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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.

1746 Articles

BBQ Joint Reviews|
October 29, 2013

Micklethwait Craft Meats

There’s a trailer in East Austin that is creating a new target for what it means to be a complete barbecue joint. Micklethwait Craft Meats not only serves great smoked meats, they also bake their own bread and desserts, all the sides and sauce are homemade, and they start with

BBQ Joint Reviews|
October 28, 2013

What’s the Rub?

Salt and pepper is a good start to any barbecue rub, but most on the market go well beyond that. The many labels on store shelves show the infinite combinations of paprika, sugar, garlic powder and anything else from the spice aisle that manufacturers believe will make their rub stand

BBQ|
October 25, 2013

Everybody Line Up

“Line are overrated.” This is the conclusion of economist Tyler Cowen in a recent article where he shared some of his principles for finding good restaurants. For Cowen, standing in line is a conformist activity, and the presence of a line is a not a good indicator of the

BBQ|
October 24, 2013

BBQ News: 10/18 – 10/24

– Two years ago Pierson’s BBQ closed in Houston. It was beloved, but owner Clarence Pierson had two bad knees which forced him to close. Now with two new knees, the joint has reopened. Pierson’s BBQ is back!– The Texas Book Festival is coming to Austin

BBQ|
October 23, 2013

Interview: Al Plaskoff of Big Al’s Smokehouse

Al, Lauran and ScottOwner: Big Al’s Smokehouse, Opened 1973Age: 69Smoker: Wood-fired rotisserieWood: HickoryI sat down with Al and his daughter Lauran Weiner to talk about the history of Big Al’s, the Plaskoff family and a little Dallas barbecue history. Al Plaskoff fell into the barbecue business. He wasn’t from a storied barbecue family,

BBQ|
October 22, 2013

TMBBQ ‘Cue Court

The Texas Book Festival comes to Austin this weekend, and this year there’s a new food option – or three. Texas Monthly has partnered with three barbecue joints and a taco truck to create the TMBBQ ‘Cue Court. From 10-5 on Saturday and 11-5 on Sunday,

BBQ Joint Reviews|
October 22, 2013

Larrie’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que

If you live in Austin, chances are you wouldn’t pass by Larrie’s Smokehouse in Bastrop. Billy’s, Cartwright’s and Fittie’s along busy four-lane Highway 71 may be familiar, but Larrie’s sits on the north side of town along tree-lined Highway 95. Coming south from Elgin the sign is hard to miss.

BBQ|
October 21, 2013

Texas BBQ in Paris, France?

Thomas Abramowicz wants to open the first barbecue joint in Paris, France. You can help make it happen, that is if you’re a pitmaster who can help. Thomas is from France. He loves Texas barbecue, and wants to bring it back home by opening a barbecue joint in Paris. He

BBQ|
October 21, 2013

BBQ Photographers: Nicholas McWhirter

Every month we’ll bring you a profile of a photographer who has captured the people, the food and the spaces that make up the world of barbecue.Nicholas McWhirter – Dallas, TexasNicholas McWhirter is a fifth-generation Texan that has always sort-of-liked barbecue. “Like” blossomed into “true love” after 183 Texas BBQ

BBQ|
October 18, 2013

Finding Common Ground

Texas is a beef barbecue state; in North Carolina they prefer pork. This isn’t news to most of you, but it may surprise some Texans to hear that people outside of the state our signature smoked brisket doesn’t meet the very definition of barbecue.A plate of North

BBQ|
October 17, 2013

BBQ News: 10/11 – 10/17

– There is a college football award called “Arby’s League of Brisket Smokin’ Hot Player of the Week.” That’s a mouthful for a promotional title. I wonder what they win?– If you’re in Austin for lunch today, you might want to try out Micklethwait Craft Meats. They’ll have

BBQ|
October 16, 2013

Interview: Roy Jeffrey of R&G Bar-B-Que

Owner/Pitmaster: R&G Bar-B-Que, opened 1990Age: 69Smoker: Wood-fired offset smokerWood: OakWhen Roy Jeffrey started working at the City Market in Luling back in 1954 he had a full head of black hair. At sixty-nine years of age it looks like he hasn’t lost a single one. When I asked him how

BBQ Joint Reviews|
October 15, 2013

R&G Bar-B-Que

Roy Jeffrey started working at City Market in Luling when he was ten. He then took that sauce and sausage recipe to Houston where he opened Luling City Market with a couple of business partners in 1981. He tired of the city life after a decade as the pitmaster there,

BBQ|
October 14, 2013

Smoked in Texas: Nolan Ryan Brisket Sausage

The sausage section at our local Kroger is well-stocked with dozens of sausages. Several weeks back my wife brought home a gift of the latest option: Nolan Ryan Beef Brisket Sausage. It was introduced to Kroger shelves back in July, and as Nolan Ryan Beef CEO Charlie Bradbury

BBQ|
October 11, 2013

There Is Bad Barbecue

Regular readers know that I review a barbecue joint every week. I highlight places that have an interesting story, or that serve one particularly good barbecue item, and when I can, I review new joints. As I travel around the state I usually have a few targets on

BBQ|
October 10, 2013

BBQ News: 10/4-10/10

– The American Royal barbecue competition, aka the World Series of BBQ, was held last weekend. Tuffy Stone and his Cool Smoke team beat the big boys in the Invitational on Saturday while Iowa’s Smokey D’s BBQ beat out 535 other teams in the Open competition on Sunday.– A barbecue competition

BBQ|
October 9, 2013

Interview: Chad Decker of Hard Eight BBQ

Chad Decker. Photo from Hard 8 Facebook pageGeneral Manager: Hard Eight BBQ, opened 2003Age: 40Smoker: Wood-fired cookers and gas-fired rotisseriesWood: MesquiteDale Earnhardt Jr. held a charity event at the Hard Eight BBQ location in Roanoke last week. I arrived early before the press conference and sat down with Chad Decker who

BBQ Joint Reviews|
October 8, 2013

Baker’s Ribs – Weatherford

It’s a long drive from Deep Ellum to Weatherford, but repeated pleas from the owner of this Baker’s Ribs west of Fort Worth had convinced me that they were doing something a little different than their forebearers in Dallas. The owners posted photos of hormone-free, antibiotic-free briskets they’re using from

BBQ|
October 7, 2013

Book Profile: The Salt Lick Cookbook

Title: The Salt Lick Cookbook Author: Scott Roberts and Jessica DupuyPublished: The Salt Lick, 2012This is not a a barbecue cookbook. It’s a family history told through food and recipes. That may be surprising to fans of the Salt Lick, but barbecue comprises less

BBQ|
October 4, 2013

Barbecue on the Big Screen

There’s a scene toward the end of Smokey and the Bandit where a truck driver has just purposely torn the door off of Buford T. Justice’s already roof-less car with the bumper of his big rig. Sheriff Justice goes off on a tirade directed at the disappearing rig that ends

BBQ|
October 3, 2013

BBQ News: 09/27 – 10/03

– Meshack’s BBQ in Garland is named best BBQ in Dallas by the Dallas Observer.– The Dallas Observer also shares their top 10 BBQ joint list for the Dallas/Fort Worth area.– Costco now serves barbecue, and it comes in individual servings:And now with

BBQ|
October 2, 2013

The Signature Texas Pitmasters

Robert J. Lerma has gathered original signatures from some of the best pitmasters in the state. They are collected onto an image of an aged Bar-B-Q sign in Corsicana, Texas that he photographed last year. He has sold a number of the originals, but there is only one

BBQ|
October 2, 2013

Interview: Tyler Frazer of Tyler’s Barbeque

Photo c/o Tyler FrazerPitmaster: Tyler’s Barbeque, opened 2010Age: 45Smoker: Wood-fired Cabinet SmokerWood: MesquiteTyler Frazer took a converted Long John Silvers and turned it into a unique Panhandle barbecue joint. The menu itself isn’t so unique. You’ll find all the barbecue standards, but it’s his methods that buck the standard way of doing things

BBQ|
October 1, 2013

Hot & Fast in East Texas

Stephen Joseph arrived at his barbecue joint, Joseph’s Riverport Bar-B-Q, in Jefferson, Texas early in the morning to find all of his briskets and pork butts burnt to a crisp. Here’s how he recovered.[View the story “Smoking Hot and Fast in East Texas” on Storify]

BBQ Joint Reviews|
October 1, 2013

Sean’s Mesquite Pit BBQ

I’d seen this joint from the highway a couple of times, and I finally took the giant Texas U-turn required to visit. If you’re headed north on US Highway 287 through Decatur you’ll need to exit at US Highway 380 and go around a couple of cloverleaf ramps to get

BBQ|
September 30, 2013

Smoke @ ICC

The International Chefs Congress (ICC) is in its eighth year, but this weekend in New York they hosted their first ever barbecue competition.  It was simply called Smoke @ ICC. Ten teams from six states were competing for the grand prize of a trip for four to South

BBQ|
September 27, 2013

Feasting On PDX

Feast Portland, an enormous four day culinary event, was held this past weekend in Portland, Oregon. The main purpose of the event was to highlight the bounty of culinary talent in the area and to showcase food producers from the Northwest. The organizers certainly met their goal.

BBQ|
September 26, 2013

BBQ News: 09/20 – 09/26

– Two weeks ago the Carnivore’s Ball was held in Austin. It was a great party with barbecue from John Mueller. These photos by Robert Strickland will make you wish you were there.– The TCU football team is playing for more than just the game this weekend. If they win,

BBQ|
September 25, 2013

Interview: Meat Baby Crew

Brian PattonThis isn’t so much a pitmaster interview as it is a discussion with a few Europeans who hope to learn the ways of Texas barbecue. Brian Patton is from Dublin, but he operates restaurants in Vienna, Austria. He is in Texas on a barbecue pilgrimage which

BBQ Joint Reviews|
September 24, 2013

Blue Ox Barbecue

The rise of Austin’s barbecue culture has been led by food trailers. The mighty trio of John Mueller Meat Co., la Barbecue, and Franklin Barbecue (which began as a food trailer) lead the local scene and have made patrons all too familiar with the “Sold Out” sign. These joints all

BBQ|
September 23, 2013

BBQ Photographers: Wyatt McSpadden

Every month we’ll bring you a profile of a photographer who has captured the people, the food and the spaces that make up the world of barbecue.Wyatt McSpadden – Austin, TexasI’ve been shooting pictures at BBQ places around Texas for better than 25 years. I’ve had the pleasure of

BBQ|
September 20, 2013

Fast Food BBQ

If Alanis Morissette re-wrote her hit song “Ironic” today, she might include a line about buying an Arby’s smoked brisket sandwich in the middle of Texas, a state with just shy of two thousand barbecue joints that serve sandwiches stuffed with smoked meat. It’s like putting one of those Wonder

BBQ|
September 19, 2013

BBQ News: 09/13 – 09/19

– On the proliferation of roadside barbecue joints as seen in Newsweek.– Brooks Place BBQ in Cypress is planning a move from their trailer to a brick and mortar location at FM 529 and Queenston in Houston. They’re also going to have to make some repairs

BBQ|
September 18, 2013

Interview: Emilio Soliz of Two Bros. BBQ Market

Photo by Nicholas McWhirterPitmaster: Two Bros. BBQ Market, opened 2009Age: 29Smoker: Wood-fired Offset Steel SmokerWood: OakThe creation of Two Bros. BBQ Market doesn’t follow the usual narrative of a Texas barbecue joint. There was no backyard cook or barbecue competitor that had decided to open up a barbecue joint. Jason Dady

BBQ Joint Reviews|
September 17, 2013

Joel’s Bar-B-Q

Back in 1978 Joycelyn and her then-husband Joel Kubesch were smoking meat at area parking lots on the weekends. They then moved into this current building around 1980. Joycelyn runs the place now, but the building looks like it came from another century. A tin roof over a clapboard exterior

BBQ|
September 16, 2013

Of Blood and Brine

Over the weekend the final scene for Of Blood and Brine was filmed in a small café in Venus, Texas. A group of five seniors from the Art Institute of Dallas created the film and assembled a team of roughly thirty-five students to shoot it all

BBQ|
September 13, 2013

What IS Barbecue?

“Barbecue isn’t supposed to taste like smoke. Real barbecue is cooked in a traditional open pit, not in a smoker.”You may expect to hear these words from a North Carolina barbecue zealot who believes that cooking a whole hog over direct heat is the only permissible definition of barbecue. You

BBQ|
September 12, 2013

BBQ News: 09/06 – 09/12

– Here’s a fascinating look at the many effects of foil wrapping on briskets and pork shoulders from food scientist Greg Blonder.– More food science – Should the fat cap stay or go? Meathead’s answer is that it should stay, or at least some of it, but not for

BBQ|
September 11, 2013

Interview: Jim McLennan of Hashknife on the Chisholm

Big Jim with his smoker. Photo by Nicholas McWhirterOwner/Pitmaster: Hashknife on the Chisholm, opened 2006Age: 51Smoker: Gas-fired Rotisserie SmokerWood: Oak and pecanJim 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 the place in 2005 he

BBQ Joint Reviews|
September 10, 2013

Cotten’s Barbecue

Update: This joint is permanently CLOSED.2013: This is the second in a dual review. It’s rare to find two barbecue joints with food so similar to one another, but Cotten’s Catering in Calallen and Cotten’s Barbecue in San Antonio are nearly dead ringers. It all goes back to

BBQ Joint Reviews|
September 10, 2013

Cotten’s Catering

This is the first in a dual review. It’s rare to find two barbecue joints with food so similar to one another, but Cotten’s Catering in Calallen and Cotten’s Barbecue in San Antonio are nearly dead ringers. It all goes back to 1947 when Joe Cotten starting selling

BBQ|
September 9, 2013

“Brisket Sucks” -Josh Ozersky 2013

In today’s “Eat Like a Man” blog post, Josh Ozersky received a request from a reader for cooking tips to improve his backyard brisket. Instead of anything helpful, he got this reply:“The larger point about brisket…is that brisket sucks. There, I said it. It’s gigantic, it’s misshapen, and

BBQ|
September 9, 2013

Book Profile – Barbecue Crossroads

Title: Barbecue Crossroads: Notes and Recipes from a Southern OdysseyAuthor: Robb WalshPublished: University of Texas Press, 2013If you’re familiar with Robb Walsh through his decade-old book Legends of Texas Barbecue, then you’ll likely enjoy the great writing in Barbecue Crossroads. You’ll also get more of

BBQ|
September 6, 2013

Barbecue with a Free Side of…

Free beer. There isn’t much that sounds more enticing when you’re standing in a long line in the hot sun waiting for the perfect beef rib. It’s just one of the gratis items that barbecue joints across the state are offering alongside their smoked meat. In Louisiana that little something

BBQ|
September 5, 2013

BBQ News: 08/30 – 09/05

– Lolis Eric Elie laments the “golden age of barbecue.” He aptly compares barbecue’s spread to that of the Blues, and equates barbecue in cities like Seattle, San Francisco and Atlanta as the work of cover bands.– AFAR magazine offers this tour of BBQ around the world. If you can

BBQ|
September 4, 2013

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

Owner/Pitmaster: Pody’s BBQ, opened 2011Age: 38Smoker: Various indirect heat steel pitsWood: Post Oak, Cherry, Pecan, and MesquiteA 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 get him to stick

BBQ Joint Reviews|
September 3, 2013

Nathan’s BBQ

State Highway 290 runs right through the middle of Brenham, Texas, a town know more for ice cream than smoked meats. Its location makes it a perfect mid-point stop for road trips between Houston and Austin. Living in Dallas I don’t travel this route much so I made a point

BBQ|
September 2, 2013

A List of BBQ Lists

To start off this summer we released our list of the Fifty Best BBQ Joints in the World in the June issue of Texas Monthly. All summer we’ve been keeping track of all the other barbecue lists we could find. They aren’t all in Texas and many are

BBQ|
August 30, 2013

BBQ Anatomy 101: Pork Ribs

The Texas Trinity combo plate—beef, ribs, and sausage—is probably the most commonly served dish at Texas barbecue joints, and usually, the beef brisket gets all the glory. But we should shine a little more light on pork ribs, which are often a joint’s better tasting meat (it’s difficult to perfectly

BBQ|
August 29, 2013

Texas Monthly Barbecue Festival: SOLD OUT

UPDATE: All tickets to the Texas Monthly Barbecue Festival are SOLD OUT.Tickets for the Texas Monthly Barbecue Festival are available for purchase. VIP tickets have already sold out, but there are General Admission tickets remaining. If you’re unfamiliar with the festival, here are a few key details:When – Sunday,

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