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The History of The Texan BBQ

When you think of Texas, you probably think of loud cowboys, rodeos, oil wells, guns, ranches, and barbeques. Or maybe you think of Beyoncé, the state’s favourite ‘Texas Bama’. #Formation. Whichever way you sway, you can’t deny the power of Texas BBQ.

With the right tools, you can bring some of that Texas flavour right into your Aussie back yard. You’ll need some Sydney firewood and a well-made furnace. Let’s start with the basics. The four main styles of Texas BBQ are East, Central, West, and South. There’s also barbacoa Texan style, which is mainly mutton, roasted whole – in a hole – covered with maguey leaves.

East Texas BBQ slow-cooks beef or pork over hickory logs. Before cooking, the meat is coated in sweet tomato sauce. The meat is well-done, soft enough to ‘fall off the bone’. It is usually chopped not sliced and is served on a bun without coleslaw.

  • West Texas BBQ uses mesquite wood instead. The meat is cooked ‘cowboy style’ over direct heat.
  • South Texas BBQ prefers moist meat, and this is achieved using thick syrupy marinade sauces that have a molasses consistency.
  • Central Texas BBQ is the only style that uses indirect heat from oak wood. Rather than a liquid marinade, the meat is rubbed with dry spices. Sauces are thin and bland to prevent them from detracting the meaty flavour.
  • Texas BBQ is often served with potato salad as the primary starch. And while BBQ is considered a light, casual way to eat, it has reached some pretty high echelons. Common lore suggests the first formal BBQ dinner in the White House happened in 1964 when President Lyndon Johnson hosted the newly elected president of Mexico.

Away from politics, Texas BBQ traces its roots to Europe. Early Texan settlers were from Germany and Czechoslovakia. In their homelands, meat was smoked to preserve it overnight. This often happened with butchers.

Customers generally eat all the meat they buy, so they rarely need to store it. But for butchers, there’s meat left unsold, and this meat would be smoked to keep it from spoiling. Customers liked the flavour of this smoky meat and acquired a taste for it.

Similarly, as the immigrants were crossing oceans and seas to get to Texas, they carried a lot of preserved meat for the long journey. When they landed, they realised this ‘smoky meat’ wasn’t just for storage. It tasted just as good as when it was freshly smoked.

Many European immigrants ended up in the meat business, running butcheries and packing meat. As their smoky ‘overnight’ meat gained popularity, many of these butchers transitioned into BBQ Outlets that opened ‘from 11 a.m. until the meat runs out’.

Texas BBQ works best if you use reliable bags of firewood, preferably hardwood. You can also use fruitwood for your smoky flavours. Ample Firewood offers both hardwood and fruitwood, and our delivery service can bring the wood right to your barbecue site, though ideally, your site should be in Australia, not Texas.

If you’re unsure about how much wood you need, our experts will be happy to guide you. And if you’d rather come and inspect the logs for yourself, you’re welcome to do so. Whether you prefer home delivery or collection, give us a call today on 1800 677 918.

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