Interview with Chef Pete Daversa of Hill Country – New York, NY

June 2008

Which woods do you use? “I like to use Texas post oak for everything. It’s not too heavy and it’s not too light.”

Philosophy on Rubs: “Our philosophy is to keep it simple. We use salt, pepper, and cayenne. The point is to let the natural flavors of the beef or pork shine through. Personally, I’m a huge fan of chili powders and sugars.”

Philosophy on Sauces: “The only sauce we use is for chicken. (We do have a sauce at the restaurant and it’s called If You Gotta Have It.)”

Preferred Fuel: “We barbecue over gas assisted with some post oak. The temperatures inside the smoker are maintained using gas.”

Pete’s Barbecue Tips: “If you can’t use wood, cook your meat in an oven and keep it low and slow, like at 225°F, for as long as it takes. I’m not a fan of liquid smoke but if there’s no other way, that’s one alternative. Preparation wise, we stagger everything to make sure everything is cooked fresh the same day, and we never use old barbecue from the day before. We load the smoker with brisket twice a day and the other meats four times a day. Our maximum holding time for meat is about 2 hours.”