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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.

1763 Articles

January 24, 2014

The History of Smoked Brisket

What you know about the history of smoked brisket in Texas is probably wrong. People have been eating brisket since the first pits were dug in the earth, but only by a sort of default: it was standard practice to cook whole animals for the big community celebrations, which means

January 23, 2014

BBQ News: 01/17 – 01/23

– The Arby’s Smokehouse Brisket Sandwich has been the most successful new product in the company’s history.– The Plano location of Lockhart Smokehouse had plans to open in December. They had some delays, but things look to be nearing completion:The essentials… pic.twitter.com/P7m2UjqYAC — Lockhart SH –

January 22, 2014

Interview: Bryan Bracewell of Southside Market

Photo courtesy of Southside MarketOwner: Southside Market, opened 1886Age: 38Smoker: Wood-fired rotisserie smokers and wood-fired brick pitWood: Post OakMore than eight decades after it opened, Ernest Bracewell bought Southside Market in Elgin in 1968. Bryan Bracewell is the third generation of the Bracewell family to run the joint, but he

BBQ Joint Reviews|
January 21, 2014


Editor’s note: The name of this joint has been changed to DBQ since this article was published.Kyle Lewallen started his barbecue catering company while still a junior at Texas A&M. A few years later he bought a food trailer and parked it just a block away from campus. He couldn’t

January 20, 2014

BBQ Photographers: O. Rufus Lovett

Every month we bring you a profile of a photographer who has captured the people, the food and the spaces that make up the world of barbecue.O. Rufus Lovett – Longview, TexasMy first barbecue photograph involvement came a few years ago when food writer Robb Walsh and I were on

January 17, 2014

What I Learned at Brisket Camp

The director of Foodways Texas, Marvin Bendele, asked me to come and lead a couple of panel discussions at the organization’s annual Camp Brisket, held last weekend at the Rosenthal Meat Center on Texas A&M’s campus. And even though I was presented

January 16, 2014

BBQ News: 01/10 – 01/16

– It was the week of Austin BBQ guides. Here’s a great one coming from Burger Mary all the way over in Australia. It includes most everyone, but John Mueller Meat Co. is a noticeable omission.– USA Today provides a similarly styled Austin BBQ Guide.– Brisketman also

January 15, 2014

Interview: Joe Capello of City Market in Luling

Pitmaster: City Market in Luling, opened 1958Age: 67Smoker: Wood-fired brick pit and a gas-fired rotisserie smokerWood: Post OakIf you’ve been to City Market in Luling, chances are you’ve seen the hard-hat clad Joe Capello. If their doors are open, then he’s probably there working the pit like he’s done for the last few

BBQ Joint Reviews|
January 14, 2014

Lenox Bar-B-Q

I walked through the front door, or at least I thought it was the front door. I was part way through it, when I turned around to walk back into the parking lot to make sure. It was definitely the front of the building, and this was the only door,

January 13, 2014

Southside Market Expanding to Bastrop

Bastrop, Texas is known as the “Heart of the Lost Pines,” but it will have a little piece of the Sausage Capital of Texas inside the city limits by year’s end. Southside Market owner Bryan Bracewell has announced that he will build a new outpost of

January 10, 2014

Fargo’s Pit Unveiled

Alan Caldwell, the pitmaster at Fargo’s Pit BBQ in Bryan, has been making great barbecue for fourteen years. And for all of those fourteen years, he has denied people access to his pit room. When he denied my first request to take a look at his pit, in 2010, he

January 9, 2014

BBQ News: 01/03 – 01/09

– Louie Mueller BBQ in Taylor will be closed on Mondays for a couple of months:To restate… We will be closed Sundays and Mondays only from 1/13 thru 3/3. We will be open Tues-Sat normal bus hours. — Louie Mueller BBQ (@LouieMuellerBBQ) January 7, 2014 –

January 8, 2014

Interview: Erik Mrok of Lenox Bar-B-Q

Owner: Lenox Bar-B-Q, opened 1946Age: 56Smoker: Wood-fired rotisserie smokersWood: Pecan and OakErik Mrok is mad, and with good reason. He took over a legendary barbecue joint in Houston that had been around for over fifty years. Just ten years later he had to watch a good portion of it get demolished to

BBQ Joint Reviews|
January 7, 2014

City Market (Schulenburg)

If I had it my way, City Market in Schulenburg would have a warning sign on their barbecue menu: “Pit in use only on Saturday, microwaves the rest of the week.” You see, first and foremost this is a meat market. Making sausage (including weiners) is their biggest business, on

January 6, 2014

Smoked in Texas: Smoked Sturgeon Headcheese

In the video above, chef John Tesar of Spoon in Dallas raises the smoked-filled glass dome to reveal one of his signature dishes. It’s a headcheese made of apple wood smoked sturgeon. The presentation is dramatic, but the that’s only the beginning. The smokiness of the fish is deep. It

January 3, 2014

BBQ Anatomy 101: Pork Shoulder

A quarter century ago Isaac Tigrett brought the Southern-style pulled pork sandwich to Texas. The Hard Rock Café founder from Jackson, Tennessee, opened a Dallas location in 1986, and in the following year the Dallas Morning News wrote that he “has trotted the pig into steer territory, offering the

January 2, 2014

Benefit for Kenny Hatfield

UPDATED INFO on the benefit for Kenny Hatfield: Super Scramble at the Beeville Country Club; Saturday, January 4thTournament Info: As most of you know, former Beeville resident Kenny Hatfield was diagnosed with throat cancer recently.  He has already undergone surgery, but has a long, tough road in front of him.  We wanted to

January 2, 2014

BBQ News: 12/20 – 01/02

– Happy New Year, or did they run out of hickory?pic.twitter.com/wf4rgxtM3m — Burns Original BBQ (@BurnsOriginalBB) December 31, 2013 – Between Disney World and Disney Land, they’ve sold two million smoked turkey legs in 2013. They all came from Yoakum Packing in Texas.–

December 24, 2013

Interview: Kent Black of Black’s BBQ

Photo provided by Black’s BBQPitmaster/Manager: Black’s BBQ, opened 1932 (current location since 1936)Age: 60Smoker: Wood-fired offset smokers and gas-fired rotisseriesWood: Post OakBlack’s BBQ is a family affair. After starting in 1932, they now have the fourth generation, Barrett Black, working at the restaurant. Three of those generations recently appeared together on

BBQ Joint Reviews|
December 23, 2013

Rio Grande Grill

For a small joint, there are plenty of cooks in this kitchen. Daniel Wright is the pitmaster, his wife Stefania Trimboli-Wright is the chef, her sous chef is Roque Luis Peña, and they even have a pastry chef – Drew Mann. They all have their specialty, but as a group they’ve

December 20, 2013

Where Did “BBQ” Come From?

The title may be misleading. I’m not looking to trace back the origins of when humans began cooking meat over fire, but rather when the term “BBQ” came into use. The myths about the origins of the word barbecue are many, so let’s dispense with a few of those first.Bar-Beer-Cue-Pig:

December 19, 2013

BBQ News: 12/13 – 12/19

– Rodney Scott of Hemingway, SC had a recent fire in his pit room. While it gets rebuilt he’s going on a “Rodney in Exile” tour across the South.– A short Garden & Gun post on pitmaster Rodney Scott’s barbecue process.– A barbecue sauce waterfall:  –

December 18, 2013

Interview: Roy Perez of Kreuz Market

Pitmaster: Kreuz Market, opened 1900 (current location since 1999)Age: 51Smoker: Wood-fired offset smokerWood: Post OakThe following is reprinted from the January 2014 issue of Texas Monthly, and also includes additional material from the interview taken on October 5, 2013.Kreuz Market is the most famous name in the most famous barbecue city in

BBQ Joint Reviews|
December 17, 2013

Curly’s Carolina, TX Barbeque

John Brotherton and Jay Yates seemed headed in different directions in the barbecue business until they found a way to work together. Both started with their own food trucks. John ran Hall of Flame BBQ in Pflugerville, but it closed earlier this year. Jay was successful enough with

December 16, 2013

BBQ Photographers: Denny Culbert

Every month we bring you a profile of a photographer who has captured the people, the food and the spaces that make up the world of barbecue.Denny Culbert – Lafayette, LouisianaDenny Culbert is a freelance food, portrait, and documentary photographer living in Lafayette, Louisiana. Armed with a degree in

December 13, 2013

Cabrito in South Texas

For most people, cabrito, or goat meat, might not elicit great food memories. The dish is often dismissed as stringy or “gamey,” and because so few places serve it, most aren’t sure what to expect when they order it. Of course, nearly every major city around the state has a

December 12, 2013

BBQ News: 12/06 – 12/12

– The FDA has announced that they will restrict antibiotic use in livestock animals. The move “will effectively make it illegal for farmers and ranchers to use antibiotics to make animals grow bigger.”– Lord willing and the creek don’t rise:American ingenuity at its best #pigroast

December 11, 2013

Interview: Bob Allen of Bob’s Bar-B-Que

Photo by Nicholas McWhirterOwner/Co-Pitmaster: Bob’s Bar-B-Que, opened 1980Age: 74Smoker: Wood-fired offset smokerWood: HickoryHenderson, Texas is a small town of about 13,000 between Tyler and Nacogdoches in East Texas. This is where Bob Allen was born and raised, and where he aims to stay. He’s seen a lot of

BBQ Joint Reviews|
December 10, 2013

Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ

My first trip to Valentina’s was on a whim. I stopped at the trailer behind the Star Bar on Sixth Street in Austin on my way out of town. A friend was writing a story on taco variations, and I thought I might be able to add a novelty to

December 9, 2013

Brisket > Chili

That barbecue is not Texas’s state dish is a travesty. Paul Burka first made the argument decades ago in his scathing article “I Still Hate Chili” claiming that “never has the legislature so abandoned its sworn duty to enhance the public welfare as when it certified chili as the

Food & Drink|
December 6, 2013

The Soul of a Pitmaster

For more than a quarter century, Roy Perez has been tending the fires at Kreuz Market and posing for photos with barbecue aficionados. It’s given him a lot of time to think.

December 6, 2013

Breaking Down Brisket

Brisket is our favorite cut for barbecue here in Texas, and it’s also pretty popular elsewhere, as evidenced by the sheer number of brisket recipes one can find on a shelf of barbecue cookbooks or can pull up using a Google search (searching “how to smoke a brisket”

December 5, 2013

BBQ News: 11/30 – 12/05

– La Barbecue has moved…Sold Out for the last time in South Austin from the crew @la_Barbecue. See you on the East Side. @tmbbq pic.twitter.com/cow9QBA7AT — Robert Jacob Lerma (@robertjlerma) December 1, 2013…and they are up and running at their new location:Looking

December 4, 2013

Buying Guide: BBQ Books

My library is packed with barbecue books, and it seems there are more options showing up every year. Most folks at this time of year would provide a round-up of the best books of 2013. I’ve got some catching up do, so I included some great ones from 2012 as

December 3, 2013

Buying Guide: Mail Order BBQ

Living in Texas, we have easy access to great barbecue every day. We also understand that the whole country isn’t so lucky. If you’re looking for that unique gift, or you just want to serve some great food over the holidays, you might want to get some great barbecue shipped

December 2, 2013

Buying Guide: BBQ Stuff

Barbecue is usually all about the meat, but we also love everything that surrounds the world of barbecue. Tomorrow we’ll have a complete buying guide for mail-order barbecue, and a guide to this year’s barbecue books on Wednesday. Today, we bring you a gift guide for Texas barbecue. If you

November 29, 2013

BBQ News: 11/22 – 11/29

– I saw lots of a great smoked turkeys in my Twitter and Instagram feeds throughout the day yesterday, but this one was the best fail. This is what happens when your smoker catches on fire:  – Pecan Lodge is moving. They’ve announced that they are leaving the

November 28, 2013

Smokin’ Turkeys

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope your Turkey Day is going well. If you don’t have your turkey cooking yet, that might be a problem, but you can read this to procrastinate in the meantime. There are plenty of ways to cook a turkey. Roast it, fry it,

November 27, 2013

Interview: Kathleen Mann of Mann’s Smokehouse BBQ

Kathleen Mann, from the company’s Facebook pagePitmaster: Mann’s Smokehouse BBQ, opened 1996Age: 31Smoker: Gas-Fired rotisserie smokerWood: Pecan and OakIn a town that’s all about the meat, Mann’s in Austin boasts sixteen side items. It’s cut from a different cloth, which makes sense if you know that Jim and

BBQ Joint Reviews|
November 26, 2013

Shorty’s BBQ

A reader forwarded me this note comparing Shorty’s BBQ to Pecan Lodge in Dallas. “At Shorty’s, you don’t have to wait and they don’t run out of food, AND the beef is just as good.” I’d seen the prominent signs for Shorty’s on Highway 80 east of Dallas*, but this

November 25, 2013

BBQ Photographers: Doug Klembara

Every month we bring you a profile of a photographer who has captured the people, the food and the spaces that make up the world of barbecue.Doug Klembara – Dallas, TexasDoug Klembara is a Native Texan whose passion for photography has led him around the world. Recently he

November 22, 2013

The Evolution of Fat in Barbecue

Not everyone vilifies fat.  Heritage hog varieties rich with layers of fat are gaining in popularity, leaf lard is now a chic ingredient to pie crust, and noted author Michael Ruhlman just published The Book of Schmaltz: Love Song to a Forgotten Fat. No longer do we value

November 22, 2013

Pecan Lodge is Moving

The tenuous relationship between the Dallas Farmers Market and Pecan Lodge now has a path toward closure. Pecan Lodge has decided to move into a stand-alone location. In a report by the Dallas Morning News that they may take a sweet deal from

November 21, 2013

BBQ News: 11/15 – 11/21

– Black’s BBQ is coming to Austin. After announcing a new location in San Marcos in the summer, Black’s now reveals they’re coming to Barton Springs Road between S. First and S. Lamar:Mark & Michael Black,great-grandsons of Black’s founder,opening Black’s Barbecue Austin on Barton Springs

November 20, 2013

Interview: J&R Manufacturing

Owners: H.E. Finley and Mike HigginsCompany: J&R Manufacturing, since 1974Mike Higgins, a chemical engineer, and H. E Finley, a mechanical engineer, joined forces and families nearly forty years ago to start J&R Manufacturing. H. E. had just married Mike’s sister, and Mike had just started with the

BBQ Joint Reviews|
November 19, 2013

Cattleack BBQ

Along Alpha Road you’ll pass a few furniture stores, a discount mattress outlet and a block or two of banal single-story retail buildings. When you turn north on Gamma Road you’ll think for sure that you’re in the wrong neighborhood, but look for the sidewalk signs advertising BBQ. There will

November 18, 2013

True ‘Cue

True ‘Cue logoA campaign has been started in North Carolina that could turn into a national movement. It’s called True ‘Cue and it aims to certify those barbecue joints that use real wood to make their barbecue. “We think the world will be a better place when

November 18, 2013

Smoked in Texas: Southern Star Rauchbier

Schlenkerla in Bamberg, Germany makes what is probably the most famous smoked beer, or rauchbier, in the world. Recently they started selling it in the US, so I was able to get a bottle at my local Spec’s. On the same shelf was another rauchbier, but it came

November 15, 2013

No Country for Old Luddites

So, you call yourself a barbecue traditionalist. You eschew modern innovations in the world of barbecue, like using charcoal to start your fires, and you certainly don’t believe there’s any room on American menus for “nouveau” barbecue, whatever the hell that means. To you, good sir or madam, I commend

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