View Full Version : Has anyone tried the Salt Lick BBQ method?

12-13-2015, 07:50 PM
It looks like they high heat smoke their Briskets to an IT of 165, refrigerate, and then finish them later to probe tender.

At first I thought this was just an easy way to run a production kitchen, but it seems there's a train of thought that the refrigeration process adds to or changes the flavor profile.

I understand both beef and pork ribs are done in a similar way.

I love BBQ leftovers and people think I'm crazy when I say I prefer it the day after. I always thought maybe this was because after cooking all day you're a bit numb to the flavors, but maybe there's more to it.

12-13-2015, 07:56 PM

12-13-2015, 08:02 PM
Not sure they would admit it but them refrigerating is to better manage their products not to turn out a better product. JMO but it makes sense

12-13-2015, 08:04 PM
Yea I seen that the other day. You might be on to something about it being smokier after a night in the refrigerator. I have eaten their and really liked the bbq. I was really surprised the way they did it.

Here is the show...
The Salt Lick BBQ in Texas - YouTube

smoke ninja
12-13-2015, 08:13 PM
I sorta did this by accident awhile back.

I fell asleep on a prime packer brisket somewhere around the stall. By the time woke it had to be recooked, this time til tender. Brisket still came out fine.

As to the next day theory i have heard this before with things like chili, pot roast, spaghetti and such. Personally there are few things in this world i find more enjoyable than eating Q straight from the cutting board.

12-13-2015, 08:21 PM
Since I don't know where you saw this, I have to ask....how/where do they reheat?

12-13-2015, 10:45 PM
My mother always said if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything. But I have to speak up. I really hope I don't offend anyone. The last time I was there I spent $18 on lunch and determined that I really don't like The Salt Lick. Their brisket is mediocre at best, and the last time I had ribs there, they were like eating sawdust. It is hard to make a dry sparerib but they succeeded. IMHO the most over rated BBQ spot in Texas. Just one more reason I like to stay home and make my own Q.

Now with that being said I am sure refrigeration probably does affect flavor profiles as it lets fats solidify in the meat and those fats may very well have the smoke flavors. This could act as a marinade of sorts till heated to probe tender. Just a guess but I could see it making a difference.

Fillmore Farmer
12-14-2015, 01:58 AM
Doug, GREAT subject and certainly something to consider and chat about, thanks for bringing this to the forum!

Yeah, some things are great or even better the day after....this is certainly the case with chili and other foods. I would highly suspect that the exposure to heat and subsequent time cooling helps breakdown not only the meat but also the seasoning....on a molecular level I'm sure there's all sorts of things going on!

Perfect example is my smoked salmon. I brine the salmon, expose it to smoke and then finish on the grill. It's a more elaborate process but here's my point: when it comes off the grill it's warm and has hardly any noticeable smoke flavor....but put it in the frig and the next morning the results are FANTASTIC...the smoke flavor is huge and there's buttery oil all over each piece as it flakes apart: forget eating it off the grill, it's definitely a next-day cold-eaten item!

I think we both know what it really comes down to...we can speculate till the cows come home but in the end we just need to try different approaches and compare results. I'm not familiar with Salt Lick or that process but I'm certain there is something to multi-stage cooking and there's plenty of interesting chemical reactions happening throughout the process.....but bear in mind you my gain some flavor and moisture in one area but end-up sacrificing something in another area....such as that off-the-grill char taste that is lost if not eaten within an hour.

This BBQ affliction of ours, it's frustrating and fantastic all at the same time, no doubt! :biggrin1:

12-14-2015, 02:57 AM
The Texas Monthly crew wrote that Black's BBQ does something similar. They cook on a Southern Pride running only wood, then wrap and refrigerate and finish on the brick pit a day or two later. (http://www.tmbbq.com/blacks-barbecue-2013/ It's stated in the review a bit down the page.)

I cannot personally confirm, but I'll say that if they do use this method, it works wonderfully IMO. Black's is one of my favorite places and one of the reasons I like their Q is because it's right at my upper level for smoke amount and character. I've wanted to try it, but haven't had the opportunity yet.

12-14-2015, 06:13 AM
Salt Lick is more of a side show than good bbq. I went to Austin for a work trip last year and my company took a whole bunch of us out to the Salt Lick for a dinner, particularly because I am such a bbq freak. Honestly, the sausage is good.

I asked for burnt ends, they were nothing more than overcooked point that was dry and bitter with creosote, the slices varied in doneness and also tasted bitter from the post oak they use. Maybe that is how they do it in Texas, but I was not impressed, it got a 6 out of 10 on my scale for a restaurant. Now, Franklins, well, that is another world of goodness. Salt Lick, meh.

12-14-2015, 06:28 AM
Interesting video. I really have no comment good or bad as I have never eaten there, just a couple observations. Watching their process and the way they finish on that open pit one wonders how the finished product could not at a bare minimum at least taste good for the most part let alone unpalatable for some but everybody has their own tastes. I would certainly try the place if ever in the area just to make my own judgement.

One other thing of note was the brisket. When they guy slices it, it is no doubt dripping with juices However, I couldn't make out even a hint of a smoke ring. I know that's way more of a presentation thing than a taste thing, like I said, just an observation.