The Prophets of Smoked Meat: A Journey Through Texas Barbecue

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Overview

The comprehensive, must-have guide to Texas barbecue, including pitmasters' recipes, tales of the road—from country meat markets to roadside stands—and a panoramic look at the Lone Star State, where smoked meat is sacred

Brisket. Spareribs. Beef sausage. Pulled pork. From the science of heat to the alchemy of rubs, from the hill country to the badlands, The Prophets of Smoked Meat takes readers on a pilgrimage to discover the heart and soul of ...

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The Prophets of Smoked Meat: A Journey Through Texas Barbecue

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Overview

The comprehensive, must-have guide to Texas barbecue, including pitmasters' recipes, tales of the road—from country meat markets to roadside stands—and a panoramic look at the Lone Star State, where smoked meat is sacred

Brisket. Spareribs. Beef sausage. Pulled pork. From the science of heat to the alchemy of rubs, from the hill country to the badlands, The Prophets of Smoked Meat takes readers on a pilgrimage to discover the heart and soul of Texas barbecue.

Join Daniel "BBQ Snob" Vaughn—host of the popular blog Full Custom Gospel BBQ and acknowledged barbecue expert—and photographer Nicholas McWhirter as they trek across more than 10,000 miles to sample the wood-smoking traditions of the Lone Star State's four distinct barbecue styles:

  • East Texas style, essentially the hickory-smoked, sauce-coated barbecue with which most Americans are familiar.
  • Central Texas "meat market" style, in which spice-rubbed meat is cooked over indirect heat from pecan or oak wood, a method that originated in the butcher shops of German and Czech immigrants.
  • Hill Country "cowboy style," which involves direct heat cooking over mesquite coals and uses goat and mutton as well as beef and pork.
  • South Texas barbacoa, in which whole beef heads are traditionally cooked in pits dug into the earth.

Including recipes from longtime pitmasters and new barbecue stars, The Prophets of Smoked Meat encompasses the entire panorama of Texas barbecue. Illustrated throughout with lush, full-color photographs of the food, the people, and the stunning landscapes of the Lone Star State, The Prophets of Smoked Meat is the new gospel of Texas barbecue, essential for neophytes and seasoned experts alike.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

The Anthony Bourdain Books series makes an auspicious launch with this new guide to Texas eateries by self-avowed "barbecue snob" Daniel Vaughn. The delightfully finicky proprietor of the Full Custom Gospel BBQ knows all the finer points of smoke line, sauce, crust, and sugar cookies, so his canonical reviews about Lone Star grill restaurants possesses the level of detail that eager carnivores crave. The perfect front seat companion.

Library Journal
★ 
This exploration of barbecue by Texas Monthly magazine barbecue editor Vaughn reads more like a love story than a cookbook. With a restaurant guide and collective bibliographies of the who’s who of pit masters and some of their secret recipes, Vaughn’s homage to smoked meat is full of cadence, and the accompanying photos are so luscious and seductive they will tempt even the least likely fan of smoky brisket, pulled pork, beef sausage, and ribs. In this first book in Ecco’s Anthony Bourdain series, Vaughn describes place by place the fare he encountered as he traveled throughout the state. According to the author, there are four major types of barbecue: East Country (smoky with sauce), Hill Country (cowboy style), South Texas (barbacoa, or whole cow heads cooked in pits), and Central Texas (rubs and indirect heat). Whether readers are looking to replicate these techniques, experiment with different woods, or take a trip to Texas for themselves, this book is likely to be the closest thing most will have to visiting the mecca of meat in person.

Verdict A great gift for the barbecue enthusiast and a gorgeous book for display.—Jane Hebert, Glenside P.L. Dist., Glendale Heights, IL
(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly
The first release on Anthony Bourdain’s line for Ecco is from self-described “BBQ snob” Vaughn. expert on the various styles of Texas barbecue who offers page after page of exhaustive dissertation on the intricacies of brisket, sausage, and other smoked meats, as he traverses the state. The book is divided into four sections based on region (east, central, west, and south) that each have their own specialties, and Vaughn and photographer Nicholas McWhirther work their way through plate after plate of barbecue with nary a vegetable in sight. Vaughn offers detailed, informed critiques of countless eateries with varying results. Though an admitted Yankee from Ohio, his expertise is unassailable. Vaughn’s got over 500 BBQ joints under his belt and he’s a fair judge of the good, the bad, and the mediocre when it comes to smoked meat. Unfortunately for some of the proprietors listed, a great many joints end up in the “mediocre” category, as he holds them to a justifiably high standard. Vaughn does an admirable job of keeping readers’ interest with asides on rubs, and a meditation on the role of rotisseries in barbecue. The book also contains studies of some of the cuisine’s colorful proprietors (many of whom provide recipes in the book’s appendix), but it’s the hardcore barbecue nerds and Texans who will get the most out of Vaughn’s efforts. Casual smokers will likely find the book to be repetitive and maybe even depressing as the indictment of bad briskets, overcooked ribs, and commercially produced sausage mounts. (May)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062202925
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/14/2013
  • Pages: 372
  • Sales rank: 61,065
  • Product dimensions: 7.80 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Vaughn

Daniel "BBQ Snob" Vaughn is an expert on Texas barbecue. He is the author and editor of the respected blog Full Custom Gospel BBQ and BBQ editor at Texas Monthly. A trained architect, he lives in Dallas with his wife and children.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2013

    If only it was scratch and sniff...

    Daniel Vaughn takes the reader on a most impressive tour of the Texas BBQ scene. He and his travel partner(s) divided the state into sections and spent considerable time and money as they journeyed from town to town. I found myself quite envious of his culinary experiences and travels, even on the stops which did not get good reviews. And I've learned a few things along his journey about how I can improve my own BBQ'ing.

    Mr. Vaughn went to Tulane and spent a few years in New Orleans. If he ever wants to go on a "Phophets of Po Boys" tour, I got shotgun.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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