I’ve always been a picky eater and I was never really a fan of anything spicy so when I first moved to Texas at a young age, I wasn’t sure how I was going to like a Texas tradition- good ‘ol barbeque. My taste buds were more used to the urban, fast foods, typically served at McDonalds and Roy Rogers. So it was a big culture shock, like moving to a different country, when my family moved down south.
Surprisingly, Texas BBQ grew on me. It’s not just a food down south but an experience. Families and friends come together at one another’s houses or for tailgating and you’d be surprised at the many types of Texas BBQ that people come up with. It seems every family has a secret recipe they whip out for occasions just like this.
While I wasn’t born in Texas, I did grow up in the South so BBQ wasn’t new to me. However, you just haven’t tasted BBQ until you’ve had in from Texas. I tried more types of BBQ than I ever knew existed and some I’m not sure even had real names but my ultimate favorite is spicy southern BBQ. This is a good old fashioned, delicious BBQ with a spicy twist that can be achieved with jalapenos or your favorite hot sauce. (I prefer Tabasco).
I used to work in a restaurant with a reputation for great BBQ and theirs didn’t come anything close to this recipe I first discovered at a military function. It was made by one of the wives in the unit and brought to a family gathering with military personnel. It was so great, I had to ask about how she did it. Unlike many who hoard their Texas BBQ recipes like a special family heirloom, she was happy to dish out on how she makes it.
The secret to a great BBQ is in the sauce. This mix takes a cup of tomato sauce, ½ a cup of vinegar, ¼ cup of Worcestershire, about a cup of brown sugar (adjust to taste), 2 tablespoons of dry mustard, 3 tablespoons of margarine or butter, 1 crushed garlic cloves and ¼ cup chopped onions. When you want to get that great southern spicy BBQ flavor, add about 1 tablespoon of Tabasco and 2 or 3 de-seeded chopped jalapeno peppers. You can then salt and pepper to taste as well.
For the best result, baste your prepared sauce on your BBQ ribs or brisket and allow it to marinade for several hours or even overnight to get that real soaked-in flavor.
Finally, we recommend using a Traeger pellet grill for cooking your meats and vegetables. The wood pellets used in the cooking process creates a unique flavor. The cooking process leaves a hickory, smokey flavor that you’ll only find when using one of these grills. Try grilling chicken breasts on it. Set the grill at 375F and drop the chicken in there. The best part is Traeger grills are “set it and forget it.”
I have a house full of picky eaters and we make this about once every couple of weeks and everyone digs in!
If you don’t have Traeger grill, check out our advice on buying a Traeger grill.