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Daniel Vaughn may be the most envied man in America right now. Not only is his book "The Prophets of Smoked Meat: A Journey Through Texas Barbecue" coming out next month as the debut title in the Anthony Bourdain Books line, he's also taking up a post as the barbecue editor of Texas Monthly magazine. It's the first position of its kind in the country, and the 35-year-old Ohio-born Vaughn left his job as an architect to pursue his fiery passion for smoked meat full time.
The self-proclaimed "BBQ snob" has eaten at over 600 barbecue joints across the nation. He makes it his business to sniff out the best of the best and help his carnivorous brethren avoid potential pitfalls along the way with reviews on his website Full Custom Gospel BBQ.
As such, Mr. Vaughn has a bone to pick with some commonly-held barbecue beliefs.
Five Barbecue Myths That Should Be Dispelled: Daniel Vaughn
1. Barbecue sauce is mandatory
Hugh Acheson said it best in his "Vinegar and Barbecue" article that ran in the Southern Foodways Alliance Gravy Newsletter #44, "...saccharine sauces do not complement meat cooked for hours, tended with care and precision over wood coals stoked with love and strength. That's like roasting a perfect chicken and serving it with a melted jelly bean sauce." Save the sauce for dipping your bread.
2. Grilling = BBQ
3. Fat is evil
Well-smoked fat is one of the joys of eating brisket, and its doneness is the best indicator of a well smoked brisket. If the fat's good, then the meat probably will be too.
4. Texans only know beef
5. "Falling off the bone" is a positive achievement
If we could rid society and advertisers everywhere of the notion that there are positive connotations that go along with "falling off the bone," then we will have won. There's no reason for those of us with teeth (or good dentures) to celebrate overcooked, mushy meat.
Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.
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