Austinites sure are putting their money where their mouths are — jam packed with ribs and brisket, like God intended. In a contest of sorts, judged in retrospect by transaction processing app Square, the capital city outspent Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio on ribs and brisket.
Square released data from its year-to-date sales on June 20 via press release, exposing how different Texas cities budget for barbecue favorites.
Austin spent significantly more on brisket ($1.1 million) than on ribs ($365,600), cementing that brisket is the heart of Austin barbecue even if ribs are a much lower risk at an unknown or inconsistent barbecue joint. We eat brisket at hotels, in ramen, and especially with beer. This writer is a little offended that turkey — one of the safest, most consistent choices on the chopping block — is once again overlooked, with no data available.
It’s a real sausage party in Houston, though, which pulled ahead in the sausage category. In fact, Houston spent nearly double what Austin spent in that category. What do Houston pit masters know about sausage making that Austin’s don’t? With the very German heritage of the Hill Country, you’d think San Antonio would be swimming in links, but it spent the least out of everyone.
In fact, the only area where San Antonio spent more than anyone was in buying brisket, where it outspent Dallas by more than 100 percent. Perhaps the real question is what does Dallas have against brisket? Austin spent almost exactly four times as much. And why is San Antonio so uninterested in ribs that you could get a medium-tier luxury car for the same amount: $60,900.
Cost of living may factor into these spending habits, although according to NerdWallet, all four cities are relatively close. Dallas is the most expensive, followed closely by Dallas, while Houston and San Antonio lag further behind.
Despite this cost-of-living distribution, Dallas and San Antonio (the highest and the lowest) spent about the same across all categories combined: about $1.2 million and $1 million, respectively. Austin and Houston spent way more in total: about $2 million and $2.2 million.
Because of this across-the-board big spending, Houston was one of the top two spenders in every category. And there’s something inspiring about that approach: no matter what your favorite meat is, just get as much barbecue as you can.