As we await publication in The Dallas Morning News of our recent Best of Texas Tour, here's an annotated readers' guide, with links, to the first 11 chapters of our barbecue chronicles.
After our first breakfast of brisket at Snow's, we learn that, before that moment, we knew nothing at all about great barbecue.
We follow the smoke in the Piney Woods and along the way discover the true value of a good wheel man on a barbecue road trip.
"These look like they were extruded from a machine," Posse member Bryan Gooding says of the ribs from one of Cowtown's finest joints.
Attempting to add a touch of class to the Posse's deliberations, a new member discusses the "flavor profile" of a joint's sauce. Never again.
We find what could be a near-perfect end point of a one-day fantasy barbecue tour, Loco Coyote near Glen Rose.
After nearly 36 hours of cooking and partying on the streets of Oak Cliff, we find that hickory smoke does, indeed, mask any and all other odors.
On our final trip to Franklin Barbecue's original trailer in Austin -- yes, we knew him then -- we learn Aaron Franklin's butcher paper secret.
After eating nicely wood-smoked ribs at Stanley's and brisket at Baby J's, we call out Texas Monthly for including joints that use gas-fired pits in its Top 50.
As Pecan Lodge brings back its barbecue menu after a hiatus, Posse co-founder Chris Wilkins declares: "I would call that holy shit brisket."
We meet Officer Wooldridge, who apparently doesn't know that the secret codeword "barbecue" exempts any and all from a speeding ticket -- 67 in a 55.
We tried. We really tried to find a good joint in the Bayou City. But "it's a lot of OK," Posse member Jim Rossman concludes.
Chapter 12: Best of Texas Tour
Coming this weekend, we'll name the best 6 joints in the state, in order, and give you an invaluable tip about how to eat at Snow's and Franklin's on the same Saturday while avoiding those humongous lines.