Recipes | Texas Original Bar-B.Q. Pits


BBQ Mop Sauce

by Anthony Saragusa |

Makes |  About 5 cups    Prep Time |  30 Minutes

1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons black pepper - course
2 teaspoons American Chili Powder
1 tablespoon of butter*
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup Lone Star beer (or any other lager). Drink any that is left over. 
1/4 cup Ketchup
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons steak sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
cloves garlic, minced or pressed
Hot sauce to taste (start with 2 teaspoons of Tabasco sauce for mild heat)
2 cups beef, veal, or chicken stock


Note about the oil.  Butter or margarine work fine, but to make it authentic use rendered beef fat from the fatback of a brisket or use bacon fat. 

  1. Mix the paprika, black pepper, American chili powder, and cumin in a small bowl. 
  2. In a one quart saucepan, melt the butter or bacon fat and gently cook the onion over heat until translucent. 
  3. Add the garlic, bell pepper, and the spice mid you made in step (1). Stir, and cook for 2 minutes to extract the flavors. 
  4. Add the stock and the rest of the ingredients. Stir until well blended. Simmer on medium for 15 minutes. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for a month or so.

Texas Original Big Bad Brisket Rub

by Anthony Saragusa |

Makes |  About half a cup    Prep Time |  10 Minutes 

3 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper 
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoons mustard powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons chili or ancho powder
1 teaspoon chipotle or cayenne powder

About the black pepper. Lately I've been grinding my black pepper then sifting it. I use the coarse stuff and put the fine stuff in a pepper shaker. 
Chile Powders. I'm looking for complexity with two different flavors and two different levels of heat. American chili powders and ancho powders do not have a lot of heat, but good flavor. In fact, ancho is usually in a lot of American chili powders. Go with ancho if you can find it. It has a nice raisiny character. With chipotle or cayenne I'm after a kiss of heat. Chipotle has better flavor though...

  1. Mix the ingredients together in a bowl. Store the rub in a tightly sealed bottle in a dark place. It will slowly start to decline in quality but should be find up to a year later. Taste it first. 
  2. About the salt. Most foods, especially meats, need a bit of salt and this rub has no salt. Salt magnifies flavors and helps proteins retain moisture.  How much salt? About the same amount you would apply at the table. How much is that? Shoot for about 1/2 teaspoon per pound of meat and apply it heavier on thick spots. When possible, I like to apply the salt the day before, but even an hour or two is enough to get it moving inward.
  3. You can apply the rub in advance, some people like to apply it the night before.  Apply the rub just before cooking if you wish. Moisture and oils will mix with the spices and herbs, heat will work its magic on them, and all will be wonderful. I like to put down a thin layer of oil before the rub because many of the flavors in the rub are oil soluble. Spread the rub generously on beef brisket, not so thick on other, thinner cuts. 
  4. Also, be aware that the drippings from a salted meat for use in a gravy or jus will probably not need salting, so be sure to taste before you add salt. Remember, you can always add salt, but you can't take it away. 


Texas Original Chicken

by Anthony Saragusa |


1 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder 
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 whole chicken, halved
Applewood chips for smoking, as needed


In a medium size bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Rub the seasoning over both halves of the chicken. Cover the chicken with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour. 

Place wood chips in the smoking tray of the grill. If you don't have this option you can make a packet out of aluminum foil and punch a few holes in the top of it with a fork and place directly on the hot coals. 

Place the chicken on a hot grill over medium-heat with the meat side down. Grill over the wood chips for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Cover, this will keep in the smoke and prevent oxygen from igniting the smoking wood. After 30 minutes turn the chicken to its opposite side. The juices near the bone should run clear. 

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