Texas barbecue is rightfully famous throughout the world for its bold, slow-smoked flavors. In Texas, beef is the undisputed king with items ranging from tender brisket to smoky sausages. Brisket in Texas barbecue is generally seasoned with only salt and pepper, allowing the pure beefiness of the meat to shine.
While nothing beats the experience of eating Texas barbecue on location, there’s another option that’s now available without ever leaving the comfort of your home. Hutchins BBQ, a family-owned North Texas institution, is delivering a taste of its world-famous barbecue nationwide. As one of Texas Monthly “Top 50 BBQ Joints,” Hutchins BBQ offers a world-class barbecue experience without stepping foot into North Texas.
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The story of Hutchins BBQ first began in 1978 in Princeton, Texas. Founded by Roy Hutchins, this first location was known as Roy’s Smokehouse. The restaurant was a hit, eventually cementing itself as a beloved local institution. By 1991, Hutchins BBQ had outgrown the original store, prompting Roy to move to a larger location to expand his customer base. In 2006, Roy retired, passing the restaurant to his three sons, who proudly continue the Hutchins BBQ legacy.
But it hasn’t always been easy for Hutchins BBQ despite their consistent culinary success. In 2012, a fire destroyed the restaurant, devastating the business. However, Hutchins BBQ did not give up. Instead, they rebuilt, coming back stronger than ever. In 2013, their hard work was awarded when they were named one of Texas Monthly’s ‘Top 50 BBQ Joints in the World.” Currently, Hutchins Barbecue also has a location in Frisco, Texas, and recently brought in John Mueller, the grandson of famed pitmaster Louie Mueller to help them further grow their barbecue expertise.
Hutchins BBQ offers a variety of items that’s available for nationwide shipping. Besides their iconic brisket and sausages, they also offer sauces (Original, Tangy, and Basting Glaze), Brisket Seasoning Rub, Young Turkey Breast (one smoked young turkey breast seasoned with homemade rub), and Texas Twinkies (bacon-wrapped jalapeño peppers filled with cream cheese and brisket).
A great way to sample the menu at Hutchins BBQ is the Texas Feast. This generous pack comes with a whole brisket, one pack of Jalapeño Sausage, one pack of Texas Sausage plus sauces (two Original and one Tangy). This feast is generous enough to feed up to 20 people.
The star of the show at Hutchins BBQ is undoubtedly the brisket. To start, each brisket at Hutchins BBQ is certified USDA Prime and wet-aged for 45 days before being seasoned and smoked for 18 hours. There are two sizes available for shipping — the whole brisket (6 pounds) and the half brisket (3-pound average).
The flavor of this brisket is smoky and very peppery due to the plentiful amount of black pepper on the outer bark of the meat. Because brisket is so rich, a half brisket is hearty enough to serve five to six people (especially with side dishes). Reheating is also simple — just defrost the brisket and wrap tightly in foil before placing it in a 250-degree Fahrenheit oven.
So how does it taste? For a packaged, reheated item, this brisket is very good. Because it’s pre-cooked and packaged, it won’t be as juicy as a fresh brisket. But for a reheated barbecue item, the brisket is high quality enough that it definitely hits those barbecue notes. The smoke flavor is also prevalent without being overpowering and will satisfy anyone craving authentic Texas barbecue. Just be sure not to skip the recommended step of adding butter slices to the brisket during the reheating process. The butter will help to keep the brisket moist while in the oven. Also, be mindful to use unsalted butter as the crust of the brisket is already well-seasoned. Salted butter will make the meat far too salty.
Jalapeño Cheddar Sausage
The first thing that’s apparent about these barbecue sausages is the size — much thicker and heartier than store-bought sausages. Each package of pre-smoked sausage is 2.5 pounds and generous enough to feed four to six people. In some ways, these sausages heat up better than the brisket. Because sausages contain lots of fat and are pre-blended with spices, sausages don’t lose as much texture and juiciness during the reheating process as a whole piece of meat. Like the size, the flavor of these Jalapeño Sausages is not dainty, packing plenty of meaty texture, smoke, and flavor. The cheddar in the sausage blend also adds an extra layer of savoriness and the jalapeños themselves aren’t overpoweringly spicy. These sausages are best served sliced into thick pieces and eaten with side dishes or bread. But if you’re particularly hungry, feel free to eat the sausage whole wedged in a bun.
The first thing you’ll notice about the barbecue sauce at Hutchins is that it is thin compared to more commercial brands. For those expecting a thick, sticky-sweet barbecue sauce, Hutchins Original sauce is runny, with a consistency akin to a salad vinaigrette. The flavor of the sauce is also not overly sweet and devoid of the overwhelming ketchup-based taste of store-bought brands. Rather, the subtle sweetness in the sauce is balanced with the pronounced tartiness of vinegar and fruity tamarind pulp. It’s also slightly spicy and peppery with a satisfying umami courtesy of a surprise ingredient — anchovies. This is a great barbecue sauce for people who aren’t a fan of overly sweet sauces.
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