“Navigating this continuing uncertainty requires more than Congress’s survival stop-gap measure that will help us limp into April.” — Brent Reaves of Smokey John’s Bar-B-Que in a Dallas Morning News op-ed.

2021 hasn’t been kind to Hutchins BBQ in McKinney, which is closed after a fire in the wee hours of New Year’s Day. The Frisco location remains open:

The Hutchins family has promised they’ll rebuild the restaurant as quickly as they can. They had to do the same after a 2012 fire. Investigators are still searching for a cause, but the sprinkler system and the fire department are credited with saving the building.

Despite the headline from KPRC in Houston, Texas Monthly has not released a new Top 50 barbecue list—yet. The list will drop later in 2021.

J.C. Reid investigates the supply and demand of meat market barbecue in late-nineteenth-century Texas.

Pepsi featured Off the Bone Barbeque in Dallas in a new ad slotted for the NFL playoffs:

Houston’s most highly anticipated restaurant openings of 2021, according to CultureMap Houston, include a northern outpost of Killen’s Barbecue, a new location of Feges BBQ, and J-Bar-M Barbecue with Willow Villareal running the pits. Both Houston and Dallas will get new locations of Austin’s Loro restaurant.

Himalaya restaurant, a stalwart of the Houston restaurant scene, is pairing its Indian recipes with barbecue from Daddy Duncan’s BBQ in Katy.

Gordon Ramsey is predictably impressed with Snow’s BBQ.

Alison Cook wrote that one of her ten best meals of 2020 was a barbecue platter from Harlem Road Texas BBQ in Houston.

From Iran to Switzerland to Los Angeles working for Wolfgang Puck, Ara Malekian of Harlem Road Texas BBQ has a unique barbecue backstory.

A look back on some strange Texas barbecue history:

In a surprise to no one, Chuck Blount finds differing opinions on the use of barbecue sauce in San Antonio.

They like their brisket juicy in Rockport, and that’s why locals visit Adrian Gutierrez at his Chew Chew BBQ truck.

Smoked chicken salad wrapped inside a massive flour tortilla is the star at the Shugabees Texas BBQ truck in Buda.

This is how #BrisketGate began way back on Christmas Eve:

We conducted our own #BrisketGate investigation, but Erica Grieder of the Houston Chronicle thinks we should let Senator Cornyn enjoy his brisket in peace.

The Shane Bell Band wrote a tune about Cornyn’s brisket, and it premiered on the Mark Davis show. Go to the 27-minute mark for the song.

Rob Cho of Kimchi Smoke in New Jersey explained what it took to keep his barbecue joint open during the pandemic, including running the restaurant alone.

Beef will be king in the form of smoked brisket and beef ribs when the Bain BBQ food truck, from Louise-bred Bryant Bain, rolls into Memphis.

Izzy’s smokes kosher brisket and beef ribs in NYC:

Ruby Red’s BBQ will open this year in the L.A. area. Owner Steve Williamson said it will be serving Texas style barbecue “with an influence from South Carolina and Memphis.” So is it still Texas-style?

I wouldn’t have seen this story without Robert Moss’s newsletter, but a columnist for the Free Lance-Star of Fredericksburg, Virginia, goes off after being served barbecue for Christmas dinner, calling the offense a sign that “we are on our way down the drain.”

We lost a legend, a.k.a. The Legend, Illinois pitmaster Mike Mills: