As you read this, Christmas is bearing down on all of us, a Yuletide freight train that doesn’t care if you’re still hunting for the perfect gifts for all of your friends and loved ones.
Now, are any of those people on your list barbecue junkies like your humble author? Have you ever listened to them pontificate as to why Texas barbecue is better than Kansas City, or why a smoke ring on your brisket really doesn’t matter? (Spoiler: it is and it doesn’t.)
Or maybe you’re shopping for someone who is just beginning their voyage into the world of smoked meats, but they are not quite to the point of taking barbecue road trips, obsessing over the perfect smoker and rocking a mildly unhealthy cholesterol level.
No matter how much smoke runs through their veins, we’ve put together a gift guide for the barbecue fan in your life, with just the perfect touch of local flavor.
Regardless of the level of experience, there’s something for everyone at Lockhart’s Smoke Camp. Students will get an up-close look at Lockhart’s operation, from smokehouse to cutting table. You’ll learn about spice rubs, picking out the perfect brisket and how to serve your barbecue masterpiece. There’s plenty of interaction, time for questions and answers, and, perhaps best of all, you get to chow down on Lockhart fare to boot. Who says learning isn’t fun?
If there’s a lesson we learned this year in our barbecue travels, it’s that Fort Worth’s barbecue scene is of the prime-grade variety. Oh, yeah, and there’s a burgeoning craft brewing scene in Cowtown, too. So it seems only natural to combine the brisket and beers into a day of adventure with the Barbecue and Brews Tour. Organized by the Fort Worth Visitor’s Bureau, you’ll sample some of the best barbecue Fort Worth has to offer, then wash it down with some killer suds. The next tour is Dec. 28 and kicks off from Wild Acre Brewing, and more tours take place throughout the year.
Matt Pittman is a bona fide barbecue celebrity, and his company Meat Church opened a new retail store in Pittman’s hometown of Waxahachie earlier this year. Popular Meat Church rubs include Holy Cow and Honey Hog, and legions of pitmasters swear by them. The Fab Five bundles Meat Church's most popular seasonings and will elevate your next homemade brisket, chicken or rack of ribs.
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It should go without saying that you shouldn’t put a steak into someone’s stocking, unless you live in an igloo. Nevertheless, spoil the carnivore on your list by sponsoring a visit to Deep Cuts, and let them work with one of the excellent butchers to pick out a splurge they can cook to perfection at home. Whether it's a tomahawk rib-eye or a wagyu brisket, Deep Cuts will have something for every taste.
We made a bold suggestion at the start of grilling season this year: Instead of a new grill or smoker, you should get a sous vide. We still stand by that recommendation. Best of all, winter time is perfect for sous vide, when the last thing you want to do is stand outside in the cold and tend to the grill. If the barbecue lover on your list has been curious, Anova’s NANO is the perfect entry into the sous vide game and the key to turning out dishes that will amaze.