Smoke is mysterious, fire is uncertain, and pit men are expensive. So the mystery, uncertainty, and expense of taking the chance to make great barbecue is being replaced by the quantifiable methods of always making pretty good 'cue.

— Jim Shahin

Austin Chronicle

North Gulf Coast Tour

Year: 
2002

Pizzatolas CrewThis tour was run around Houston and surrounding coastal areas, down to nearly Victoria.  We hit 17 BBQ joints, 1 pub, 1 mexican restaurant, 1 ball park, and the seawall in 57 hours -- while covering over 650 miles.

We encountered two distinctive styles of barbecue this year. 1) Pecan-smoked barbecue was predominant
around the Houston area; and 2) East Texas barbecue smoked over indirect heat, using hickory.  We also found a
number of places using oak, while quite a few places using different mixes of oak, hickory, pecan, and or mesquite.

The BBQ crew compiled 844 individual scores which were tabulated to generate the ranking shown below. A few
interesting facts from the data:

  • It was a strong year for sausage with 14 of 17 sausage/hot link scores above 6.40
  • The top overall scores were lower this year, with no joint scoring above 7.50.  (Last year there were four, however they were in a fairly narrow score band)
  • The lowest overall score was above 4.00; last year it was 2.80
  • Only two joints scored lower than 5.50; last year there were four

Joints:

  1. Austin's Bar-B-Que, Eagle Lake
  2. Mustang Creek BBQ, Louise
  3. Hinze's Bar-B-Que, Wharton
  4. Williams Smoke House, Houston
  5. Scott's Barbecue West Columbia
  6. Kozy Kitchen, Houston
  7. Brian's BBQ
  8. Drexler's Bar-B-Que
  9. The Swinging Door
  10. Joe's Barbeque Co
  11. Grand Prize BBQ
  12. Carl's Barbecue
  13. Pizzitola's Bar-B-Cue
  14. Dozier's Grocery
  15. Queen's Barbecue
  16. Lyndon's Pit BBQ
  17. Goode Co Barbeque
AttachmentSize
2002 BBQ Scores.pdf11.57 KB
2002 BBQ Tour T-Shirt.pdf59.37 KB

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