In the course of barbecue events we hold this truth to be self-evident: Not all smoked meat is created equal.
And so after a decade and tens of thousands of miles on the barbecue trail, Texas BBQ Posse co-founders Chris Wilkins and Gary Jacobson decided the Posse was finally ready to name its favorite joints in Texas, including a ranking of the Top Ten.
Our very first tour was in 2009 when a half-dozen of us made the pilgrimage to Snow's BBQ in Lexington. (You can see a photo from that trip below.) Since then, Wilkins, the Posse's official keeper of stats, estimates that as many as 60 or 70 different barbecue-loving people have gone on tour with us at various times: relatives, friends, authors, Pulitzer Prize-winning photographers, business execs, co-workers.
That translates into a lot of smoked-meat expertise.
Over the past year, we have been visiting new places and revisiting old, all the while vigorously debating who deserves to be included, and who doesn’t, on our list of the Posse's Favorite 41.
As always, we tried to let the meat speak for itself. Taste, tenderness, cooking technique are important. But it’s impossible — and wouldn’t be right — to completely discount the atmosphere of a place. That’s part of the total barbecue experience.
The choices you see, of course, weren’t unanimous. Many Posse members gave their opinions. Chris and Gary made the final call. And they encouraged other members to create their own Top Five lists, which many did. You’ll find them in this package.
Take a look. Let us know what you think, pro and con.
— Texas BBQ Posse