Daniel Vaughn's Profile Photo

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.

1765 Articles

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,

BBQ|
August 29, 2013

BBQ News: 08/23 – 08/29

– Tickets for the Texas Monthly Barbecue Festival are sold out.– In an interview in Scientific American, Richard Wrangham says that barbecue is what made us human starting back a couple million years ago.– The US Open tennis tournament in New York will be serving barbecue this year from

BBQ|
August 28, 2013

Bohemia Comes to Texas

We wrote about Bohemia Chips a few weeks ago when the Czech snack company announced plans to send a contest winner from the Czech Republic to Austin for the Texas Monthly Barbecue Festival. The company has sent an emissary to Texas in the form of Kazma Kazmitch.

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.

Texas History|
August 20, 2013

The Genesis of the Barbecue Joint

Sifting through old Texas newspapers, I found the first mention of commercial smoked meat from the Brenham Weekly Banner, which announced that a Bastrop butcher "keeps on hand at his stall a ready stock of barbecued meats and cooked sausages."

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

Magazine Latest