BBQ Recipes|
February 29, 2016

A Glossary of Casings

Smoked sausage is a pillar of Texas barbecue. We talk a lot about the staggering sausage varieties—pork, beef, fine-grind, coarse-grind, hot guts, jalapeno-cheese, macaroni and cheese—but what’s discussed less frequently is what we stuff those fillings into: the casings.Last week I went on a barbecue tour with Greg Mueller of

February 25, 2016

BBQ News: 02/19 – 02/25

– On the disappearance of black–owned BBQ joints in the South: South toward home. Black barbecue and a journey down Legacy Road. — Jim Shahin (@jimshahin) February 22, 2016 – The World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Cookoff is happening this weekend at the Houston Stock

February 24, 2016

The Seattle Barbecue Experience

Robert and Louise Collins left Louisiana for the West Coast in 1944 and eventually opened what is now Seattle’s oldest barbecue joint: R & L Home of Good Bar-B-Q. They’re celebrating 64 years in business in a small, stone-faced storefront east of downtown, and even if Robert and Louise have

February 23, 2016

The First Barbecue Joint in Texas?

For years, I’ve been on a quest to definitively answer a question that has plagued me since I began researching the history of barbecue: what was the first barbecue joint in Texas?Loyal readers of TMBBQ will remember that in August 2013, I wrote about the post-Civil War wave of butcher shops

BBQ Joint Reviews|
February 19, 2016

Mike Anderson’s BBQ House

Mike Anderson Jr. runs one of the most popular barbecue lunch spots in Dallas, but when he opened it with his dad back in 1982, they really didn’t know what they’d gotten into. “We started it together the week after I got out of high school,” he told me while

February 18, 2016

BBQ News: 02/12 – 02/18

– John Lewis is close to opening his Charleston barbecue joint: John Lewis Is Bringing Texas BBQ To Charleston, South Carolina, For Good #CHSWFF — Food Republic (@foodrepublic) February 17, 2016 – Texas Secretary of State Carlos Cascos chastises people who’ll stand

February 17, 2016

Mel-Man Sandwich

The Mel-Man sandwich is the product of a barbecue epiphany. The East Texas specialty, which consists of brisket and sausage chopped together instead of layered on top of each other, is named after a man who once hated barbecue. It’s big, hard to eat, and best with plenty of barbecue

February 16, 2016

The Transformation of Southside Market

Southside Market in Elgin opened its doors in 1886, making it Texas’s oldest barbecue joint. Predictably, it has transformed considerably in its 130-year history. The original ownership, location, menu—even the famous sausage recipe—have all changed over that time. But this is not a story about eroding traditions. Southside Market stands as

BBQ Joint Reviews|
February 12, 2016

Tons of Fun BBQ

A tattered banner hangs on the side of the small building that houses Tons of Fun BBQ. The restaurant sits on a gravel lot along the main drag of Bartlett, a town of just over 2,000 residents that’s midway between Temple and Taylor. Inside there’s just a counter and a cash register. Takeout

February 10, 2016

Smoked in Texas: The Hillbilly Pacifier

Hans Muller is a second-generation baker in Fort Worth, but he’s no stranger to smoking meat. His lunch menu at the Swiss Pastry Shop includes a smoked cuban sandwich, the Fort Worth Cheese Steak made with smoked prime rib, and he’s now working on a recipe for homemade

February 8, 2016

Smell Like Barbecue

Capturing the aroma of sweet wood smoke isn’t a challenge to pitmasters. Similarly, backyard cooks know how the smell can permeate your clothes and linger hours after the ribs are done. But thanks to Vanilla Smoke, a scent from the all-natural Aftelier Perfumes, you can get that fragrance without the prep work.Mandy

February 5, 2016

When Dallas Barbecued a Super Bowl Buffalo

It was six in the morning on Sunday, January 31, 1993, and Karl Kuby Sr. had just started cooking a couple of bison over an open fire in a Tom Thumb grocery store parking lot. Later that evening, after OJ Simpson flipped the coin and Michael Jackson entertained at halftime, the Dallas Cowboys would

February 4, 2016

BBQ News: 01/29 – 02/04

– A film about Patillo’s Bar-B-Que in Beaumont is in the works: .@potlikker‘s producing a documentary about Beaumont BBQ spot Patillo’s & the 100+ yr old East TX juicy link. #txbbq — Beth Rankin (@Beth_Rankin) February 2, 2016 – The Southern Foodways Alliance

February 3, 2016

The Science of the Smoke Ring

Let me drop a hard truth-bomb on you: as an indicator of well-cooked barbecue, the smoke ring is useless. Narcissus was less attached to his reflection than some barbecue cooks and critics are to that thin red line along the perimeter of smoked meats, but as with that Greek myth, worship of

February 2, 2016

Interview: Johan Fritzell of Holy Smoke BBQ

Owner/Pitmaster: Holy Smoke BBQ; Opened 2014Age: 43Smoker: Indirect Heat Wood-Fired PitWood: OakSwedes love to grill, but low-and-slow, Texas-style barbecue is a concept so foreign that only one restaurant in the country serves it. They opened in 2014 when Johan Fritzell turned his passion into a rural barbecue stop in a field in southwestern Sweden,

February 1, 2016

Smoked in Texas: Beef Short Rib at Provisions

Barbecue and other smoked foods are making their way into fine dining faster than I can spit out liquid smoke. Often smoke is used as just another layer of seasoning, or maybe the barbecue is portioned and presented with a flourish on the plate. Not so at Provisions, the

January 28, 2016

BBQ News: 01/22 – 01/28

– The line at Franklin Barbecue gets some NYT coverage: It’s 10:06 a.m. in Texas. Hundreds may be in line for this BBQ. Even Kanye had to wait. — The New York Times (@nytimes) January 27, 2016 – The Austin American Statesman

January 26, 2016

Pastrami Beef Ribs

When I first saw a pastrami beef rib on the menu at The Granary in San Antonio, my heart nearly skipped a beat (no blood pressure jokes, please). It was late 2012, and I’d never seen such a thing. Six months later, after I was named the Barbecue Editor, it

January 25, 2016

Smoked in Texas: Mushroom Pastrami

Oliver Sitrin is no stranger to pastrami experimentation. During his time as chef at Blind Butcher on Greenville in Dallas, he’s taken his thin-sliced beef pastrami and piled it high on rye (a traditional presentation, to be sure), as well as tucked it into an egg roll. He’s made tender duck pastrami,

January 25, 2016


It’s Pastrami Week here at TMBBQ. I’ve been traveling across the state—and the country—for the last few months (okay, maybe years) looking for examples of pastrami excellence. Most have come in the form of beef, but mushrooms, salmon, and octopus have made appearances as well. This week we’ll celebrate them all.Despite Texas’s

BBQ Joint Reviews|
January 22, 2016

Tejas Chocolate Craftory

Scott Moore wanted to make tequila, but you can only call it “tequila” if it’s made in Mexico, and there is already plenty of competition on the store shelves. So he settled for chocolate. The availability of good chocolate was a different story in 2011 when Moore and his partner, Michelle Holland,

January 21, 2016

BBQ News: 01/15 – 01/21

– Georgia-style Texas brisket? What is Georgia barbecue exactly? DAS BBQ, coming in June, hopes to define it: — Atlanta Magazine (@AtlantaMagazine) January 19, 2016 – Eater Atlanta didn’t let DAS BBQ off the hook for some odd comments about women

January 19, 2016

Smoked in Texas: Smoke-Brined Fried Chicken

The best fried chicken in Dallas is served at a barbecue joint. Any self-respecting pitmaster might cringe when I suggest the fried chicken to prospective customers, but chef and pitmaster Jeffrey Hobbs at the Slow Bone Barbeque in Dallas is plenty proud of his unique smoke-brined

BBQ Joint Reviews|
January 18, 2016

Church BBQ

Out in the Piney Woods of East Texas, a legendary barbecue joint run by the New Zion Missionary Baptist Church has been dishing out classic East Texas-style barbecue since the seventies. Some refer to it as New Zion, after the church it supports next door. Tthers call it “The Church of the

January 14, 2016

BBQ News: 01/08 – 01/14

– Eater has released its second annual list of the 38 essential restaurants in the U.S. This year 13 new names have been added to the list, but Franklin Barbecue remains.– Korean girls try American barbecue:  – Brooks Place BBQ in Houston has vocally supported open carry. The

January 13, 2016

Spareribs for Texas

Memphis has the baby back rib. Chicago has rib tips. St. Louis even has a style of ribs named after its fair city. But spareribs are what you’ll get in Texas when “ribs” alone are listed on the menu. For the most part, we find baby backs too dainty, Chicago-style too wanting,

BBQ Recipes|
January 12, 2016

Puffy Pork Belly

Not quite bacon, not quite chicharrones, puffy pork belly is the Goldilocks zone between the two, a dish that emerges when one makes the decision to deep fry a skin-on pork belly.I’ve written before about how much I love the crispy pig skin that gets chopped into the barbecue at Skylight

January 11, 2016

Smoked in Texas: Smoked Pork Taco at Garcia’s

Despite the blasphemous ways they treat their smoked meats, Garcia’s in San Antonio makes a mean barbecue taco. I knew all about their now-famous smoked brisket taco because of its rapid rise in popularity: CNN named it one of the ten best tacos in America; Eater called Garcia’s one of

BBQ Joint Reviews|
January 8, 2016

Blue Moon BBQ

Before I was Barbecue Editor for Texas Monthly for nearly three years, I maintained my own blog, Full Custom Gospel BBQ, and one the last reviews I wrote was for Blue Moon BBQ. The first visit was a good one, and I’ve tried a few follow-ups that were thwarted by my own poor

January 7, 2016

BBQ News: 01/01 – 01/07

– Jack Perkins is the owner of Slow Bone in Dallas. He explained to NPR and Fox Business why he doesn’t allow open carry inside his restaurant.– Amigo’s BBQ Grill in Pflugerville welcomes open carry and the owner took his employees to get their

January 6, 2016

Barbecue Crossfire

The nation is talking about Texas’s new open carry policy, and two pistol-packing pitmasters are grabbing headlines for their opposing views. Trent Brooks, of Brooks Place BBQ, welcomes open carriers to his Cypress barbecue trailer, and in fact offers a ten percent discount for anyone showing off

BBQ Recipes|
January 5, 2016

Sausage Making, Freedmen’s Style

When a process is notoriously complicated and unpleasant, people tend to trot out a time-worn idiom: you don’t want to know how the sausage gets made. While the saying is especially useful when it comes to any political bureaucratic dealing, it’s a bit derogatory and it slightly diminishes the art of the craft,

January 4, 2016

Smoked in Texas: Wagyu Shortrib at Qui

There’s little room for variety in the smoked beef ribs you find at Texas barbecue joints—salt, black pepper, and smoke are doled out in big doses on impressively large hunks of beef and bone. They make for an imposing sight, and are a far cry from what anyone would consider refined.

December 31, 2015

BBQ News: 12/18 – 12/31

– Operation BBQ Relief is doing great work in tornado-damaged Rowlett:– Restaurant owners, including those of Slow Bone and Lockhart Smokehouse supplied free meals to those affected by the storm in Red Oak.– Chris Osburn traveled the American South to find his picks for the best

BBQ Recipes|
December 23, 2015

Prime Rib Primer

Over the last few days, I’ve shared recipes for a from-scratch ham, a smoked fried turkey, and a smoked pork crown roast. Now for the mother of all holiday meal centerpieces: the prime rib.Aside from beef tenderloin, prime rib is usually the most expensive

BBQ Recipes|
December 23, 2015

Ugly Pork Crown Roast

Pork crown roast is a popular cut with an inferiority complex. It wants to be taken as seriously as prime rib, thought it would probably settle for the respect of rack of lamb. Alas, a bone-in loin of commodity hog isn’t much to look at, so butchers dress it up by making

BBQ Recipes|
December 22, 2015

Smoked Fried Turkey

I’m of the opinion that most foods can be improved when they’re smoked, and one of my favorite dishes that proves this proclaimed axiom is smoked turkey. We’ve got plenty of great options in Texas, all of which likely beat the oven-roasted turkey that your family overcooked at Thanksgiving. But when it

BBQ Recipes|
December 21, 2015

Christmas Ham, Part II

Do you have a ham brining in the refrigerator? No? Then go back to step one here. (Don’t worry. If you missed step one, there’s still time for a New Year’s ham.) For everyone whose ham is about to complete its salt-water bath, here’s what to do next.After

BBQ Joint Reviews|
December 18, 2015

The Big Bib BBQ

There’s no sign over the door—at least not for now—but somehow that doesn’t seem to matter. The Big Bib BBQ and its new attached event space anchor the corner of an aging strip center along Austin Highway in northeast San Antonio. It’s under construction, and the awnings are being replaced, but

December 17, 2015

BBQ News: 12/11 – 12/17

– These are 37 things you need to know about Texas barbecue from Wide Open Country.– Not to be outdone, Thrillist tells you EVERYTHING you need to know about Texas barbecue.– 50 things you may not have known about barbecue, from Thrillist. Some you

December 16, 2015

The McKensie Project

Researchers at Texas A&M are seeking to improve Texas barbecue. This isn’t the first time that an institution of higher learning has aspired to this lofty ambition; Harvard students already tried to design the ultimate smoker. And now the Aggies are focusing on the meat of the matter, so to speak.Earlier this

BBQ Recipes|
December 16, 2015

Make a Christmas Ham

Yes, really. Make a ham. From scratch. Don’t just reheat one from the grocery store like you did for Easter. You still have the time to get it on if you start now. After a seven- or eight-day brine, you can have one you can call your own on your

December 14, 2015

Barbecue Poetry

Frank “Trey” Felton is the owner of Thorndale Meat Market, which we reviewed last week on TMBBQ. Felton, a graduate of the Air Force Academy, is a talented pitmaster, but his skills don’t stop at the smoker; writing is another passion. Felton is the author of Jewel of

BBQ Joint Reviews|
December 11, 2015

Thorndale Meat Market

Central Texas was once known for its meat market-style barbecue joints, i.e. meat markets that had a barbecue business on the side. Many of those places are gone, or they have converted into barbecue-only businesses. A few holdouts remain, including one shining example: the Thorndale Meat Market.About an hour northeast of Austin, out on Texas

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