Aaron Siegel, pitmaster and owner of Fiery Ron’s Home Team BBQ, has organized a barbecue trip with his crew to Texas to research brisket. Jealous? Don’t worry, you can live vicariously through their exclusive posts here on the City Paper’s Eat blog. The first installment awaits:

Traditionally, most folks would say that Europe is the culinary center of the world and France is the capital. France, rich with tradition, is where the fundamentals of classical cooking were born. But when we talk about barbecue, the American south is to smoking meats as Europe is to the development of modern cuisine. With all due respect to places like Eastern North Carolina and Memphis, Tenn., Austin, Texas may be considered the Paris of barbecue.

Tomorrow, the boys (executive chef Taylor Garrigan, music and entertainment director Tony McKie, manager Sean Daniher, chefs Madison Ruckel and James Lasher) and I will be heading out for a four-day trip where we will fly into Austin and try to cover as much barbecue ground as possible between Tuesday afternoon and Friday afternoon.   

It’s a 72-hour quest to hit as many joints in Austin and the surrounding areas as six dudes and a minivan can possibly muster. We’ll be standing in line at some of Austin’s best barbecue shacks, hoping they don’t sell out before we make it to the counter.

After getting our grub on in Austin, we will mosey on to places like Taylor, Elgin, Driftwood, Luling, and Lockhart where you will find several of the state’s best barbecue spots within miles of each other. The Home Team crew hopes to hit about 10 to 15 spots in about three days. We’ll be focusing on Franklin BBQ, Louis Mueller BBQ, City Market BBQ, The Salt Lick, and John Mueller’s Meat Market to name a few. 

It’s going to take some endurance, but we’ve been training for this challenge for a long time. When one spends most of their days working hard at a maddening pace, it’s nice to stop and take a deep breath. We are choosing to make that a deep breath of Texas smoke this time. We plan to soak it all in and bring a little bit of our experience back to our places in West Ashley and on Sullivan’s Island and who knows, maybe it will translate into a new Home Team BBQ concept — downtown Charleston perhaps?  For the next few days, we will be blogging and posting pictures of some of the finest barbecue in the country as we look for inspiration in the heart of Central Texas. We hope you’ll join in on the ride as the Home Team boys go messin’ with Texas.

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