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Texas BBQ Road Trip! Reviews and Videos

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    #61
    I am waiting for your overall evaluation of the trip, but I am guessing that your conclusion on brisket is that it is as good or better in your backyard.

    Comment


    • wcpreston
      wcpreston commented
      Editing a comment
      Franklin's and Valentina's have given me something to shoot for. It made me feel better about my backyard game, as I do make brisket as good, if not better, than several of the places we went. All thanks to AR and the pitmaster club! Seriously.

    • wcpreston
      wcpreston commented
      Editing a comment
      BTW I'm going to do a shoot at home where I do a brisket and then rate it (and the sides) like we did the restaurants in TX. . But that's not for at least a week.

    • nikolausp
      nikolausp commented
      Editing a comment
      wcpreston Thanks for the fun thread and all the photos / video. Good stuff! Also, I'm looking forward to your brisket at home video. Hopefully / maybe you could include your brisket process from start to finish in the video? Would love to see that included if you feel like it, and get a chance to.

      Again, thanks for the fun thread!

    #62
    As much fun as this is to do I hope you come out of this better than I did. I did something similar in Georgia a few years ago. Gained a few pounds and was introduced to the purple pill. Reflux! I just had to watch what I ate for awhile and got off it.

    Comment


    • wcpreston
      wcpreston commented
      Editing a comment
      I def gained a few. I and my cameraperson will be going on a diet for a bit

    #63
    @58limited
    Your story about the origin of la Barbecue is somewhat similar to the Lockhart/Kreuz (pronounced "krites") saga. Rick and Nina Schmidt's dad, Smitty Schmidt, died and left Kreuz Market, the business, to the son but the building to the daughter. They didn't get along, and she eventually threw him out. He moved up the street and built a new larger building with pits identical to the original, which stayed with the building downtown. Nina then started her own BBQ business in the old building, with her son as pitmaster, and named it Smitty's, in honor of her dad.

    According to Robb Walsh, when Rick's building was going up, people would stop in at Smitty's and ask what the denomination of the new church being built up the road was, and the staff at Smitty's would say, "Why that's the new Church of Kreuz!"
    Last edited by gcdmd; June 16, 2021, 07:25 AM.

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    • Troutman
      Troutman commented
      Editing a comment
      Another interesting fact, in order to assure customers that the new Kreuz's was as good as the old, they drug a ceremonial metal bucket of hot coals from the old pits in what is now Smitty's to the new pits to fire them up at Kreuz's. Quite a saga a piece of Texas lore.

      https://kreuzmarket.com/about-kreuz-...ockhart-texas/

    #64
    Here's the idea of Pecan Lodge. Disappointing

    https://youtu.be/dtWJvPywDoc

    I plan on making a few summary videos. One where I select "best of" in diff categories, and another where I give advice to restaurants.

    Comment


    • wcpreston
      wcpreston commented
      Editing a comment
      We had a gift certificate, which is why we stayed.

    • jlazar
      jlazar commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for the review. I will be sure to miss this place. The noise and lady yelling out reminded me of eating in a Mall Food Court. I would hate to be sitting next to the line and have folks leaning on the railing watching you eat.

      Can't wait to see your brisket cook and where you place in the ratings. Are you going to cook it on the Chubby?
      Last edited by jlazar; June 16, 2021, 12:29 PM.

    • wcpreston
      wcpreston commented
      Editing a comment
      jlazar. I will indeed be cooking it on the chubby. I ALSO am very interested to see where I place. I will say one thing: it will be cut against the grain.

      I'm going for a similar look and mouth feel to Valentina's. That's the one that had my wife literally moaning in the camera as I was eating it in front of her. OMG SO FUNNY. If you didn't catch that in that video, go watch it again.

      Funny part starts here: https://youtu.be/ROqNcXtzKBg?t=129

    #65
    wcpreston You have mentioned in several videos that you did not like "how the brisket was cut" in several different BBQ joints you visited. I am curious what it was exactly that you did not like about their cut, and also how you cut your brisket at home.

    Comment


    • LA Pork Butt
      LA Pork Butt commented
      Editing a comment
      I am pretty sure it was when they cut with the grain instead of across the grain.

    • Panhead John
      Panhead John commented
      Editing a comment
      Agree with Sunny. When you cut brisket with the grain, it makes it more stringy and chewy. You’re supposed to always cut against the grain. I’m sure Curtis will answer soon.

    • wcpreston
      wcpreston commented
      Editing a comment
      What they said!

    #66
    Well not to get into a long drawn out argument but I have the same comment as Clark. As we all know there are two over lapping muscles on a full packer brisket. Generally when you begin cutting you choose a spot somewhere at the fat end of the brisket and subdivide it. The back half is mostly all point and the front half mostly flat. The problem with that method is since the two overlapping muscles run in different directions, one small overlapping part (usually thinner) on either end is going to be cut wrong, you can't avoid it.

    That's why a lot of guys (myself included), separate the two muscles completely and carve each of them against the grain however that occurs. That way you avoid mis-cutting the overlapped piece. Make sense? So technically he's right but in reality that's the way they cut them here in Texas restaurants.

    Comment


    • wcpreston
      wcpreston commented
      Editing a comment
      I can't argue with anything anyone said. But yes, this is an "against the grain" problem.

      Yes, I now brisket is difficult to cut right. But I also have the following opinions:

      1. You have one job, cutter dude. Figure it out.
      2. In TX, you usually order lean or fatty brisket. If I ordered fatty brisket, it means I want the point end, right? Then make sure the part I like is cut properly. If the flat portion is a bit off, NBD.. but make sure the part I like is not stringy.

    • wcpreston
      wcpreston commented
      Editing a comment
      But in every one of these restaurants, it was the point that was stringy.

      At home, I separate and cut. If I wasn't going to do that, and wanted to keep it whole (TX style), I would follow Aaron Franklin's method. TBH, I'm an AF follower, and based on what I had on this trip, my allegiance is spot on. I notch out my flat before cooking, so I know the direction of the grain before I cut. Then flip it when you get to the point. How f'ing hard is that?

    • wcpreston
      wcpreston commented
      Editing a comment
      It will mean some waste, yes. But that's why you have chopped brisket on the menu, right? Make a frito pie out of it if you have to. Just make sure you don't serve stringy brisket to someone paying $30/lb for it!

    #67
    wcpreston Sorry to have gotten your blood pressure up by asking a question and, yes, I too, know how to slice brisket.

    My question was asked merely out of curiosity since you didn't ever say how it was cut wrong. I interpreted your several comments as though you had some special "California" way to cut. I naturally assumed that Texas BBQ joints were slicing correctly since that is what they do all day, everyday. Sounds as though some places are just not properly training the help.

    Comment


    • wcpreston
      wcpreston commented
      Editing a comment
      LOL. It wasn't you. It was several stringy briskets that got it up.

      I didn't fly to TX ($700), spend 11 nights in hotel rooms ($1500), rent a $1000 car, put $150 gas in that rental car, and spend another $1500 on BBQ for freaking mediocre! On one hand, it gave me something to talk about on video. On the other hand, I was surprised at the number of times I got mediocre to downright bad BBQ in TX.

      "Special CA way..." that's funny right there.
      Last edited by wcpreston; June 18, 2021, 12:35 AM.

    #68
    wcpreston RE: Special California way
    We lived in the mountains near Colorado Springs for 22 years before moving to OK 2 years ago. Colorado was being overrun with people from California (and New York) and they were always eager to tell us, no matter the subject, how they did "it" in California. "It" didn't matter if it was BBQing, running an HOA, taxation, hiways, schools, etc. We usually just told them to hit the road back to where they came from.

    They did do us one big favor and drove property prices thru the roof! We sold our home in one hour, three people in a bidding war, and quite a bit over our asking price.

    I hope you give serious consideration to moving to Texas. You can't beat the friendliness and spirit of Texans.

    Comment


    • BBQPhil
      BBQPhil commented
      Editing a comment
      Not all Californians behave that boorish. Many of us just enjoy the beauty, great weather and friendliness of CA. While our BBQ can't compare, we lead the country in the farm to table restaurant movement. From my experience, San Diego has no equal.
      Last edited by BBQPhil; June 18, 2021, 12:51 PM.

    • SheilaAnn
      SheilaAnn commented
      Editing a comment
      Yay! I’m not the first to say something….

      egos come from all over, not just CA and NY. While I am from Chicago, I have been here long enough. BBQPhil is correct about the farm-to-table movement. However (since this is a passion of mine and it’s pretty much my job now), I see a lot of other places in the US that can definitely carry their own. CA is just blessed with better weather so the farm-to-table movement lasts all year.

    • SheilaAnn
      SheilaAnn commented
      Editing a comment
      And lately there is a field-to-flask thing going on, too. That gin you see me drinking is made from all ingredients responsibly sourced right here in CA. Actually, they are friends of mine. https://blinkingowldistillery.com/

    #69
    I saw a piece by the Texas Day Tripper on Snows. During the interview they indicated they used Select brisket. While their brisket in my opinion is not as good as others I have had, they come up a notch if they use select rather than choice or prime.

    Comment


    • Troutman
      Troutman commented
      Editing a comment
      That's a fact, they use good old store bought select briskets. As you said, try doing what they do with one of those !!!

    #70
    @wcpreston Thanks for the fun thread and all the photos / video. Good stuff! Also, I'm looking forward to your brisket at home video. Hopefully / maybe you could include your brisket process from start to finish in the video (including how you slice the Point and the Flat separately)? Would love to see that included if you feel like it, and get a chance to.

    Again, thanks for the fun thread!

    Comment


    • Troutman
      Troutman commented
      Editing a comment
      So are you going to declare yourself the winner ???

    • nikolausp
      nikolausp commented
      Editing a comment
      Wow, awesome! I watched you slice that 30 day aged Brisket on your YouTube channel..... and it looked drool worthy! Just curious, what kind of smoker do you use?

    • wcpreston
      wcpreston commented
      Editing a comment
      I have made the video, and all I have to do now is edit it . No easy process to be sure...

    #71
    Final summary video is published. Still to come is the one where I show how _I_ cook a brisket.

    https://youtu.be/ohv9Z_hqujM

    (In the original version of the video I said "Helm's" instead of "Heim." I fixed that in this video, although rather obviously.)
    Last edited by wcpreston; July 21, 2021, 12:21 PM.

    Comment


    • wcpreston
      wcpreston commented
      Editing a comment
      I think it's totally subjective. Given that it costs me $1000 just to get there and back, I wanted to maximize my time there. I wouldn't have done it any longer, for sure.

      I honestly don't know how I would have selected any other way. I used two online resources, merged them, then used this group for local G2. MAYBE I could have watched a bunch of youtube videos as well, but that's a bottomless pit.

      Did you like seeing my Chubby in the background, as well as the holder you designed?

    • jlazar
      jlazar commented
      Editing a comment
      Saw the Chubby. Your stand looks great, especially the cutting board.

    • wcpreston
      wcpreston commented
      Editing a comment
      As you'll see in the video, the cutting board was actually a fail. It was never properly secured and kept peeling up. Nice idea. Bad execution.

    #72
    I finally made the "how I smoke a brisket" video!
    https://youtu.be/R3tdRO4V8Rc

    Comment


      #73
      Originally posted by wcpreston View Post
      I finally made the "how I smoke a brisket" video!
      https://youtu.be/R3tdRO4V8Rc
      Awesome vid, thanks for sharing! So you wet aged it for 30 days, and then into the freezer eh? interesting. I wonder if the Costco Pack Date is actually the Kill date.

      Oh, and thanks to your wonderful camera wife too :-)

      Comment


        #74
        Originally posted by wcpreston View Post
        I finally made the "how I smoke a brisket" video!
        https://youtu.be/R3tdRO4V8Rc
        This was really instructive. Thanks for taking the time to put it together.

        I also like the table you made for your Backwoods Smoker. That gives me an idea for something I might want to build later this summer.

        Comment


        • wcpreston
          wcpreston commented
          Editing a comment
          Got the idea from @jlazer!

        #75
        I recorded a BBQ-only bonus episode on my not-at-all-about-BBQ podcast. If you're interested in hearing even more thoughts about my trip, here you go:

        https://www.backupcentral.com/no-bac...bonus-episode/

        Comment

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