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Daniel Vaughn knows Texas barbecue so well that in 2013 Texas Monthly magazine hired the Dallas architect to write about the subject full time. He’s the only guy who might have a better job than mine. Published by Anthony Bourdain’s division of Harper Collins, the book takes us along with Vaughn and his architect/photographer, Nicholas McWhirter, as they taste their way across the state to truck stops in the dessert and chic restaurants in the metropolitan areas in search of the truth in Texas barbecue.
In all, their hegira took 35 days, covered 10,343 miles, and made stops at 186 joints. Along the way we meet the characters and artists who set the state’s signature food apart from any other state and he enlightens us on the various styles and his favorites.
A quote: “The people who pack Cooper’s crave the unique flavor of the meat offered there, but man y don’t realize that it is the result of a barbecue method that is completely different than the one used in the smoked meat temples in more famous barbecue towns like Lockhart, Luling, and Taylor, Texas. But then, that is Central Texas, and this is the Hill Country.” He then goes on to describe the cooking method at Cooper’s, one of my all-time favorites, and how it differs.
Published On: 6/18/2018 Last Modified: 9/30/2021
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The PBC has a rabid cult following for good reason. It is absolutely positively without a doubt the best bargain on a smoker in the world. Period. This baby will cook circles around the cheap offset sideways barrel smokers because temperature control is so much easier.
ThermoWorks’ Thermapen ONE provides an accurate reading in one second or less. The ONE also includes features that are common on high-end instruments: automatic backlight, rotating display, and water resistant seals. Don’t accept cheap substitutes.
Click here to read our comprehensive Platinum Medal review
The Broil King Signet 320 is a modestly priced, 3-burner gas grill that packs a lot of value and power under the hood. Broil King’s proprietary, dual-tube burners get hot fast and are able to achieve high, searing temps that rival most comparatively priced gas grills. The quality cast aluminum housing carries a Limited Lifetime Warranty.
This is the first propane smoker with a thermostat, making this baby foolproof. Set ThermoTemp’s dial from 175° to 350°F and the thermostat inside will adjust the burner just like an indoor kitchen oven. All you need to do is add wood to the tray above the burner to start smokin’.
Winner of the National BBQ Association’s product of the year award. This 8.5″ x 11″ magnet contains more that 80 benchmark temperatures for meats (both USDA recommended temps as well as the temps chefs recommend), fats and oils, sugars, sous vide, eggs, collagens, wood combustion, breads, and more. Although it is not certified as all-weather, we have tested it outdoors in Chicago weather and it has not delaminated in three years, but there is minor fading.
The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period.
Click here for our review of this superb smoker
Fireboard Labs Product Photo Shoot. Kansas City Commercial Portrait and Wedding Photographers ©Kevin Ashley Photography
With the ability to monitor up to six temperatures simultaneously with either Bluetooth or Wifi on your mobile phone, tablet, or computer, Fireboard is the best digital thermometer we’ve tested.
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