Bobby Mueller of Louie Mueller Barbeque in Taylor, Texas
Meat: Texas is prime cattle country, so beef brisket and ribs reign supreme. Shoulder clod and sausage are also big here.
Sauce: A no-frills salt and pepper rub tends to be all the seasoning The Lone Star State cooks use, but sometimes a spicy tomato or hot sauce is served on the side.
Smoke: Oak logs feed most Texas fires. Mesquite also burns red-hot.
Insider Tip: “Don’t rush it! For the best brisket, it’s all about patience. Just keep the meat at a steady heat and don’t pull it too soon—when it’s soft enough that you can stick a finger through the top of the thick end, that usually means it’s done,” says Mueller.
Secret Weapon: “All I use is a dry towel to lift the meat off the grill. No real reason, that’s just the way I’ve always done it,”says Mueller.
The Recipe: Basic Texas Brisket
7-pound beef brisket Salt and pepper
How to Make it: 1. Combine 3/4 pound black pepper with 4 ounces salt in a bowl and mix well. Rub heavily on the beef to taste and marinate overnight if possible, or at least two hours. (You can store any leftover rub you don’t use).
2. When ready, heat grill or charcoal to about 425F. You can try adding oak chips to the charcoal if you’d like. Place seasoned brisket on the grill with the fat side up.
3. Turn the brisket after about 1 1/2 hours, and then again after another 1 1/2 hours. When the brisket is about three-quarters of the way done (after about three to four hours), wrap in foil to keep it from drying out and finish cooking. The internal meat temperature should reach about 190F.
Serves about 10 people (you’ll end up with about 4 pounds of brisket once it’s cooked)