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Thread: Yes, There Is BBQ Sauce In Texas

  1. #1
    Moderator Chris Allingham's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    San Jose, CA

    Yes, There Is BBQ Sauce In Texas

    Barbecue sauce and hot sauce at Franklin Barbecue, Austin TX

    Long time, no muse. But I'm back to muse about Texas barbecue and BBQ sauce.

    When people discuss Texas barbecue, they often say that when made right, Texas barbecue requires no sauce. (Take that, Kansas City!) And when someone mentions "Texas barbecue" and "barbecue sauce" in the same sentence, someone invariably says, "Ain't no barbecue sauce in Texas!"

    As for the first point, I wholeheartedly agree. When a Texas brisket is cooked to perfection with just salt and black pepper, it needs no sauce. If you don't believe me, visit Franklin Barbecue or Pecan Lodge or Snow's or La Barbecue and you'll become a believer.

    As for the second point, I would say that, to the contrary, there's a lot of barbecue sauce in the Lone Star State, at least in Central Texas. During the TVWB Central Texas Barbecue Crawl in October 2015, I visited 7 joints in 3 days and found barbecue sauce at 6 of them:

    Franklin Barbecue: 3 sauces
    Smitty's Market: 1 sauce
    Black's Barbecue: 2 sauces
    Kreuz Market: No sauce
    City Market Luling: 1 sauce
    Snow's BBQ: 2 sauces
    Louie Mueller Barbecue: 1 sauce

    And this does not include the bottled hot sauces offered at each restaurant.

    Now, before someone says, "Well, those are touristy barbecue joints, that's why they offer sauce!" let me remind you that some of these are the highest ranking joints in the 2013 Texas Monthly 50 Best BBQ Joints list:

    Franklin Barbecue: #1
    Smitty's Market: Not ranked
    Black's Barbecue: #33
    Kreuz Market: #34
    City Market Luling: #35
    Snow's BBQ: #3
    Louie Mueller Barbecue: #4

    Still, there is some truth to the suggestion that "outsiders" have had an influence on the adoption of BBQ sauce within Texas. I saw an interview with Edgar Black, 2nd generation owner of Black's Barbecue, who said that they developed their Norma Jean's BBQ Sauce at the request of "Northerners" that would visit the restaurant.

    So believe that Texas barbecue can be so good that it doesn't need sauce. But don't believe that there's no such thing as BBQ sauce in's more common than some people would have you think.

  2. #2
    TVWBB 1-Star Olympian Rich Dahl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Prescott Valley, Arizona
    Interesting, never been to Texas, but I can understand the thinking of less is better and let the brisket stand up on it's own. When I did my first ever brisket a couple of weeks ago I just used a light coating of SPOG because I wanted to taste the beef and not the rub. Glad I did, it's the way I'll always do from now on.
    Sauce, a little #5 on the side was just fine, but I did prefer it without the sauce or rub.
    "Rescuing just one dog won't change the world, but it surely will change the world for that one dog."

  3. #3
    TVWBB Pro V_Rocco's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Freeland, Maryland
    Interesting. I can imagine BBQ without sauce (like dry ribs), but the sauce can really add a lot to it. I'll give up my sauce when they pry my cold dead hands off the bottle.
    Nothing but Weber equipment: Performer Grill , 18.5" WSM

  4. #4
    TVWBB Super Fan Ray.S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Delaware, Ohio
    Of course there are BBQ sauces in Texas................but the bottles don't need to get refilled as often as they do in other parts of the country
    Performer WSM 18" Thermoworks ThermaPen, Smoke and Dot

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