Depending where you're from, BBQ is sure to get a crowd fired up. You'll never convince a Texan that Kansas City, Memphis, or Carolina Style BBQ; try and you're sure to see fireworks. And sadly in the San Francisco Bay Area, Texas BBQ is in short supply--rotisserie is more our style.
As Dawn of Not Just a Mommy and I have gotten to know one another, we discovered we both share a love of Texas. And when you think of Texas, how can you not think Texas BBQ?
After years of getting Texas BBQ shipped, here are my top 8 places to get Texas BBQ shipped to your door. Along with my favorites, I'm sharing tips for ensuring your Texas BBQ arrives in time for your special occasion.
Dry rub or Sauce?
Texas, Kansas City, Memphis, or Carolina Style?
Have you figured out what Dawn and I are up to yet? Today's posts offer more clues. Head over to Dawn's site to see the color palette for our coLAB project. Want to know more about how we met? Read my Good Life Snapshot interview from last week.
I feel in love with Texas BBQ when I lived in Austin, TX in the late 90s. It was what I rattled off to anyone who asked what's so special about Texas? When I got tired of the inevitable fired up reply from others, I started showing or rather wooing their tastebuds. I began getting Texas BBQ shipped to my door where ever I happened to be, first Michigan and then California. (Curious how Texas BBQ differs from other regional BBQ styles like that of Kansas City, Memphis, or Carolina? The Miner's Mix breaks the four main types of BBQ down for you.)
These are my favorite Texas BBQ stops when I'm back in Austin. I've visited each of these joints in person and can close my eyes and smell the smoke. With four exceptions, I've ordered from all of them multiple times over the years. They're run by great people with amazing customer service; anything you pick will be awesome.
Get on their mailing lists to find out about specials, like free shipping for orders over a certain dollar amount or combination boxes with smaller weights that allow you to sample more meats.
The Salt Lick, Driftwood, TX
When I first tasted bbq from The Salt Lick it was especially sweet. The Salt Lick is in a dry county and we hadn't known that so we'd arrived and then had to backtrack our steps until we found a convenience store or gas station that sold beer.
I've enjoyed everything they make. Their smoked turkey breast (jalapeno version before we had Gates) is our Thanksgiving bird. And their brisket and sausage are always in our house for the holidays.
Cooper's Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que: Home of the Big Chop, Llano, TX
The best Texas BBQ takes a little effort to get to and more often than not you stumble across it while on another adventure. This was the case with Cooper's Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que. I discovered it during one of the Texas Hill Country Wine Passport weekends while driving between wineries.
Cooper's is one of the places where I've tried everything they make. Because they're known for the Big Chop of course I started with pork chops. Brisket and sausage soon followed--I judge, that is compare, BBQ joints by their brisket and sausage.
Kreuz Market, Lockhart, TX
Kreuz Market was another place I discovered when visiting Texas Hill Country wineries. If you're ever out in Lockhart, you should take on their Texas BBQ challenge--eat at all four BBQ joints in one day. All four are located on the same street. It's been years since I've been there and I don't remember the nuances between each. When I started getting Texas BBQ shipped, Kreuz Market was the only one that shipped. Only two of the others, Blacks BBQ and Chisholm Trail Bar-B-Que, ship (Smitty's Market doesn't). You can bet I'll be ordering some soon.
During the holidays, Kreuz Market often offers free shipping for meat orders over $180. Get on their mailing list so that you can take advantage of this! If you're looking for a holiday ham, the one from Kreuz Market can't be beat--it's become a new year's staple for me.
Meyer's Elgin Sausage General Store, Elgin, TX
Elgin, TX is synonymous with sausage and for 75 years of family pride and four generations of tradition, Meyer's Elgin Sausage General Store has been serving it up.
If you love sausage, you don't want to skip Meyer's Elgin Sausage! They serve other things, but I've yet to venture beyond the sausage. (Sensing a trend here? My favorite Texas BBQ is sausage and brisket.)
Southside Market and Barbeque, Elgin, TX
Because Elgin, TX is synonymous with sausage, the first meat I tried from Southside Market and Barbeque was sausage. Surprisingly, it's the one item I no longer regularly get from Southside Market. Here I gravitate towards Baby Back Ribs, Smoked Pork Ribs, or Cooked Whole Chicken.
Ironworks BBQ, Austin, TX
The first Texas BBQ I ever had was in Austin at Ironworks BBQ. I had their beef brisket and fell in love. I'd like to say I've had more of their smoked meat than brisket but I haven't. I always get their brisket and say next time I'll try something new, but Texas BBQ is comfort food and you go with what you know you love.
Rudy's "Country Store" and Bar-B-Q, Texas Hill Country
Texas BBQ is about the meat. Rudy's "Country Store" and Bar-B-Q was my first experience ordering by the pound. You stand at the counter and they grab white butcher paper and slap it down in front of you. Then they go back to the pits, pick out the meat, and slice up your desired amount. Once sliced, they pile the meat onto the butcher paper and hand it to you. Needless to say I ordered way more food than one person could eat.
My go to dish at Rudy's was the Chopped Brisket, which was more shredded than chopped but so melt in your mouth yummy slopped onto a slice of white bread. Unfortunately Chopped Brisket isn't available by air and I haven't figured out how to duplicate their recipe. When enjoying here in California, I always get their brisket and sausage. (And I can't remember if I've eaten any of their other meats.)
As an added incentive -- when you're ordering for a lot of people -- Rudy's offers free shipping for meat orders over $125.
The County Line: Legendary Bar-B-Q, Texas Hill Country
I discovered The County Line my first day working at Trilogy. There was a class in session and they'd had Texas BBQ catered for lunch. I'd never had smoked sausage before (you can't count Hickory Farms), but I was game. Their sausage with their sauce tops my list of favorite sausage.
Unlike Ironworks, I've tried every meat The County Line offers. Their brisket and sausage are my favorites. I've ordered and successfully reheated every one of their meats as they were one of the first Texas BBQ places to ship by air. This is the first year they aren't on our table--their shipping costs were over 4x anyone else's. Unsure if the high shipping costs are holiday specific.
Credits: All layouts designed by and images taken by Eden Hensley Silverstein for The Road to the Good Life.