We love it when some kick-butt blog creation and smart blog marketing catapults a normal, well-read blog into the big-time publishing atmosphere. And that’s exactly what’s happening in the world of Texas barbecue.
Laugh all you want, but blogging about which Lone Star State establishment has the best ribs is serious business for barbecue bloggers. Since 2008, a crowd of proud “barbecue nerds” have put Texas back on the culinary map.
“When we first started out there was no real chatter or blogging going on about barbecue,” says Drew Thornley, founder of BBQ blog ManUpTexas. “Now there’s a wave of enthusiasm sweeping Central Texas, and we’re riding that wave.”
Thornley even believes the state is in the middle of a “barbecue renaissance” — and judging by the response of the publishing world, he may be right.
Daniel Vaughn is another Texas barbecue blogger with credentials that are nothing to sniff at. Even Anthony Bourdain calls Vaughn “the Yoda of Barbecue.” For years, Vaughn has chronicled his love for barbecue —along with his every meal at Texas smokehouses — for readers of his blog, Full Custom Gospel BBQ. His blog leaves no stone unturned as he visits and reviews hundreds of BBQ joints. Now under the curation of Bourdain himself, Harper Collins imprint ECCO will publish a comprehensive guide to Texas barbecue restaurants as written by Vaughn. His book, The Prophets of Smoked Meat, is a “passionate full-color tour through and definitive guide to the best of classic Texas barbecue” which features reviews on 450 restaurants, recipes and fool-proof techniques.
Thanks to social media, blogs like Thornley’s and Vaughn’s are highly-followed glimpses into Texas barbecue culture. A documentary and two more books on the subject are due out in the next few months as well.
Amidst the talk of sauces and smokiness, these blogs are proof of what we preach here often: Be passionate for what you blog about and the rest of the world is bound to eat it up.