On tonight’s new episode of Man Fire Food, Roger Mooking visits legendary BBQ joints in Central Texas where just the right amount of smoke and heat transforms the meat into delicious eats. At Kreuz Market in Lockhart, they have eight pits for cooking, acres of wood for burning and hundreds of pounds of delicious barbecue for stick-to-your-ribs eating. Needless to say, they’re experts in what they do. Here are some of their tips to recreate perfect BBQ at home:
At Kreuz, we like to emphasize the flavor of the meat over spices, sauces and such. We buy mostly USDA choice cuts of beef and keep our “meddling” with them to a minimum. As the USDA grading system is based on the fat content of the cuts, we buy a lower-grade brisket called USDA select. Brisket is already a cut with quite a lot of fat around and within it. USDA select ensures we have plenty of meat among the fat. We also do not trim our briskets, letting the fat render into the meat as it cooks to keep it moist. Any trimming necessary can be done upon slicing for the customer. This is true for pretty much all of our meat cuts. We will trim a bit more off the shoulder clod to make sure no stray flaps or unusually thin parts get overcooked and burned. Better to trim that and use it for our handmade sausage than burn it up and waste it.
As for seasonings, again, keep it simple! We use food grade salt, coarse ground black pepper and a little cayenne mixed together and rubbed onto the meats before they’re cooked over a post oak wood fire. This brings out the flavor of the meat rather than any particular spice or wood. Post oak is a cleaner-burning hardwood that leaves a generic smoky flavor rather than a strong hickory or mesquite taste that those fires would. Buying the better cuts of meat, a little seasoning and keeping a strong eye on your fire will surely help you on your way to an incredibly edible barbecue dinner. Far be it from us to berate any method of barbecuing, whether you choose a dry rub or sauce, charcoal, propane or wood — it all has its place in the hearts of meat eaters. We just wanted to share a few tips on how we keep things tasting right from year to year.
Watch Man Fire Food on Tuesdays at 8pm ET on Cooking Channel.