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Top 7 Signs of a Great Texas BBQ Joint

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Texas and BBQ — the words are practically synonymous. You know that if you’re visiting Texas you are going to be having some BBQ. It would be practically sacrilegious not to, but there is so much BBQ to choose from it’s hard to know what to try first. Everyone in the Lone Star State has their own special recipe and each proclaims theirs the best BBQ around. So how do you know you’re getting really authentic Texas BBQ? Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you make the best selection.

7. Are you actually in Texas?

Abandoned restaraunt on route 66 road in USA

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Now this may seem like a ridiculous question, but there is a good reason to ask. While you very well may come across BBQ joints in other parts of the country that claim to serve real Texas BBQ (some even allege that they specialize in it), chances are they don’t. Ask any real Texan and they will tell you that you can only get real Texas BBQ in Texas; no one else understands.

6. Do they serve beef ribs, beef sausages and brisket?

delicious BBQ ribs

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These specialties are the backbone of real Texas BBQ. If brisket, beef ribs and beef sausages are not prominently featured on the menu, then it’s time to get out. While many other southern states focus their attention on pork and a variety of sauces, the Texas meat of choice is beef and lots of it. Chili may be the official state dish here, but beef brisket is hot on its heels and is, in many Texans’ eyes, the true state dish. You are still likely to find some pork on many menus, but it shouldn’t be the main focus.

5. Are the sausages homemade?

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When Germans, Czechs and Hungarians immigrated to the Austin area in the 19th century they imparted their knowledge of making sausage into the Texas culture. To this day, sausage remains an important element of Texas BBQ. Not all places offer homemade beef sausages, but many do and taking the time to find one that does make their own is worth the effort. Don’t worry; you won’t have to look very hard.

4. Are the offerings smothered in sauce?

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If the answer is yes, tread cautiously. Outside of Texas you are surely to find BBQ enthusiasts who claim that the BBQ sauce is just as important as the meat itself, but in Texas it’s all about the beef. The way they cook and season the meat here makes it the star all on its own. A real Texas BBQ joint will not slather its offerings in sauce. They typically give the beef a light sprinkling of some basic seasonings and rely on the smoking and slow cooking to give the meat its main flavor. There may be some sauce involved, but it will definitely be a minor factor.

Anna enjoys blogging about a variety of topics, from fashion and beauty to food and travel. Find Anna on LinkedIn!

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