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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.

1744 Articles

BBQ|
August 28, 2013

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

Photo by Nicholas McWhirterOwner/Pitmaster: Big Boys Bar-B-Que, opened 2000Age: 57Smoker: Direct heat steel pitsWood: MesquiteI’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. Eating in the car we

BBQ Joint Reviews|
August 27, 2013

Harris Bar-B-Que

If you’re headed south on Highway 77 you won’t see the sign for Harris Bar-B-Que, but it doesn’t matter. A huge, black offset smoker will likely be blowing smoke across the road just south of downtown Waxahachie. Kelvin Harris used this smoker when he was darting around Cedar Hill and

BBQ|
August 26, 2013

Smoked in Texas: Jester King Beer

Southwest of Austin is a farmhouse brewery called Jester King. They make unconventional beers with unique names and sometimes sinister looking labels. It’s considered a farmhouse brewery because they allow their beer to take in wild yeasts floating in the air during the brewing process. Their facility also looks a

BBQ|
August 23, 2013

Take a Ride With Me to Tennessee

It was pouring outside for the third day in a row. “We’re not in Texas anymore,” I thought to myself, despite the fact that sitting before me was a plate of sliced brisket, hot links, potato salad, and pinto beans. I was south of Nashville at Martin’s Bar-B-Que

BBQ|
August 22, 2013

BBQ News: 08/16 – 08/22

– Robert Wilonsky of the Dallas Morning News sat down with Pecan Lodge and their new landlord to try and bring the two together (there’s a well-documented frustration between the two). He brought along a tape recorder too.– Here’s a profile of five joints that are

BBQ|
August 21, 2013

Interview: Kenny Hatfield of Hatfield’s Barbecue

Owner/Pitmaster: Hatfield’s BBQ, opened 2013Age: 53Smoker: Wood-fired rotisserie pitWood: Oak and mesquiteNo 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 old and new joint.

BBQ Joint Reviews|
August 20, 2013

Smolik’s Smokehouse

Always seeking a route away from the interstate, I found myself driving the back way into Mathis, Texas on FM 666. When I saw that the state had failed to skip that number when naming farm-to-market roads I just had to take it. It was a humorous detour until I

BBQ|
August 19, 2013

Meatopia Texas

Josh Ozersky announced the line-up for Meatopia Texas today at a press conference in San Antonio. That it was held at the Pearl Brewery made it no secret that the Granary, which is located at the Pearl, would be featured. Well, that and the fact that Ozersky has

BBQ|
August 19, 2013

BBQ Photographers: Robert Strickland

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.Robert Strickland – Dallas, TexasIt happened fast — wildly fast. As that first bite of truly great brisket faded away, I found myself drowning

BBQ|
August 16, 2013

Nineteenth Century Texas Barbecue

As is true throughout the South, the public barbecue was commonplace in Texas long before there were any restaurants serving commercial barbecue. As soon as a little town had enough population to consume a whole steer, the fourth of July celebrations at the center of town or the political rallies

BBQ|
August 15, 2013

BBQ News: 08/09 – 08/15

– Get some Franklin Barbecue brisket infused bourbon at CU29 in Austin.– Behold the Widowmaker:@BBQsnob new barbecue cut? The Widowmaker beef rib roast! only 2 per carcass, but sexy as hell! pic.twitter.com/VTC35AuqKP — Salt & Time (@saltandtime) August 8, 2013 – Amy Evans of the Southern

BBQ Joint Reviews|
August 13, 2013

Raymond’s Pit Bar-B-Q

Update: This joint is permanently CLOSED.2013: A meat cutter stood next to a cutting block loaded with smoked meat. It was all illuminated by a heat lamp. This was where the cafeteria line commenced. A plate was stacked with sliced brisket, pork ribs and warm, buttered Texas toast. I placed

BBQ|
August 12, 2013

Smoked in Texas: Mozzarella Company Smoked Mozzarella

Paula Lambert has been making cheese at the Mozzarella Company in the Deep Ellum neighborhood of Dallas since 1982. The store/factory produces a wide variety of cheeses, but mozzarella is the flagship as the name suggests. After mastering fresh mozzarella Paula started smoking it. The smoked

BBQ|
August 9, 2013

Highway BBQ

If you’ve spent any time on the interstates of Texas, then you’ve probably had a similar thought – Is that barbecue worth exiting for? You see a billboard, a collection of restaurant logos on a blue board, or a sign for BBQ right along the access road. Instincts would tell

BBQ|
August 8, 2013

BBQ News: 08/02 – 08/08

– They take their BBQ pits pretty seriously in Lone Star, Texas. A pit dispute led to shots being fired in a convenience store parking lot.– Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin needed someone to choose their food vendors. They chose Austin pitmaster John Mueller. This should be

BBQ|
August 7, 2013

Interview: David Longoria of Longoria’s BBQ

Owner/Pitmaster: Longoria’s BBQ, opened 1995Age: 50Smoker: Wood-fired lazy-susan style smokersWood: Post oak and pecanDavid 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 Jones. There are plenty of

BBQ Joint Reviews|
August 6, 2013

Jambo’s BBQ Shack

Since 1989 Jamie Geer has been manufacturing barbecue pits for his company Jambo Pits. These days, many of the smokers that come out of his welding shop in Burleson are destined for the competition circuit. You can find the shiny custom paint jobs of famous barbecue competitors

BBQ|
August 5, 2013

Book Profile – Smoke: New Firewood Cooking

Title: Smoke: New Firewood CookingAuthor: Tim ByresPublished: Rizzoli, 2013Tim Byres and I have known one another for a few years now. Before I knew him the owners of Smoke, a restaurant in Dallas where Byres is the chef, asked me to come in and try their barbecue. They were

BBQ|
August 2, 2013

Pecan Lodge Frustrated at Farmers Market

Last Saturday, business was booming at Pecan Lodge in Shed #2 at the Dallas Farmers Market. I was eating tamales from La Popular, another vendor at the market, and it was great to see such vibrancy in at Shed #2. Just a few years ago, when Pecan Lodge opened,

BBQ|
August 1, 2013

BBQ News: 07/26 – 08/01

– Big Red injects a little humor into their new ad campaign for the “Big Red BBQ Bottle.” The ad is just disturbing. – Beef experts believe 2014 might be a make-or-break year for the US beef industry if herd numbers don’t improve rapidly.– They’re farming insects in Spain to

BBQ|
August 1, 2013

Easing the Line at Pecan Lodge

The lines at Pecan Lodge are pretty crazy these days. At the opening bell last Saturday I counted over 150 people waiting for barbecue. Today, owners Diane and Justin Fourton are announcing a few changes that may ease lines like this one:From the press release:

BBQ|
July 31, 2013

Interview: Alan Caldwell of Fargo’s Pit BBQ

Owner/Pitmaster: Fargo’s Pit BBQ, opened 2000Age: 50Smoker: Wood-fired offset pitWood: Oak with a bit more mixed inAs 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 total I probably asked

BBQ Joint Reviews|
July 30, 2013

BBQ on the Brazos

Driving southwest out of Fort Worth along Highway 377 you get out into the country pretty quickly. In just fifteen minutes you’ll be in Cresson which until now was best known for a country club for sports car enthusiasts called Motorsport Ranch. About the only thing between

BBQ|
July 29, 2013

Jerky Heap: Texas Aggie Brand

Texas A&M has been making jerky in the Rosenthal Meat Science Center since the 1980’s. It’s one of the most popular items sold out of the school’s on-campus meat market, and even has its own website. I picked up a bag while I attended

BBQ|
July 29, 2013

Czech Chips in Texas

A Czech potato chip manufacturer has created a flavor of specifically grilled meats in their Bohemia line. Their plan is to export it to the US, and they want to begin in Texas. From their press release – “Where else should we test the new flavor of

BBQ|
July 26, 2013

Where to get Beef Ribs in Texas

As a companion to this week’s column on beef back ribs and last week’s on beef short ribs, here is a list of barbecue joints offering beef ribs in Texas:Beef Short Ribs:3 Stacks Smoke and Tap House, FriscoBlack’s BBQ, LockhartBlue Ox BBQ, AustinCattleack BBQ, CarrolltonCooper’s, Llano, New Braunfels

BBQ|
July 26, 2013

BBQ Anatomy 101: The Other Kind of Back Ribs

Last week, after I wrote about beef short ribs, I got a few responses from folks who said they flat out didn’t like beef ribs. After pressing them a bit more, I found that some of them had only eaten beef back ribs instead of the giant beef short ribs I

BBQ|
July 25, 2013

BBQ News: 07/19 – 07/25

– On the Smithsonian blog Food & Think, they discuss the origins of American barbecue. They also surmise how individual styles that are so distinct from one another emerged. In the explanation they go a little light on the Texas contribution.– Raising beef is still a

BBQ|
July 24, 2013

Pitmaster Interview: Nick Pencis of Stanley’s Famous Pit Barbecue

Photo by Nicholas McWhirterOwner: Stanley’s Famous Pit Barbecue since 2006Age: 36Smoker: Gas-fired rotisserie for ribs, offset wood-fired smoker for everything else.Wood: PecanNick Pencis was once the pitmaster at Stanley’s Famous Pit Barbecue in Tyler. He tried his best, but knew he had a real pitmaster when he hired Jonathan

BBQ Joint Reviews|
July 23, 2013

Freedmen’s

Evan LeRoy has come a long way from New York. He worked for a while at Hill Country Barbecue in Manhattan before making his way to Austin. That’s a long way to come so you can cook in the back of a bar, but it’s not any

BBQ|
July 22, 2013

BBQ Photographers: Robert J. Lerma

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.Robert J. Lerma – Bee Cave, TexasI relocated to Austin in August 2008 from California. I reside in Bee Cave with my family and

BBQ|
July 22, 2013

Covered in BBQ: Parade’s Homage to Texas Monthly

“Great barbecue clearly makes creative teams think alike.” Thus begins the explanation of Parade‘s food editor on why yesterday’s cover had a curious resemblance to Texas Monthly’s June cover. The Texas Monthly team worked with Franklin Barbecue to style a tray of smoked meats fitting for

BBQ|
July 19, 2013

You May Love Beef Short Ribs, But Pitmasters Don’t

Customers love beef ribs. When a pitmaster plunks down a big, thick fatty rib on a plate, cameras are whipped out to document this ultimate carnivore trophy that is the succulent symbol of the Texas obsession with beef.While beef backs ribs have been found in joints from Fort Worth to

BBQ|
July 18, 2013

BBQ News: 07/12 – 07/18

– It’s Texas Monthly BBQ Week. You have two more days to indulge on special menu items at joints across the state. A percentage of proceeds to benefit Foodways Texas. Read about it here, here, here, and here.– There was a

BBQ|
July 17, 2013

Which Hatfield’s Is the Real McCoy?

In the business world, verbal partnerships are notoriously fraught with discord, and Kenny Hatfield, the pitmaster at Hatfield’s BBQ and Blackjacks Beer Garden in Rockport, Texas, recently learned this firsthand. Earlier this year, just six months after opening the restaurant with two friends, he was celebrating the news that his

BBQ|
July 17, 2013

Interview: John Lewis of La Barbecue

Owner/Pitmaster: La Barbecue; Opened 2012Age: 35Smoker: Indirect Heat Wood-Fired PitWood: Post OakI 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, 4 2012. That’s a few

BBQ Joint Reviews|
July 16, 2013

Hannah’s BBQ

Driving around the south side of Lake Texoma, I was in search of the Shawnee Trail. It’s an old cattle trail that crossed the Red River about five miles west of where Highway 75 crosses it now just north of Denison. The cattle trail followed an even older

BBQ|
July 15, 2013

Smoked in Texas: Easy Tiger Pastrami

Easy Tiger in Austin is many things. A bakery and coffee shop, a beer garden, and table tennis tournament grounds. They also have a great food menu with homemade sausages and sandwiches. The most impressive might be the pastrami sandwich. The slices of cured smoked meat

BBQ|
July 11, 2013

Where is Smitty’s Pitmaster John Fullilove?

Spenser Magazine just published a story about the Kreuz and Smitty’s barbecue feud in Lockhart. The story outlined how the two sides of the family came together to create Schmidt Family Barbecue in Bee Cave. It was a great piece, but the companion blog post

BBQ|
July 11, 2013

BBQ News: 07/04 – 07/11

– Killen’s BBQ in Pearland had their pit stolen, then recovered a couple of days later.  This after having a hot brisket stolen straight from the pit last month. I think they need a smoker enclosure.BBQ pit has been found, a little more

BBQ|
July 10, 2013

Interview: Stephen Joseph of Riverport Bar-B-Que

Photo by Nicholas McWhirter Owner/Pitmaster: Riverport Bar-B-Que, opened in 1993Age: 45Smoker: A steel offset smokerWood: Post OakI 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 put on the meat he would

BBQ Joint Reviews|
July 9, 2013

Coleman’s Bar-B-Q

It’s a long drive out to Clarksville from Dallas. It was a sunny Thursday and I had called in sick at work. The deadline for my barbecue assignment was looming and I hadn’t yet come on board as the barbecue editor. A few members of the barbecue tasting

BBQ|
July 8, 2013

Lockhart Smokehouse Expanding to Plano

Plano, Texas is about to get a solid barbecue option. Texas Monthly Top 50 BBQ joint, Lockhart Smokehouse has announced plans to expand. The original location opened in 2011 in the Bishop Arts District of Oak Cliff has seen their business grow to a point where owners Jill and

BBQ|
July 5, 2013

How to Slice a Brisket

When I’m watching a brisket being sliced, a few things make me shudder, like the aggressive purr of an electric knife, the whine of a deli slicer, and, the worst offense, watching the fat cap being discarded (but we’ll save that for another column).I’ll concede that there are several ways to

BBQ|
July 4, 2013

BBQ News: 06/28 – 07/04

– Texas BBQ in North Carolina? Yep. Jim Price prefers Texas brisket to Carolina whole hog, so his research included a stop in Lockhart, Texas before he opened JJ Texas BBQ in Havelock, NC.– Greg Gatlin of Top 50 BBQ Joint Gatlin’s BBQ in Houston is profiled

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