Pitmaster Interviews

BBQ |
September 11, 2013

Interview: Jim McLennan of Hashknife on the Chisholm

Big Jim with his smoker. Photo by Nicholas McWhirter Owner/Pitmaster: Hashknife on the Chisholm, opened 2006 Age: 51 Smoker: Gas-fired Rotisserie Smoker Wood: Oak and pecan Jim McLennan and his wife have run a barbecue joint at the southwest corner of highways 281 and 284 for over a decade. Shortly after he bought…

BBQ |
September 4, 2013

Interview: Israel “Pody” Campos of Pody’s BBQ

Owner/Pitmaster: Pody’s BBQ, opened 2011 Age: 38 Smoker: Various indirect heat steel pits Wood: Post Oak, Cherry, Pecan, and Mesquite A few weeks back someone tweeted to me that they’d spotted Israel “Pody” Campos in line at Pecan Lodge in Dallas. That’s a long way from his home in Pecos. I tried to…

BBQ |
August 28, 2013

Interview: Gaylan Marth of Big Boys Bar-B-Que

Photo by Nicholas McWhirter Owner/Pitmaster: Big Boys Bar-B-Que, opened 2000 Age: 57 Smoker: Direct heat steel pits Wood: Mesquite I’ve been out to Sweetwater twice for Gaylan Marth’s barbecue at Big Boys. The first time I was with my wife and kids. They stayed in the car while I got a to-go order.

BBQ |
August 21, 2013

Interview: Kenny Hatfield of Hatfield’s Barbecue

Owner/Pitmaster: Hatfield’s BBQ, opened 2013 Age: 53 Smoker: Wood-fired rotisserie pit Wood: Oak and mesquite No sooner had we put the original Hatfield’s BBQ in the Top 50, than a disagreement between partners meant he was out of the business. We wrote about the controversy while Kenny was still between the…

BBQ |
August 14, 2013

Interview: Mr. Bewley of A. N. Bewley Fabricators

Photo by Jeff Bergus This is an extended version of an interview with Mr. Bewley that ran in the New York Times on August 4th. I visited with Mr. Bewley in his house along with his daughter Rhonda and her husband Larry Lewis who now runs…

BBQ |
August 7, 2013

Interview: David Longoria of Longoria’s BBQ

Owner/Pitmaster: Longoria’s BBQ, opened 1995 Age: 50 Smoker: Wood-fired lazy-susan style smokers Wood: Post oak and pecan David Longoria runs a joint started by his parents in a small town just south of Fort Worth. On the other side of town is Hickory Stick Barbecue which is owned and operated by Mark…

BBQ |
July 31, 2013

Interview: Alan Caldwell of Fargo’s Pit BBQ

Owner/Pitmaster: Fargo’s Pit BBQ, opened 2000 Age: 50 Smoker: Wood-fired offset pit Wood: Oak with a bit more mixed in As we sat at a table inside Fargo’s Pit BBQ in Bryan, I asked owner and pitmaster Alan Caldwell if I could see his pit. He said no. In…

BBQ |
July 17, 2013

Interview: John Lewis of La Barbecue

Owner/Pitmaster: La Barbecue; Opened 2012 Age: 35 Smoker: Indirect Heat Wood-Fired Pit Wood: Post Oak I talked to John Lewis over the phone while he was making preparations at La Barbecue to open up the following day. John Lewis became the pitmaster at La Barbecue on November,…

BBQ |
July 10, 2013

Interview: Stephen Joseph of Riverport Bar-B-Que

Photo by Nicholas McWhirter Owner/Pitmaster: Riverport Bar-B-Que, opened in 1993 Age: 45 Smoker: A steel offset smoker Wood: Post Oak I called Stephen Joseph in the late afternoon while he watched over his pit. He was trying to get it up to temperature so he could…

BBQ |
June 26, 2013

Interview: Tootsie Tomanetz of Snow’s BBQ

Pitmaster: Snow’s BBQ; opened in 2003. Age: 78 Smoker: A steel smoker with an offset firebox for briskets, a direct heat pit for everything else. Wood: Post Oak Tootsie took her lunch break to talk with me while working her day job with the Giddings school district. After Texas Monthly named Snow’s BBQ…

BBQ |
June 19, 2013

Interview: Kerry Bexley of Snow’s BBQ

Kerry Bexley (center) at the Texas Monthly BBQ Festival Owner/Pitmaster: Snow’s BBQ; opened in 2003. Age: 46 Smoker: A steel smoker with an offset firebox for briskets, a direct heat pit for everything else. Wood: Post Oak It was Friday afternoon and Kerry was getting ready to start the…

BBQ |
June 12, 2013

Interview: Wayne Mueller of Louie Mueller Barbecue

Wayne Mueller Owner/Pitmaster: Louie Mueller Barbecue; opened in 1949 Age: 47 Smoker: Brick pit with an offset firebox Wood: Post Oak I had intentions of talking to Wayne for this interview while we were both attending the Big Apple BBQ Block Party in New York. We talked…

BBQ |
June 5, 2013

Interview: Justin Fourton of Pecan Lodge

Justin Fourton Owner/Pitmaster: Pecan Lodge; opened in 2010 Age: 37 Smoker:  Steel smoker with an offset firebox Wood: Mesquite and Oak I called Justin Fourton on his day off to set up this interview. His voice mail was full. He is a man in demand,…

BBQ |
May 29, 2013

Interview: Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue

Aaron Franklin Owner/Pitmaster: Franklin Barbecue in Austin; opened in 2009 Age: 35 Smoker: Five steel offset smokers made from 1000 gallon propane tanks that are 5/16” thick. Wood: Post oak. Some seasoned, some green. Last week, I sat down with Aaron Franklin over a tray of ribs and brisket at…

BBQ |
May 23, 2013

VIDEO: John Mueller is on Fire

John Mueller is on fire. His barbecue is better than it’s ever been, he just made it into our list of the fifty best barbecue joints in the state, and now Zagat has featured him in a slick video about the Austin barbecue scene. Where does Mueller fit…