Sign up for our free newsletter
OK, before all you Carolinians get bent out of shape, let me clarify: We are, for all intents and purposes, talking about the best Texas-style barbecue here. I’ve yet to find any Carolina-style ’cue around these parts worth bragging about, including the vaunted Dixie Bones in Woodbridge, which everyone seems to love, even if everyone fails to realize that DB’s focus is farther south, in Alabama. But I digress. For a real taste of smoked brisket, Central Texas–style, you should hop in the car and head to Texas Ribs and BBQ in Clinton, down in southern Prince George’s County. Owner Danny Sager—tragically born in West Virginia, though his barbecue heart lies squarely in Texas—added brisket to his menu just a few years ago. But he’s already turning out smoky, succulent slices of the stuff. Sager rubs his briskets with a sugar-heavy concoction (cut with cayenne, salt, and sage) and then slow-cooks the meat for 16 hours in a Southern Pride smoker fueled with red-oak logs. Once taken from the smoker, the nicely charred briskets are trimmed and sliced so that a thin layer of fat cap remains. That may horrify some of you health nuts, but let me tell you: It makes for one tasty brisket.