Author

Daniel Vaughn

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Daniel Vaughn is the author of The Prophets of Smoked Meat: A Journey Through Texas Barbecue, the coauthor of Whole Hog BBQ: The Gospel of Carolina Barbecue, and the barbecue editor at Texas Monthly. He has traveled the world sampling smoked meats at over 1,800 barbecue joints, most of which are in Texas.

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June 8, 2017

BBQ News: 06/02 – 06/08

Take a trip to BBQ Camp: What’s barbecue camp like? @gregmorago @alisoncook + @jcreidtx discuss in this week’s BBQ State of Mind podcast: https://t.co/Rf3Q33R3rA — Jody Schmal (@jodyschmal) June 7, 2017   Tales from the Pits, a new podcast about…

BBQ Joint Reviews |
June 1, 2017

Stillwater Barbeque (Top 50)

“Matt’s gone to feed the governor,” Emily Hall told us on our visit. She was referring to Matt Proctor, the founding pitmaster of Stillwater, who’d been summoned to Austin to grill for a cohort of visiting Aussies. But Hall, Proctor’s twenty-year-old apprentice, handled the pit with aplomb. The beef ribs…

BBQ Joint Reviews |
June 1, 2017

Evie Mae’s Pit Barbeque (Top 50)

Evie Mae’s shiny new strip-center spot has been open a little more than a year, but visitors from nearby Lubbock don’t seem to miss the food truck (conveniently, the new place is about a quarter mile from the old location). An early arrival meant we not only avoided a wait…

BBQ Joint Reviews |
June 1, 2017

Flores Barbecue (Top 50)

When you see a red, white, and blue “BBQ” flag, you know you’ve arrived. Parked in a tiny patch of grass next to a hair salon, Michael Wyont’s popular trailer has been open for less than a year. On a stormy morning, we were grateful to be handed a sample…

BBQ Joint Reviews |
June 1, 2017

Harris Bar-B-Que (Top 50)

A backyard warrior during his younger days in Oak Cliff, Kelvin Harris spent his downtime as a maintenance worker in an aircraft mechanic shop studying videos of the state’s barbecue masters on his phone. Eventually he opened his own place. When early critics of his otherwise stellar brisket suggested he’d…

BBQ Joint Reviews |
June 1, 2017

Stanley’s Famous Pit Bar-B-Q (Top 50)

In 2009 Nick Pencis—a rock and roll drummer, two-time business-school dropout, and owner of Stanley’s—had an epiphany. He had driven all the way to Lockhart to eat at the legendary joint Smitty’s and, in his words, “to try to figure out the true meaning of barbecue.” Walking past Smitty’s floor…

BBQ Joint Reviews |
June 1, 2017

Tejas Chocolate & Barbecue (Top 50)

Scott Moore and his partner, Michelle Holland, had a problem: their bean-to-bar chocolate business had a loyal following but not enough revenue. So they rented the oldest building in Tomball, roped in Scott’s brother, Greg (who just so happened to be a chef), and opened the most unexpected barbecue outfit…

BBQ Joint Reviews |
June 1, 2017

Louie Mueller Barbecue (Top 50)

Many a barbecue joint is named the Shack. Louie Mueller could be the Court. Not only is its building a former basketball court/gymnasium, its place in the history of Texas barbecue is unquestionably regal. Its ownership is a dynasty—founded by Louie Mueller in 1949, passed down to his son Bobby…

BBQ Joint Reviews |
June 1, 2017

Corkscrew BBQ (Top 50)

Moving into a brick-and-mortar from a cute but cramped trailer was a blessing for owners Will and Nichole Buckman. Their numbering system is a blessing for customers, who can now hang out and avoid the line. It’s pleasant inside the new digs, with touches like canning jars 
for light covers…

BBQ Joint Reviews |
June 1, 2017

Hays Co. Bar-B-Que (Top 50)

You might find yourself pulling in here after a long stretch on I-35, not expecting much. Michael and Asenette Hernandez’s place sits on the frontage road alongside other restaurants you’ve probably never heard of. But two steps inside the door, you’re hit by a flood of rich meaty aromas and…

BBQ Joint Reviews |
June 1, 2017

The Granary ‘Cue & Brew (Top 50)

From the outside, the Granary looks like hipster barbecue. The place inhabits a remodeled nineteenth-century house across the street from the brewery building in the Pearl development, with its pricey condos and upscale bakery. Inside, the place is sheathed in dark wood paneling and lit with filament bulbs. At one…

BBQ Joint Reviews |
June 1, 2017

2M Smokehouse (Top 50)

In 2015 Esaul Ramos left San Antonio for Austin and became the lead pitmaster at La Barbecue. Now he’s back in his hometown with a barbecue joint of his own. 2M Smokehouse opened last year and quickly gained traction. Ramos could have done a La Barbecue copycat, but he went…

BBQ Joint Reviews |
June 1, 2017

Pody’s BBQ (Top 50)

It took the whole family to transform an abandoned laundromat into a barbecue destination. Inside you’re likely to find Pody Campos’s wife, Veronica, or his mother, Margaret Franco, tending the pits. Even his aunt, Erma Soto, helps out sometimes. They need to, because while Campos’s passion is smoking meat, he…

BBQ Joint Reviews |
June 1, 2017

Killen’s Barbecue (Top 50)

Owner Ronnie Killen is first and foremost a chef. That training shows in sides (say yes to creamed corn), in desserts that exceed the norm (croissant bread pudding with tres leches sauce), and his restless quest for meaty perfection. One example is a recent dry-aged-brisket kick—yep, like dry-aged steaks. Not…

BBQ Joint Reviews |
June 1, 2017

The Smoking Oak (Top 50)

After graduating from college, Mario Dominguez Jr. moved home to Mercedes, in the Rio Grande Valley, to join his family’s insurance agency. He enjoyed having his mama’s cooking once again, but he also found himself intrigued by Central Texas barbecue. After many barbecue “research” trips, he built a brick pit…

BBQ Joint Reviews |
June 1, 2017

Hutchins BBQ (Top 50)

Four decades ago, when Tim Hutchins’s father first started serving food in far north Texas, catfish was king and his smoked meats were almost an afterthought. But along the way, the barbecue evolution happened, and now it’s tough to find a hotter ’cue operation anywhere north of Dallas. Wood-paneled walls…

BBQ Joint Reviews |
June 1, 2017

Smolik’s Smokehouse (Top 50)

Just off Interstate 37, Smolik’s second location (the 1989 original is downtown) is worth a detour. On our stroll up to the counter, we perused vintage knickknacks and newspaper clippings lauding the proud Czech family’s history of smoking meat in South Texas since 1928. They throw some beef fat right…

BBQ Joint Reviews |
June 1, 2017

City Market; Luling (Top 50)

The smoke room at City Market is worthy of a barbecue-lover’s bucket list. Tucked inconspicuously in the back right-hand corner of the building, its dark windows don’t let on about the meat magic happening behind them, but, boy, is it. The brisket on a recent visit was moist and flavorful,…

BBQ Joint Reviews |
June 1, 2017

Bodacious Bar-B-Q (Top 50)

Jordan Jackson graduated from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, in Austin, in 2011, but he never wanted to be a chef. He moved back home to East Texas, honed his smoking chops at Stanley’s, in Tyler, and then made his move. In 2015, he took over the location…

BBQ Joint Reviews |
June 1, 2017

Kreuz Market (Top 50)

We didn’t see pitmaster Roy Perez and his famous muttonchop sideburns on our last visit to the Lockhart institution, but the rest was reassuringly familiar. Rows of picnic tables ushered us back to a long, hallowed hall, and we soon found ourselves in a happy haze of post oak smoke.

BBQ Joint Reviews |
June 1, 2017

Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que (Top 50)

“Blood makes you related, but barbecue makes you family,” said the camo-clad guy to a young boy across from him at our long communal table. It was three o’clock on a Saturday, but the bare-bones place was humming like Grand Central Station, nearly every table populated by smoked-meat devotees from…

BBQ Joint Reviews |
June 1, 2017

Snow’s BBQ (Top 50)

It’s early morning and the air is not yet blistering, so you roll the car windows down. You turn off the highway onto a farm road and meander through pastures and farmland, anticipation growing with every mile. Thirty minutes later you arrive in the micropolis of Lexington (population 1,200) and…

BBQ Joint Reviews |
June 1, 2017

Joseph’s Riverport Bar-B-Cue (Top 50)

Riverport is a quintessential small-town barbecue joint, sitting on a corner in a charming East Texas town. After the place burned to the ground five years ago, the city rallied around owner Stephen Joseph. When he could barely make a profit in this secluded small town, the townspeople stepped up…

BBQ Joint Reviews |
June 1, 2017

Roegels Barbecue Co. (Top 50)

Husband-and-wife owners Russell and Misty Roegels have been operating at this location since 2001, but three years ago they said goodbye to their Baker’s Ribs franchise and went their own way. Their hallmark is pepper—lots of it. The bark on the brisket and beef rib is a thing of black…

BBQ Joint Reviews |
June 1, 2017

The Pit Room (Top 50)

The smoked meats hanging under heat lamps might remind you of a Chinese barbecue restaurant, but the Pit Room’s culinary heritage is rooted in Texas and Mexico. They even make their own tortillas here, using fat drippings from the brisket. One of the secrets of the joint’s exceptional quality is…

BBQ Joint Reviews |
June 1, 2017

Pinkerton’s Barbecue (Top 50)

When you go to Pinkerton’s, you are going to Grant’s house. No, really, he lives upstairs. It’s a family affair in more ways than one, because his parents help run things too (though they live elsewhere), and his mom does the baking. The smoking technique is a bit unusual, because…

BBQ Joint Reviews |
June 1, 2017

Gatlin’s BBQ (Top 50)

Pitmaster Greg Gatlin used to be a defensive back at Rice, which was no doubt good mental training for running a barbecue business. He upgraded his highly successful operation a couple of years ago from a small house to new digs with more than four thousand square feet of space.