How To Cook Like A Cowboy

The best part of the Lubbock, Texas Cowboy Symposium is the Chuck Wagon cook-off, where cooks use authentic antique wagons and tools to cook a cowboy feast. Here’s how to do it just like they did in the Old West.

1. First, get yourself a wagon built in the 1890s.

This one was for sale for $13,000.

2. The back of the wagon is your “chuck box” where you hold all your supplies.

3. You’ll need some antique cast iron cookware. This stuff is NOT cheap.

65 bucks for a used pan!

4. Use only authentic knives.

5. Eek this is a scary rusty cleaver.

6. Fire up the fire pit and put some Dutch ovens over it to heat up.

7. Use a special tool to lift the lids off the hot Dutch ovens.

Turns out a Dutch oven isn’t what I thought it was.

8. Use this coffee grinder attached to your wagon to grind your beans.

The owner of this wagon told me the coffee grinder was really hard to find — he looked in antique stores and auctions for a long time before finding this authentically old one.

9. Cook your coffee over the fire pit.

10. Melt butter over the fire.

11. Baste the butter over your biscuits.

12. Season steaks with salt & pepper and wack ‘em with a big hammer.

Tenderize those suckers!

13. Dip the steaks in flour.

14. Fry those bad boys up in some oil using a fry skimmer spoon.

This is being done by a guy named Wade, appropriately. He was the second Wade I met cooking at a chuck wagon.

15. Use slices of white bread to absorb grease while storing the steaks before serving.

Some people eat the slices of bread — covered in hot fry grease. Mmmmmmm….

16. You can use a cookbook if you want.

17. Ok, secretly you can use this, but try to keep it out of sight of the judges.

18. Use a tin can to cut perfect circles for the biscuits.

19. Crabapple cobbler, biscuits, and peach cobbler.

20. Oh heck yeah!

Chicken fried steak with gravy, biscuit, potatoes (with cheese and bacon) and beans.

21. Peach cobbler. Giddyup!

22. Whip up some “apple pie” shots.

23. Everclear is called for (it’s not legal in some states, including New York).

24. Recipe for Apple Pie Shots (you can tell I wrote it down after):

1 gal apple cider
1/2 gal apple juice
4-5 sticks cinnamon
3 cups sugar

Mix together and boil over an open flame, about 15 minutes.

When cool, add a fifth of Everclear. Chill overnight and serve. “Be safe and enjoy.”

26. Down the hatch!

27. If you do really well, you’ll win the big prize: a belt buckle.

Plus $700 for best overall food. You can win prizes for individual dishes too.

28. Now that you’re a big winner, sit back and relax!

All photos by Katie Notopoulos for BuzzFeed.

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