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Is Snow’s Still the Best in Texas?

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    Is Snow’s Still the Best in Texas?

    During our recent First Biannual Texas Meat-up for 2021, we stayed in the little town of Rockdale in Central Texas just 20 minutes or so north of Lexington where the now famous Snow’s BBQ has their fine establishment. I think the original intent was that everyone would get up early and line up and enjoy Snow’s but for some of us (actually turned out to be most of us) getting up at 2:30 or 3:00 am wasn’t in the cards after a night of good eats and many adult beverages.

    That said, our good friend 58limited had the clarity and wherewithal to order a whole packer brisket to go from Snow's which he was kind enough to share with those of us who petered out on the Snow’s wait-a-thon. He also introduced us, and was again kind enough, to bring along another whole packer brisket from a barbecue joint called 1701 over in Beaumont, Texas that he’s been raving about.

    For us lucky and lazy few then we got to do a brisket taste off. A few of us got to immediately sample a few pieces from both the point and the flat cut from each. We then had several others try the same two briskets in a blind taste test and we all gave our opinions. To both those in the know as well as those who tasted in the blind, the overall consensus was that Snow’s indeed was the clear winner.

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    (Snow's on the left and 1702 on the right)

    Don’t get me wrong, the 1701 packer was nothing short of excellent. I'm occasionally in Beaumont a couple of times a month on business and look forward to having lunch there soon. The brisket was perfectly rendered and retained moistness even in the first few slices of the flat, which as most of us know tends to be the driest. It had a good smoke ring and a pronounced peppery bark. In short it was an excellent brisket.

    Yet as good as that was, the Snow’s packer was just a little bit better. Where the 1701 was a bit over pronounced with pepper, the bark on Snow’s was close to perfect. The smoke ring was deep, the tenderness and juiciness were on point. The pull on a piece of flat was great without, but almost, falling apart. The flavor was robust and beefy, exactly what you’d expect in Central Texas smoked brisket. In short it was as close to as good as I’ve had in a while.

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    (Snow's full packer brisket)
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    (1701 full packer brisket)

    Again let me emphasize both were excellent and I would definitely stand in line for either. It’s just when you're declared the best of the best, it’s hard to beat the Snow’s magic touch. So is it still the Best Texas has to offer? Bring on something better, I’m ready to sample more !!

    (Thanks once again to 58limited for his kind generosity)
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    You can definitely see all that pepper on the 1701 brisket.


      Wow. That must have been so much fun.


        Loren was in line at Snow's texting me updates on the length of the line. I was originally going to go later but when he texted that 100 people were already there by 4:30am I told him I wasn't going to get up and come. But... since he was there I asked him to get a whole brisket and I paid him back for it. So Loren gets credit for bringing it to me - I stayed nice and snug in the bed at the motel

        In my mind the original point of this trip, going back to discussions we had last fall when Tootsie was profiled on Chef's Table, was to go to Snow's after the COVID shutdowns ended. Getting a whole brisket to share was the second best option since the line is so ridiculous now.

        I've been 5 other times, mostly in the fall and winter but I arrived once in May at 8:15am, and the lines were never like this. I think a combination of COVID winding down, school getting out for summer vacation, people traveling for the first time in a year, the Chef's Table episode, etc. may have had something to do with it.
        Last edited by 58limited; June 7, 2021, 05:07 PM.


          I've never even been to Texas...hope to go someday soon! My parents were recently in Austin for a wedding and went to Terry Black's. They said it was the best they've ever had and couldn't imagine it getting better.


          • Panhead John
            Panhead John commented
            Editing a comment
            JakeT Whatcha doing, hmm, maybe late October? 🧐

          • JakeT
            JakeT commented
            Editing a comment
            Panhead John unfortunately/fortunately I'm going to be taking my kids to Disneyworld for the Halloween deal. Maybe I'll catch the first one in 2022!

          • Panhead John
            Panhead John commented
            Editing a comment
            If you were to cancel that and go to a Meat Up, I’m sure the wife and kids would understand…….. There’s plenty of members here with space for you to live afterwards.
            Last edited by Panhead John; June 8, 2021, 07:15 AM.

          I was all ga ga over those briskets! I’ll say this right now, Snow’s brisket was definitely among the best I’ve ever tasted. Great amount of smoke and the bark was killer. 1701 wasn’t far behind. I consider myself a lucky man to have made this trip. Can’t wait for October!
          Last edited by Panhead John; June 7, 2021, 05:22 PM.


            So jealous...

            A question for the folks who tasted this.. how do your own briskets hold up to these? On the face of it, brisket is simple (not easy, but simple)... buy good meat, apply rub, smoke. A lot of folks here (and many of the group there) buy from Creekstone etc. So.... how did you all think this stuff stacked up to your own?


            • Troutman
              Troutman commented
              Editing a comment
              Good question Rick, we talked about that. I agree, if done well with a good quality packer, you can get to this level at home. To do 100 of these a day consistently, we’ll that’s another story.

            • Panhead John
              Panhead John commented
              Editing a comment
              The absolute best brisket I’ve ever cooked, was almost as good. I will say this also, most of my briskets before joining AR were probably select grade. I’ve done a few choice briskets before, but never Prime. I made up my mind I’ll never do less than Prime from here on out.
              Last edited by Panhead John; June 8, 2021, 06:55 AM.

            • Loren
              Loren commented
              Editing a comment
              Prime is definitely the way to go...I've always cooked briskets I felt were equal to what I could buy commercially (though there were some mishaps sprinkled in for good measure), the trade off is time spent vs. convenience - or waiting in line half as long as a brisket cook 🤣

            Great stuff. I think the only way to really compare is to have a side by side taste test like this one. I'd love to do a side by side between Snow's and Franklin's.

            When we went to Franklin, I thought it was the best brisket I had ever had. We went to Snow's two years later and I felt that I had never had better, but too much time had passed for me to be sure. I'd gladly return to either.


            • Troutman
              Troutman commented
              Editing a comment
              Unfortunately the lines are too long. Preserve your memories, there all that’s left for you

            • ecowper
              ecowper commented
              Editing a comment
              I won't go to Franklin's or Snow's again ... I refuse to stand in those lines. I will look for something like Brett's that is great, but not yet "discovered"

            • RonB
              RonB commented
              Editing a comment
              ecowper - you are correct sir! I should have added "except for the lines" to the last sentence above.


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