Why Pork Has A Place on the Texas BBQ Table

A Southern favorite from the east makes its way to Southwestern barbeque plates, but can it beat beef brisket? 

By Emily DonahueApril 23, 2015 8:01 am| ,

Where there’s smoke, there’s Daniel Vaughn, Texas Monthly’s barbeque editor. He talks to the Standard about why pitmasters are being pulled into using pork.

Why are more Texans willing to try more than just the pork ribs? It’s much easier to cook and a heck of a lot cheaper. While the price of beef rises, pork stayed steady, and you can bet you’re getting more for your money.

“Also, when you look at the amount of loss that you have from a beef rib or a brisket, where between trimming it and cooking, you’re losing about 50 percent of the weight – you don’t have as much loss in the pork shoulder,” he says.

For Vaughn, pulled pork is becoming increasingly popular because of barbeque’s growing appeal to Americans’ taste buds.

“I think that has a lot to do with the fact that you’re just seeing the whole barbeque menu that’s out there getting more and more wide, as you see the popularity of barbeque as a whole rise across the country,” he says.

What to expect next out of the pork movement: possibly the whole hog, as Vaughn will soon discover in North Carolina.

“That sort of regionality is something that’s special about barbeque,” he says. “Knowing that if you go to Memphis you’re going to go there for ribs, if you’re coming to Texas – you can get a whole lot more things – but you’re really coming here for the brisket.”

This story was prepared with assistance by Jan Ross Piedad.