Barbecue is a cooking style where meat is cooked at a low temperature for a long period of time by smoking it from firewood or charcoal or propane fire. This method is also referred to as Pit Barbecue and the set-up is called barbecue pit. This particular style of cooking imparts a smoky flavour to the meat and makes for a delicious dish when served with barbecue sauce. The set-up for a Barbecue has evolved over time and is no longer dangerous and polluting owing to the scientific progress and environmental awareness.
Barbecuing employs three techniques:
The process of cooking and preserving the food utilizing smoke thus giving a smoky flavouring to the meat is called Smoking. The technique is imparted for foods such as meat, fish, cheese, vegetables and even some beers and teas as well.
A device similar to the smoking pit called as the masonry oven is implied for baking. It employs heating through a direct flame so the method is quite fast. Heating is done by convection. The method can be employed to cook meats, bread, casseroles and desserts such as brownies.
The set-up used to braise foods is called a grill. Braising results in a soft-textured meat product with a distinct glaze.
The tradition of barbecuing was not fathered by America but is now prevalent throughout the country. In the southern states barbecuing is integral part of the social culture. No event or gathering is complete without holding a barbecue.
The barbecue styles vary with the states. Here we are going to discuss the barbecue styles of Kansas and Texas.
Barbecue Style of Kansas
Kansas City Barbecue style is the specific style of slowly cooking the meat by smoking it. The method originated from the pit of Henry Perry in the early 1900s. Henry Perry was a restaurateur and is called the father of Kansas City barbecue. Different kinds of woods are employed for the smoking process and the meat is served with a combination of tomato and molasses sauce.
The metropolitan area of Kansas is popular for its barbecues and has a large number of Barbecues based restaurants.
Kansas City barbecues are distinct as they employ a wide variety of meats such as fish, pork, turkey, chicken and mutton. The methods of preparation also vary equally. The traditional slow smoking method is widely employed however other methods such as grilling are also employed. A distinct crispy favour is distinctive to the barbecued products in Kansas City.
Other prominent feature of Kansas City barbecue style is the barbecue sauce. The sauce is mainly tomato-based with a tangy, sweet but spicy flavour. However other varieties of sauce can also be explored at various barbecue restaurants of the city.
The barbecue styles in Kansas City evolved over the ages. The pioneer as mentioned before was Henry Perry who operated out of a trolley barn around 18th and Vine. Perry served slow cooked ribs synonymous to pork with a harsh, peppery flavoured sauce. One of the workers for Henry, Charlie Bryant brought his brother Arthur Bryant into it who later became the owner of the business and the restaurant was named after him. The other pioneers were the Gates & Sons and the Fiorella family.
Some of the best restaurants to explore and relish the barbecue styles are:
- Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue
- Oklahoma Joe’s
- LC’s Bar-B-Q
A popular dish of the region is Burnt Ends, the flavoured ends of the meat.
Barbecue style of Texas
The style in Kansas City was more focussed towards smoking pork however in Texas it is about preparing beef.
The style in Texas is divided in four main categories:
- East Texas style-The beef is cooked until the meat begins to melt off the bones. The meat is usually chopped and not sliced. The wood used is Hickory wood. The barbecue sauce used is a sweet tomato sauce.
- Central Texas Style-The meat is coated with spices and instead of exposing it directly to the flame it is heated indirectly. The wood used is oak.
- South Texas Style-The South Texas style is distinct because of its use of thick molasses based sauce which keeps the meat moist.
- West Texas Style- The meat is distinct with a bitter flavour. It is cooked over direct heat from mesquite wood. This style is also called The cowboy style.
- Barabcoa Style-This style can be found in deep South Texas along the Rio Grande Valley thus imparting a Mexican touch to the barbecue. Goat and sheep meat is used along with beef. The traditional style employs cooking in a hole dug in the ground covered with leaves of maguey.
Barbecue was brought to Central Texas by the Germans and the Czech. In the East Texas it was a product of the emancipation of slaves thus this culture was primarily led by African-American citizens.
The city of Lockhart is referred to as the Barbecue capital of Texas. Some of the best barbecue joints in Lockhart are:
- Blacks Barbecue
- Kreuz Barbecue
- Smitty’s Market
Some of the must-try dishes of the area are:
- Lengua Tacos of the Barbacoa style. It is prepared from the tongue of the beef.
So you must try these barbecue delicacies.