The History of Texas Barbecue

By Tedd B Johnson
The Salt Lick, Driftwood, Texas by Nilord Gatdula on
The Famous Pit at the Salt Lick BBQ

The Salt Lick, Driftwood, Texas by Nilord Gatdula

Red Juicy meat with a slightly charred outside, almost falling off the bone, this image is enough to melt the heart of any food lover, especially the heart of a Texan. As a famous chef once said, "Food has the power to rekindle memories and ignite emotions." Texas barbecue could definitely rekindle more than one memory and ignite more than a few emotions.

Barbecue Foods at the Salt Lick BBQ  by Richard  Wachtel on
Barbecue Foods at the Salt Lick BBQ by Richard Wachtel

Fierce Texas barbecue competitions ignite the passions of any barbecue lover. Fierce arguments occur among best of friends over the topic of who has the best Texas barbecue. Even the spelling of barbecue is enough to start a fight. Is it spelled, BBQ, barbecue, or barbecue? The hearty conversations and the fun had at a weekend barbecue in Texas are memories to be cherished for a lifetime.

Texas barbecue is rooted in its culture as deep as the roots of an olive tree. Ever wondered how the seeds of this wonderful and thriving tradition were sowed?

The History of Texas barbeque goes back to the 17th century. The word barbecue roots from the Arawak Carib word 'barbracot'. This term in turn was derived from the Spanish word barbacoa. Barbacoa was a cooking device used by the Caribbean tribes to dry and smoke fish, rats, lizards, frogs and small birds for eating and for preservation. The traditional method of cooking Texas barbecue (slowly cooking meat on a wood fire or charcoal), roots from the Caribbean.

fire by arundevaraj

This Caribbean culture was brought into the continent in the 17th century when Caribbean slaves were brought into the Carolinas. Later when Texas was brought into the Union, many of the slaves from the Carolinas and Mississippi moved to Texas. When Slavery was abolished in 1865, a large portion of the African American community settled down in Texas. They gave birth to the East Texas barbecue method of cooking. This was what started the passion and love for barbecue in the southern areas and in Texas.

The next variation of cooking barbecue was smoking the meat. This method of cooking was brought into the United Stated way back in the 19th century. This style of cooking roots from Europe, which was brought into the country by settlers from Germany and Czechoslovakia.

Wayne Mueller, Taylor TX  by Richard  Wachtel on
BBQ Pitmaster Wayne Mueller from Louie Mueller BBQ located in Taylor Texas which is located in the heart of hill country in Texas which is the capital of Texas Barbecue.
Wayne Mueller, Taylor TX by Richard Wachtel
The first cooks of this style of barbecue in the country were butchers. The initial idea was to just smoke the meat leftovers after a day of business so that it could be stored. But the settlers soon fell in love with this style of smoked meat. And as history proves, if there is someone to buy it, there will be someone to sell it. These Butcher shops soon started to market this smoked meat, and the love for barbecue grew, thrived and never reduced.

Slicing Brisket - Smitty's BBQ   by Richard  Wachtel on
Slicing Brisket - Smitty's BBQ by Richard Wachtel

Perhaps the next time we see a butcher, we might remind ourselves that they started something that thousands of people from every walk of our life, would come to love. Thus, the seeds of a future traditions were sown and the thriving culture of Texas barbecue was started and has expanded throughout the entire United States of America.

To learn all about Texas' best BBQ visit

Outdoor Cooking by Nam Hoang on
BBQ is the abbreviation for barbecue. An outdoor meal, usually a form of social entertainment, at which meats, fish, or fowl, along with vegetables, are roasted over a grill, a wood or charcoal fire.

Outdoor Cooking by Nam Hoang


Rebecca has lived in Texas for over 20 years. Her location informs much of what she knows and is why she decided to create this blog.
    Blogger Comment
    Facebook Comment


Post a Comment