Only about a mile from “The Original” Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse, and maybe two miles from Dallas Love Field, sits a classic Dallas-area barbecue joint called Big Al’s Smokehouse BBQ. They’ve been there smoking meat over hickory wood since 1974. Given that history, and given some of their brisket cooking adjustments that Daniel Vaughn reported on in Texas Monthly a couple years ago (see below), I was very hopeful to have a great experience. And, happily, I was not disappointed. I of course went with the Texas Trinity of brisket, pork ribs and their jalapeño sausage. They also offer a huge variety of both hot and cold self-serve sides at Big Al’s, and I was happy to see one of my all-time favorites, creamed corn. So I got some of that along with baked beans.
- Brisket – As I mentioned above, Daniel Vaughn reported that Big Al’s changed their approach to brisket in 2013, after nearly 40 years of cooking them completely untrimmed and then removing fat and bark to serve. Thankfully the new approach of trimming the brisket before cooking and then not trimming the beautiful bark off has remained for the last 6 years. My slices of brisket were outstanding. They were very flavorful, had a great super-dark bark, with a solid smoke ring and fat that was well rendered.
- Pork Ribs – The pork ribs were absolutely wonderful. They use St. Louis-style spareribs at Big Al’s. And these had a great chewy bark and a nice finishing sauce/glaze with a bit of sweetness. The meat was perfectly cooked – nice and tender, and it pulled away from the bone, but without falling off.
- Jalapeño sausage – The sausage had a good grind with very visible and delicious chunks of jalapenos. There was a snap to the casing, and it wasn’t too chewy.
- Sides – The baked beans and creamed corn were good. They were nothing to write home about, but there was nothing to complain about either. They complemented the meat very nicely.
If you’re in the metro Dallas area anywhere near Love Field and haven’t tried Big Al’s Smokehouse BBQ, they are definitely worthy of a stop.