Photo of Killen's Barbecue in Houston.

Sliced fatty brisket at Killen’s Barbecue in Houston.  (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)

As expected, our recent story about fatty brisket — when did it become hip? — generated quite a bit of discussion on various social media sites and in emails.

The story said that some of us in the Posse were rethinking our preference for fatty, or moist, brisket and ordering more lean brisket.

“FATTY! Leave that lean for them skinny jean man bun wearing boys,” Doug Wyman, one of many readers who disagreed with us, wrote on the Posse’s Facebook page.

Sam Gwynne, author and Posse member, conveyed a similar sentiment in an email:

“I guess I am of the school that thinks lean brisket is for Brooklyn hipsters. (Otherwise, how could they fit into those skinny little tight pants?)”

Posse member Bruce Tomaso was more direct in an email.

“With apologies to my BBQ friends who are not bilingual:

El Wrong-o, Jake. Fatty. Always. Fin de conversación,” Bruce wrote.

The “Jake” that Bruce refers to is me, the one who wrote the original item. It’s an old nickname used by some close friends.

Several readers on our Facebook page and elsewhere agreed with Bruce and said they only ordered fatty because of its flavor, tenderness and juiciness. But others, like Darrell Byers, said they ordered, and liked, both fatty and lean brisket.

“I’ve always ordered 50/50 because I want to know if the joint can produce quality across the entire brisket,” Darrell wrote. “That should be every pitmaster’s goal.”

Michael Lindenberger, a member of the editorial board of the The Dallas Morning News, usually writes about big topics like politics and gun control. He also likes barbecue and has, in the past, hit a joint or two with us. His response to our fatty brisket item was a bit more nuanced, the mark of a good editorial writer.

“I think the idea is — fatty brisket tastes better,” Michael wrote. “So it is better. End of the story. But in this life we don’t always get to eat just what tastes best. I think the 50-50 split is a reflection of that concession, rather than a reappraisal of the fundamental truth. 🙂

“Besides, as Julia Child once said when asked how she could stay fit and still have all this amazing food she made, with butter and cream galore. ‘Well you don’t have to eat it all.’. . .A little bit here and there and all things are possible.”

As Facebook discussions sometimes go, we took a little detour at one point on the Texas Barbecue Facebook page.

“Who cares about hip,” Tony Lee wrote. “It’s about what tastes good. The problem now is that it’s considered ‘hip’ it’ll double in price and then be impossible to find, just like the hipster crowd did when bourbon became all the rage and now you can’t find the good stuff for under $100/bottle.”

I told Tony I was partial to Maker’s Mark.

“Nothing wrong with Maker’s,” Tony replied. “It’s decent. So is Knob Creek. I prefer Willet, Jefferson, Blanton’s, and Noah’s Mill.”

So, there you have it. Our follow-up meditation on fatty brisket. . .and bourbon.

Stiles Switch BBQ

Pitmaster Bill Dumas checks briskets on the smoker at Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew in Austin. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)

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