Big Horn BBQ, Pearland

Big Horn BBQ

2300 Smith Ranch Rd Pearland, TX

Review Date: 7-27-2013

Big Horn is a gas station, gift shop, and BBQ joint

Big Horn is a gas station, gift shop, and BBQ joint

Gas Station BBQ

Big horn BBQ is a combination gas station, gift shop, and BBQ joint similar to the Rudy’s BBQ chain. Unlike a chain, Big Horn is an independent joint. Opened in February of 2012 the large establishment sits on the feeder road of Highway 288 in Pearland, just south of Beltway 8.

Prior to stopping here we had just been to Killen’s and I had the pleasure of getting a nice hunk of burnt end. It was going to be hard to follow up and I was not particularly looking forward to eating here. We arrived at 1pm and the dining room had a decent number of people inside. I always get really nervous when I see an empty dining room but this one was busy enough to calm me a bit.

Antler light fixture and animal heads inside Big Horn BBQ

Antler light fixture and animal heads inside Big Horn BBQ

We ordered cafeteria style and settled on ½ pound of sliced beef and some banana pudding to try to cool us down from the summer heat. We were pretty full from the previous stop and had ordered on the conservative side. I do not have an unlimited budget, and I despise throwing away BBQ so if I think the BBQ may not be palatable I will tend to order just some brisket. Some professional websites have the budget to be able to order a three meat plate and more at every stop. I hope to get to that point one day but for now I order as much as my pocketbook allows with the occasional spurge. In the first four and half months of this endeavor I’ve spent over $1,400 just on the BBQ itself, and nearly that much again on fuel and maintenance for the motorcycle.

Once we sat down with our food I flipped open the Styrofoam container and examined the contents. A dark but thin bark led to a light smoke ring. Beyond that the meat was grey but moist. We each took a bite which included bark and our eyes popped a little.

A little brown sugar

Sweetness from brown sugar resulted in a pretty tasty bark, even if it could have used more smoke. I confirmed the brown sugar rub with a cashier, and she also told us that this was a mostly gassed brisket with some wood for smoke.  Once we got past the bark the flavor level dropped quickly, but overall this was a pleasant surprise and different enough from Killen’s peppery rub that we still enjoyed it. Of course I prefer wood smoked brisket, and the inner areas of meat were lacking flavor, but this was better than some of the wood smoker based joints I had visited recently. No this is not Texas Top 50 level, but its decent gas-assist brisket.

Brisket at Big Horn BBQ

Brisket at Big Horn BBQ

The banana pudding wasn’t stellar but served its purpose in trying to cool us down a little. We noticed the giant plate-sized cookies and I wanted to try one but I don’t think I would have found any room in our bellies. We also didn’t spend any time at the gift shop or the candy counter here.

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