What is considered “traditional” BBQ is sometimes left to public opinion. If you are a follower of the more recent narrative on Texas BBQ, you might be under the assumption that beef brisket has always been king. In fact many BBQ places in Texas are judged by the Holy Trinity of Texas BBQ – Brisket, Sausage, and Pork Ribs.
In a recent interview, John Fullilove, grandson of Edgar Schmidt, and owner of Smitty’s gives a different history. Smitty’s which was started in 1948 is one of the major institutions of Texas BBQ. These days people line up for their brisket. Growing up, Fullilove (shy of 40) noted that back then the most popular items were their clod (beef shoulder), sausage, and smoked pork chops. Thus only the sausage is an constant in Texas BBQ. The now justifiably popular brisket and pork ribs is far from “traditional” and have only really seen a surge in popularity in the past 10 years or so.
I started a nice little discussion on this at the BBQ forums. You can read it all HERE