This Brisket Chart is Pretty Cool. Thanks, Barbecue Snob

Slice of life. (Photography: Manny Rodriguez. Food stylist: Erin Quon Prop stylist: Kristen Butler)
Slice of life. (Photography: Manny Rodriguez. Food stylist: Erin Quon Prop stylist: Kristen Butler)

Carol is a sucker for pizza charts. I heart a brisket chart. This Brisket 101 illustration was printed in the February 2010 “Best Barbecue in Dallas” issue of D Magazine. The author is Daniel Vaughn. Interesting to see how the barbecue culture in Dallas has morphed.

Here is Daniel Vaughn’s take on everything you need to know before you put that perfect bite of beef in your mouth.

1. A well-smoked meat will have a thick crust. Pellets of black pepper or other spices indicate a rub has been used. Intense, smoky flavor resides here.

2. Cooking brisket slowly at a low temperature encourages the intramuscular fat to melt into the meat and create a silky texture.

3. Brisket “snot” forms when fat melts into the crust. It adds a sweet, sticky coating that is best experienced with fingers, not forks.

4. A pink to red colored smoke ring appears when an adequate amount of smoke is introduced and cooking temperatures are kept low.

5. A “sugar cookie” coating can form when a sugary rub caramelizes and combines with well-rendered fat.

Photography: Manny Rodriguez. Food stylist: Erin Quon Prop stylist: Kristen Butler