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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.

1636 Articles

BBQ Joint Reviews |
January 4, 2013

Longhorn Cattle Company Barbecue and Steak Restaurant

I guess if you have mesquite grilled steaks on the menu in addition to the mesquite smoked barbecue, you feel the need to serve an amuse bouche. A steaming mug of their “world famous” pinto bean soup came to the table along with our drinks. The beans

BBQ Joint Reviews |
January 3, 2013

McMillan’s Bar-B-Q

The sign outside reads “World Famous” and Louis McMillan won’t hesitate to tell you how good his barbecue is. He was about done for the day, so we admittedly got the tail end of the days offering, but this wasn’t praiseworthy.Sausage was barely warmed through, and

BBQ Joint Reviews |
September 26, 2012

Baker’s Ribs

You may have been familiar with the Baker’s Ribs location in Deep Ellum. It stood for decades in a brick building on Commerce Street with a large pig painted on the side. They leased that building but were looking for a permanent home, so they bought

BBQ |
September 24, 2012

Woodshed Smokehouse

FORT WORTH: Woodshed Smokehouse 3201 Riverfront Dr. Fort Worth, TX 76107 817-877-4545 Open Daily 11-’til www.woodshedsmokehouse.comWhere’s the beef, or more specifically brisket? Just a few days ago chef and owner Tim Love bragged via Twitter that a record number of animals were cooking at his popular Woodshed

BBQ Joint Reviews |
September 21, 2012

Wilhite’s Barbeque

Robert Wilhite is both mayor and resident pitmaster in Creedmoor. He runs one of the few restaurants in town, and I’d guess this is the best one. Don’t let the adjoining Valero station fool you into thinking this is some fly-by-night barbecue stand. Robert’s dad started this place back in

BBQ Joint Reviews |
August 20, 2012

Bob’s Bar-B-Que

This joint is a family affair run by the tight-lipped Bob Allen, his wife, and son. A steel wood-fired pit was hidden by a fence, and they weren’t willing to give us a tour. Bob assured us that “there’s no gas up on this hill.” It’s all hickory

BBQ Joint Reviews |
August 3, 2012

Pecan Lodge

You may have heard that this joint is getting a bit popular. While I may lament not being able to visit my go-to barbecue joint without braving a long line, I’m happy for the proprietors. Justin and Diane Fourton are friends in the barbecue world, and I’ve sought some bit

BBQ Joint Reviews |
July 20, 2012

Louie Mueller Barbecue

In the words of owner Wayne Mueller, black pepper is a food group at Louie Mueller Barbecue, in Taylor. There isn’t a whole lot that it doesn’t go into, and its pervasiveness around the restaurant means it will find its way into unexpected places like your cup of

BBQ Joint Reviews |
June 12, 2012

Tyler’s Barbeque

I have a GUEST REVIEWER from the Lubbock area. I met Marshall Scott over a plate of brisket at Pecan Lodge. He’s been searching all over the Panhandle and West Texas for decent smoked meats with little success until landing on Tyler’s in Amarillo. I asked if he’d write a

BBQ Joint Reviews |
June 12, 2012

Buzzie’s Bar-B-Q

The original Buzzie’s burned down, so a newer building clad in stone and sitting off the main drag houses it now. The classic ordering process at the counter went smoothly and I was able to point directly to the crusty slices of beef that I preferred. As I

BBQ Joint Reviews |
April 24, 2012

Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que – Statewide (Fort Worth)

This was my third, and best visit to the newest Cooper’s near the Fort Worth Stockyards. This is the newest in the Wootan empire, and it pays to get here early as well. Even at 11:00 the ‘Big Chop’ was starting to lose some of those juices. Fatty brisket edges

BBQ Joint Reviews |
April 24, 2012

Cooper’s Bar-B-Q & Grill (Junction)

The sign may claim that they’ve been smoking since 1953, but this joint opened in 1999. Current owner Mark Cooper is a grandson of George Cooper, so they’re sort for taking credit for a few decades of Cooper’s operation in Mason. The woodpiles and pits are just as impressive as

BBQ Joint Reviews |
April 24, 2012

Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que – Statewide (Llano)

In 1962, Tommy Cooper was sent out by his father George to expand the Cooper’s BBQ business from Mason to Llano. Tommy sadly died in an accident in 1979 and the business was sold. It was sold again in 1986 to current owner Terry Wootan who has seen this Hill

BBQ Joint Reviews |
April 24, 2012

Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que – Statewide (Mason)

This is the original. Started by George Cooper in 1953, but sold to Duard Dockal (who still runs it) in 1983. This is where the family traditions of cooking directly over mesquite coals and ordering straight from the pit were born. It was one of my favorites of mine and

BBQ Joint Reviews |
April 5, 2012

Pody’s BBQ

Israel “Pody” Campos needed a new direction in life. He had been training police recruits in Austin before being laid off. He then decided to move back home to Pecos, buy a laundromat, and convert it into a barbecue joint. Open for just six months, Pody’s is an

BBQ Joint Reviews |
March 31, 2012

Heavy’s BBQ

The former McBee’s in Hondo has gotten a new lease on life. Heavy purchased the joint after moving back home from Austin where he had worked at Bert’s BBQ. He’s using the same methods of indirectly smoking with mesquite in the same brick pit

BBQ Joint Reviews |
March 28, 2012

Miller’s Smokehouse

Dirk Miller knows his way around meat. He’s a deer processor, taxidermist, sausage maker and a master at the barbecue pit. Hidden a couple blocks down a side street in Belton you’ll find his small but expanding storefront. On the way there it’s hard to ignore the billboards

BBQ Joint Reviews |
March 24, 2012

Mumphord’s Place BBQ

Barbecue south of San Antonio generally means indirectly smoked meats done with mesquite. As we walked up to Mumphord’s the smell coming from the screened in pit room at the back of the joint was unmistakably from direct heat BBQ. We started our visit right there with

BBQ Joint Reviews |
March 5, 2012

Hays Co. Bar-B-Que and Catering

You won’t find it if you’re not looking for it. Hidden at a blind curve a good ways outside of town, and definitely not in view of the Interstate, Hays Co. Bar-B-Que has been flying under the radar. It didn’t help that they’ve already changed names since

BBQ Joint Reviews |
February 22, 2012

Vincek’s Smokehouse

Between the deer processing, sausage making and meat smoking, Gary Vincek is a busy man. He is also a great host who showed us around the entire operation at this gem of a barbecue joint southwest of Houston. A couple of skinned deer legs peeking out of the

BBQ Joint Reviews |
February 12, 2012

Maywald’s Sisterdale Smokehouse

In 2007, John Maywald had a restaurant building that he couldn’t lease out, and he was more than skeptical about using it to run his own place. After nearly four years of sitting vacant, he decided along with his spouse and some friends to fish rather than cut

BBQ Joint Reviews |
February 5, 2012

Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew

Austin has traditionally been a jumping off point for barbecue trips to famous towns like Lockhart, Luling, Taylor, and Llano. Great barbecue seems to surround Austin, but the city has been getting a reputation of its own as a barbecue destination. Some have even started

BBQ Joint Reviews |
January 27, 2012

Fargo’s Pit BBQ

Most professional food critics will make at least three visits to a restaurant before completing a review or issuing a star rating. Given the miles that I travel (without a traveling budget) in search of smoked meats around Texas, I don’t get this luxury. I routinely provide

BBQ Joint Reviews |
December 6, 2011

The Salt Lick Bar-B-Que

I’ve often thought that the Salt Lick is a joint that serves very respectable smoked meat, and is vastly overrated at the same time. The wait for a table on this sprawling campus of barbecue can exceed and hour, but no worries as you can enjoy drinks and live music

Eat My Words |
October 27, 2011

Second fiddle barbecue

The luminaries of Texas barbecue are justly revered—from Lockhart's century old Kreuz Market, to Taylor's estimable Louie Mueller Barbecue to the ever-popular Cooper's Old Time Pit BBQ in Llano. For the BBQ dabbler these names are familiar, but their pitmasters may as well be Hollywood celebrities

Eat My Words |
October 23, 2011

TMBBQFest, “23 Pitmasters in 23 Days:” Taylor Cafe

Editor’s Note: The Texas Monthly BBQ Festival is almost here! Each day until then, we’ll be talking to one of the featured pitmasters, with questions from TM staffers, esteemed BBQ experts, Twitter followers and you, the readers of this blog.Today we bring you Scott Morales, 45 and Vencil Mares, 87,

BBQ Joint Reviews |
October 18, 2011

Big Boy’s Bar-B-Que

A large pickup truck whizzed along Lamar St. (State Highway 70) in Sweetwater while we sat in the parking lot of Big Boy’s enjoying some smoked meats while my newborn son ate in the backseat. The scene was only worth a glance until a State Highway patrolman followed

BBQ Joint Reviews |
September 13, 2011

Franklin Barbecue

The music was blaring, and my regard for the speed limit was waning. I’d just finished a hearty breakfast of brisket and brisket at Snow’s in Lexington, and I was racing time to get a spot in line at Franklin Barbecue on a Saturday morning. I’d heard from the Twitterverse

Eat My Words |
September 7, 2011

BBQ Snob: Dallas Enjoys a BBQ Renaissance

Editor's Note: Daniel Vaughn, writing under the name BBQ Snob, runs the Full Custom Gospel BBQ blog and will also be writing about barbecue for Texas Monthly. This is his first column. Texas barbecue is having a moment. It seems like every time I turned around this

BBQ Joint Reviews |
August 22, 2011

Smoke

Smoke had a revamping of their menu some time ago. Out with the market-style by-the-pound barbecue menu and in with more innovative, if not traditional plates of smoked meat. The lunch and dinner menus both feature these smoked meats in different combinations. For lunch, pulled pork and andouille share a

BBQ Joint Reviews |
April 2, 2011

Meshack’s Bar-B-Que

Travis Mayes, the pitmaster at Meshack’s, poked his head out through the side door to ask when he’d get his fifth star. He knows the power that his barbecue has over the locals, and he was feeling his oats today. No wonder with all of the accolades, long

BBQ Joint Reviews |
March 26, 2011

Lockhart Smokehouse

It’s good people, and it’s $15-per-pound good too. Three visits over the last three weeks have confirmed it. Brisket has morphed from very good to nearly perfect over those past three visits since my last review. The sausage just keeps getting better too, although it’s not quite to

BBQ Joint Reviews |
February 11, 2011

Kreuz Market

Two years ago, I took a road trip with two friends and stopped at ten joints in a single day. Our final stop was Kreuz, and it did not disappoint. I was hoping to strike gold on this trip where Kreuz was again the tenth stop on a

BBQ Joint Reviews |
January 26, 2011

Prause Meat Market

A pork roll sounds like a school cafeteria main course that’s been chopped, pressed, and processed. It’s much better than that when executed by the pitmaster at Prause Meat Market. A whole pork shoulder is deboned then wrapped and tied in a roll before smoking. On this visit I

BBQ Joint Reviews |
January 22, 2011

City Meat Market

You may remember from the first review that City Meat Market, in Giddings, makes their own sausage for the market as well as providing it to Snow’s. After trying it at Snow’,s we wanted a good comparison of not only the sausage but the brisket as well. I

BBQ Joint Reviews |
January 1, 2011

Pecan Lodge

After a nearly two-month hiatus (that felt like years to some barbecue fanatics) Pecan Lodge is back up and running. Justin and Diane Fourton have a wide menu of Southern food favorites so they weren’t exactly closed, but there’s no doubt that a celebration was warranted. A banner exclaiming “BBQ

BBQ Joint Reviews |
December 20, 2010

Snow’s BBQ

After driving three hours from Dallas to arrive in Lexington at nine in the morning, it’s hard not to suffer some validation bias no matter what you sink your teeth into. But it helps when it’s perfectly smoked and silky tender brisket. I invited a friend on a

BBQ Joint Reviews |
November 25, 2010

Opie’s Barbecue

Making it past the new sign outside, I entered into the dining room where I ordered a half rack of the sweet and spicy baby backs, a chunk of brisket, and some jalapeno cheese sausage. The sausage had great spice and flavor. The meat was incredibly moist with

BBQ Joint Reviews |
November 11, 2010

Black’s Barbecue

This was the morning where instead of discovering another great barbecue joint in Texas, Smokemaster1 and I were taking my friend Rob to the heart of barbecue country to find out what all the fuss was about. A stop at Chisholm Trail for excellent sausage and brisket but no

BBQ Joint Reviews |
November 9, 2010

Smitty’s Market

Smitty’s is just too good to dock it a star based on one mediocre visit, but this last one wasn’t up to the level I’m used to at Smitty’s. [After some poignant review of the last few visits, I must reconsider the high rating of five stars. Of

BBQ Joint Reviews |
October 30, 2010

Franklin Barbecue

Just before the Texas Monthly Barbecue Festival, I met up with John Morthland at Franklin Barbecue to talk barbecue and get some breakfast. I knew I’d be stuffing myself silly in an hour or so, but I can’t rightly pass a chance to get some of Aaron Franklin’s brisket when I’m

BBQ Joint Reviews |
September 20, 2010

Opie’s Barbeque

GUEST CONTRIBUTOR: Here’s the winning entry for the Texas Monthly BBQ Festival ticket giveaway. Jacob Reach offers this great review of Opie’s.The nice thing about making a BBQ trip with a lot of friends is that everyone will end up ordering something different, and with bartering you can

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