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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.

1765 Articles

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

BBQ|
July 3, 2013

The Jerky Heap: Cooper’s Beef Jerky

Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que is well known for cooking large pieces of meat over mesquite coals. You can place your order directly at the pit before carrying it inside to have it weighed. While you wait, there are bags of jerky hanging there just waiting for

BBQ Joint Reviews|
July 2, 2013

The Slow Bone Barbeque

“You can master this process fairly quickly.” This was the quote from Slow Bone owner Jack Perkins a few months before he opened his first barbecue joint in April of this year. Perkins has been a force in the Dallas dining scene since his much heralded burger joint,

BBQ|
July 1, 2013

Book Profile: Meat America

Title: Meat AmericaAuthor: Dominic EpiscopoPublished: Self-published in 2012Meat art has a provocative history in the last few decades. Lady Gaga famously wore a dress made of raw meat to the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards. That outfit was certainly unique, but the idea was predated by Jana

BBQ|
June 28, 2013

BBQ Anatomy 101: The Slaughter

For three days this week I was a student at Beef 101, an intensive course taught by the Texas A&M University meat science staff, led by Dr. Davey Griffin, Dr. Jeff Savell, and Ray Riley. The class covers everything about cattle, from the time

BBQ|
June 27, 2013

BBQ News: 06/21 – 06/27

– Pecan Lodge in Dallas, a Top 4 BBQ joint in the state, just might be moving. Owner and pitmaster Justin Fourton hinted at this possibility in our interview a few weeks back. Some even speculate that their next stop might not be in Dallas.– A

BBQ|
June 26, 2013

Interview: Tootsie Tomanetz of Snow’s BBQ

Pitmaster: Snow’s BBQ; opened in 2003.Age: 78Smoker: A steel smoker with an offset firebox for briskets, a direct heat pit for everything else.Wood: Post OakTootsie took her lunch break to talk with me while working her day job with the Giddings school district. After Texas Monthly named Snow’s BBQ the best barbecue

BBQ Joint Reviews|
June 25, 2013

Woodshed Smokehouse

Woodshed Smokehouse is a reflection of its owner and chef Tim Love. He’s an ambitious chef with several restaurants and a face made for television. He is a busy man with many talents and the menu at Woodshed Smokehouse is as busy. There are many genres of food

BBQ|
June 24, 2013

VIDEO: Hog Butchering

We bring you thirty minutes of a very detailed lesson on hog butchering. If you’re only interested in a lesson on pork ribs, skip ahead to the 19:00 mark. For a full list of pork cuts with their full food

BBQ|
June 21, 2013

Competitions and Convocations

Two weeks ago I was bathed in hickory smoke in the middle of New York City. For two days the streets surrounding Madison Square Park in Manhattan were taken over by pitmasters who had been invited to cook at the annual Big Apple Barbecue Block Party. Eighteen barbecue joints from

BBQ|
June 20, 2013

BBQ News: 06/14 – 6/20

– Good news. We announced a couple weeks back that Hashknife on the Chisholm was closing. Word from owner Jim McLennan is that they’re reopening with a limited menu.After a hard 3 wks of thinking,refurbished kitchen,and a new staff,hashknife will reopen with bbq and burgers only,Opening wed june

BBQ|
June 19, 2013

Come back to Texas, John T.

I read your plea, John T. Edge. Until now I’ve been a great admirer of your writing. It’s hard to read the words without hearing your buttery Southern intonation like the read-along records of my youth. It is through your articles and lectures that I’ve learned much of

BBQ|
June 19, 2013

Interview: Kerry Bexley of Snow’s BBQ

Kerry Bexley (center) at the Texas Monthly BBQ FestivalOwner/Pitmaster: Snow’s BBQ; opened in 2003.Age: 46Smoker: A steel smoker with an offset firebox for briskets, a direct heat pit for everything else.Wood: Post OakIt was Friday afternoon and Kerry was getting ready to start the fires for the pits at

BBQ Joint Reviews|
June 18, 2013

The Brisket House

Even if you know where it is, this unassuming storefront in a beige brick strip mall is easy to miss. I almost drove by it even as I stared at the blue dot on my iPhone signaling its location. I’d had eaten some samples from The Brisket House at the

BBQ|
June 17, 2013

Texas Monthly Top 50 BBQ Map

A kind soul names Chris has placed all of the barbecue joints in Texas Monthly’s Top 50 list along with the honorable mentions. Use it for your travels. We thank you, Chris. View Texas Monthly Top 50 BBQ Joints in the World 2013 in a larger

BBQ|
June 14, 2013

Mystery Diners: Cooper’s Bar-B-Q Edition

Terry Wootan is best known as the owner of Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Q, and some in Llano might know him for his real estate business. But the I bet few would expect to see him as a dramatic actor on a television show.That might be

BBQ|
June 14, 2013

In Defense of Gassers

For one night last week, Franklin Barbecue was transported from Austin to New York. Texas Monthly brought Aaron Franklin and his kitchen manager, Braun Hughes, to cook a little barbecue in the pit of Hill Country Barbecue Market in Manhattan. Tickets for the event sold out in less than a

BBQ|
June 13, 2013

BBQ News: 06/07 – 06/13

– Making the most recent Texas Monthly Top 50 BBQ joint list has been big local news for a few barbecue joint across Texas. Among those is Fargo’s in Bryan, The Granary and Two Bros. BBQ Market in San Antonio, Hatfield’s in Rockport, Hays

BBQ|
June 12, 2013

Interview: Wayne Mueller of Louie Mueller Barbecue

Wayne MuellerOwner/Pitmaster: Louie Mueller Barbecue; opened in 1949Age: 47Smoker: Brick pit with an offset fireboxWood: Post OakI had intentions of talking to Wayne for this interview while we were both attending the Big Apple BBQ Block Party in New York. We talked a few times during the

BBQ|
June 11, 2013

The Jerky Heap: Pig of the Month BBQ

Today marks the first Jerky Heap challenge. We’ll taste one jerky at a time and see if it’s better than the current leader or not. If it’s better then it gets top billing and remains on the top of the Jerky Heap.Pig of the Month

BBQ Joint Reviews|
June 11, 2013

Circle J Bar-B-Que

Over a year ago a friend of mine, Steve Dean, sent me a photo of this joint. The ramshackle look of the building had an outdated “Bush/Cheney 2004” sign in the front window and a sign on the door read “SHUT”. Steve and I both assumed it was

BBQ|
June 10, 2013

Smoked in Texas: Ranger Creek Mesquite Smoked Porter

I sat down with a panel of beer drinkers to sample a smoked beer made in Texas. Ranger Creek in San Antonio makes a Mesquite Smoked Porter. According to their description it is “brewed with a Texas twist, using malt smoked in-house over Texas mesquite.” This is made

BBQ|
June 7, 2013

The Importance of Wrapping Brisket

There are plenty of ways to screw up a brisket, but when you get it right it’s a beautiful thing. If you’re smoking it at home, it’s not a terribly difficult process. Start by purchasing the right grade, then trim it properly, season it with your favorite rub, and

BBQ|
June 6, 2013

BBQ News: 5/31 – 6/06

– A look back at the life of Calvin “Boots” Payne, the founder of Cousin’s Bar-B-Q, who passed away last week.– Guns and Roses played a show in Dallas and took the opportunity to stop by Pecan Lodge and help make some sausage.Guns+Roses stopped

BBQ|
June 5, 2013

Interview: Justin Fourton of Pecan Lodge

Justin Fourton Owner/Pitmaster: Pecan Lodge; opened in 2010 Age: 37 Smoker:  Steel smoker with an offset firebox Wood: Mesquite and OakI called Justin Fourton on his day off to set up this interview. His voice mail was full. He is a man in demand, but is always generous with

BBQ Joint Reviews|
June 3, 2013

3 Stacks Smoke & Tap House

Jason Hall may be the owner of 3 Stacks, but Trace Arnold is the personality. You may have seen Trace manning the Ultimate Smoker & Grill during one of their cross-country road trips. The rig is essentially a traveling billboard for hire that also happens to be able to

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