Jessica Huff

Articles by Jessica Huff

A Q&A With John Spong

Jan 21, 2013 By Jessica Huff

The senior editor on why the Alamo is so important, how Fess Parker and Davy Crockett sparked a phenomenon in the fifties, and what Phil Collins is really like.

A Q&A With Nate Blakeslee

Dec 1, 2011 By Jessica Huff

The senior editor on why Texas has taken the lead in fighting new EPA air pollution regulations and what will become the fuel of choice for the next generation of power plants in Texas and around the country.

TMBBQFest, “23 Pitmasters in 23 Days:” Smitty’s Market

Oct 29, 2011 By Jessica Huff

Editor’s Note: Just one more day until the Texas Monthly BBQ Festival! As you surely know by now, we’ve been interviewing all the featured pitmasters, with questions from TM staffers, esteemed BBQ experts, Twitter followers and you, the readers of this blog. Today we’re featuring John A. Fullilove, 38 , of Smitty’s Market…

TMBBQFest, “23 Pitmasters in 23 Days”: City Meat Market

Oct 24, 2011 By Jessica Huff

Editor’s Note: The Texas Monthly BBQ Festival is almost here! Each day until then, we’ll be talking to one of the featured pitmasters, with questions from TM staffers, esteemed BBQ experts, Twitter followers and you, the readers of this blog. Today we're featuring Gerald Birkelbach, 55, of City Meat Market in Giddings. For more info, visit their page on TMBBQ.com. Photographs by Daniel Vaughn. What is your heat source? Post oak. Who did you learn your craft from? I learned it right here with on the job training starting 37-and-a-half years ago to be exact. What’s your signature meat? I think our signature meat is the pork Boston butt and the pork ribs. Sauce or no sauce? It is offered, yes. I do it both ways though to be perfectly honest. It depends on how I feel. We also make a jalapeno pepper sauce that’s on the tables and if I want sauce I’ll use that over BBQ sauce.

TMBBQFest, “23 Pitmasters in 23 Days:” Baker’s Ribs

Oct 19, 2011 By Jessica Huff

Editor’s Note: The Texas Monthly BBQ Festival is almost here! Each day until then, we’ll be talking to one of the featured pitmasters, with questions from TM staffers, esteemed BBQ experts, Twitter followers and you, the readers of this blog. Today we bring you Joe Duncan, 61, of Baker's Ribs in Dallas, Garland, Mesquite, Rowlett, Greenville, Canton, Houston, Weatherford, Rowlett, and even Eden Prairie, Minnesota. For more info, visit their page on TMBBQ.com. Photo courtesy Daniel Vaughn What is your heat source? Hickory wood. Who did you learn your craft from? I did an internship with Roland Lindsey but I taught myself quite a few things. I just learned some smoking techniques and what not there. What’s your signature meat? Well, obviously ribs. You know what the name of my restaurant is right?

TMBBQFest, “23 Pitmasters in 23 Days:” Opie’s BBQ

Oct 13, 2011 By Jessica Huff

Editor’s Note: The Texas Monthly BBQ Festival is almost here! Each day until then, we’ll be talking to one of the featured pitmasters, with questions from TM staffers, esteemed BBQ experts, Twitter followers and you, the readers of this blog. Today we bring you Marco Oglesby, 30, of Opie's BBQ in Spicewood. For more info, visit their page on TMBBQ.com. Photo by Daniel Vaughn Who did you learn your craft from? To be honest, before I started working at Opie’s, I never used smoker before. I used a backyard circle grill with my dad, but when I worked at a gas station I became friend’s with the owner of Opie’s; when they had a spot open up, I jumped at the opportunity to start working there. Mike, the pitmaster who was already there, taught me how to use the smoker, and that was pretty much how I started. I’ve always loved BBQ, and I was born and raised in Austin, so I’ve just always cooked it. What's your signature meat? I like everything we cook. However, I’d say our most popular meat is our sweet and spicy baby back ribs. Sauce or no sauce? No, I don’t use sauce. The baby back ribs are the only thing we cook with sauce. But me personally? I think if you cook meat properly, the simpler the better. I prefer to taste the meat. Slow and low or high and fast(er)? We usually cook at about 250 degrees.We used to cook a bit hotter than that, but now we go low and slow. We do the briskets overnight, ribs for about three hours, and the chicken usually takes a couple hours.

TMBBQFest, “23 Pitmasters in 23 Days”: Cousin’s Bar-B-Q

Oct 11, 2011 By Jessica Huff

Editor’s Note: The Texas Monthly BBQ Festival is almost here! Each day until then, we’ll be talking to one of the featured pitmasters, with questions from TM staffers, esteemed BBQ experts, Twitter followers and you, the readers of this blog. Today we bring you Cliff Payne, 58, of Cousin's Bar-B-Q, which has six locations around the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, including two nestled inside DFW Airport. Cousin's sausage and beef ribs both won People's Choice at last year's festival. For more info, visit their page on TMBBQ.com. What kind of wood do you use? Green hickoryWho did you learn your craft from? My dad started in the restaurant business in 1967 when we opened a seafood restaurant in San Antonio. My dad would work about one hundred hours a week so we’d go to the restaurant to visit him, and if we went to the restaurant we had to work. I started when I was twelve. I went from scrubbing floors and peeling potatoes to helping cook. We did that for about fifteen years, then we decided in 1982 to get into the barbecue business. Dad learned it from Walter Jetton, he was the big barbecue man, and my dad worked part time for him. In ‘83 we opened in Fort Worth and have been doing it ever since.What’s the best thing you smoke? Well, brisket is our biggest seller and everyone loves our ribs, but each one of our products has something special about it. We’ve got the best chicken in Fort Worth and we make our own sausage that won in Austin last year. So probably brisket, ribs, chicken and then sausage.Sauce or no sauce? We put sauce on the side. All the barbecue I eat there’s no sauce on it though.Do you make your own sausage? Yes, in two styles, smoked German sausage and jalapeno pepper sausage. About twenty years ago we brought over a young man from Germany—a sausage master, and he got us in the right direction with the German sausage with some trial and error. Our other kind is a hot link, with jalapeno and cheddar in it, which won at the festival last year. People were really talking about that. We make everything in small batches because it is all hands-on. We don’t have the big equipment to mass produce it.