|Our first trip to Snow's BBQ in 2009 was a life-changing event for a group of friends. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)|
That question certainly doesn't rank with the great philosophical barbecue debates -- i.e., foil or butcher paper? -- but it is something we're pondering this week.
This is the 400th published post since we launched the Texas BBQ Posse blog in March of 2010, six and one-half years ago.
The initial post in our Barbecue Chronicles is still one of my favorites. It was about our first trip to the Central Texas barbecue heartland. We ate at Snow's, Louie Mueller Barbecue, Smitty's Market and Kreuz Market the same day.
"Think of the fullest you have ever been at a Thanksgiving meal, then multiply by two," Posse member Gary Barber said at the time.
And the trip coined what has become the guiding principle in all our travels: "Let the meat speak for itself," Posse co-founder Chris Wilkins said.
For barbecue fans, such wisdom is worthy of Socrates.
In the years since, the Posse has roamed a good portion of the state in search of great barbecue and found plenty, including a trip to Aaron Franklin's original Austin trailer operation in the autumn of 2010.
"Is this the best brisket in Texas?" we wondered then. In a close vote, yes, it was. Re-reading the post now makes me nostalgic. Eating at Franklin's little trailer was a truly wonderful experience.
That Franklin post remains the sixth most read in the history of the blog, which has totaled nearly 1.4 million page views overall.
The two most popular posts by far were by Marshall Cooper and Wilkins. They explain, in words and photos, how to smoke a great backyard brisket and how to use butcher paper to wrap brisket during a cook.
Together, those posts account for roughly 10 percent of the blog's total traffic. Weekends and holidays, as people get ready to fire up their smokers, they still get lots of readers.
So, on this milestone that someone is noticing, here are the top 10 posts (with links) in Posse blog history:
1. Pit talk: How to smoke a great backyard brisket.
2. Butcher paper wrapped brisket.
3. Tips for choosing a backyard smoker.
4. The thrill is gone from New Zion Missionary Baptist Church BBQ.
5. Road trip to Llano.
6. Franklin Barbecue -- Is this the best brisket in Texas?
7. Barbecue Chronicles: Back to East Texas.
8. First trip to 3 Stacks.
9. Map of the Posse's favorite joints.
10. Hipster pitmasters...a barbecue revolution.