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 youWayne Coleman, 43, of Coleman’s in Clarksville. For more info, visit their page on TMBBQ.com. What is your heat source?
We use a fire oven and hickory. It’s the trademark that we decided to use. Hickory smoke. Who did you learn your craft from? I started at Coleman’s and have been in business 39 years. I learned at probably about 10, my dad taught me. What’s your signature meat? Beef. We smoke it and put sauce on it. Pretty much a family recipe. Sauce or no sauce? Sauce. We use a thin sauce, not thick. We prefer it. A lot people like our sauce, ’cause most of the time they prefer bread. They always want more bread and more sauce. The sauce has been around for 39 years, ever since we’ve been here. Do you make your own sausage? No, we buy it. Slow and low or high and faster? What temperature do you generally try to maintain? I like slow and low, it cooks it better to me and it always does. It’s the way we been doing it; We cook it for 15-16 hours. What non-secret ingredients are in your spice rub, if you use one. Just a regular BBQ rub, nothing but. Adkins BBQ rub. It kind of seasons your meat. We try to get our meat as tender as we can before it falls apart. Do you start a new fire each day or do you keep the same one going? I start a new fire, it’s better for the BBQ. Start it slow, let it catch up, get to the temp I need and then put it on and let it go. Aluminum foil or butcher paper? More generally, what is the secret to holding great barbecue? We put it on the smoke and let it go. In the end, I might wrap it up in some foil to keep it warm, but other than that, I just let it cook out. What should the home smoker look for when picking out a side of brisket from the market? Is grade or quality important or does smoking render them all equally delectable? It’s pretty much the smoking that will make it delicious, it’ll depend on the meat too. You don’t want your meat to be too lean or too fat. Other than that, just cook and look. What’s the one other piece of advice you’d give to someone smoking a brisket at home? Probably clean it up real good and get a good temperature on your pit and cook it slow. That’s when I get my best results. Do you use or have you considered using a gas- or electric-fired smoker, such as a Southern Pride, Ole Hickory, or J&R, for any of your meats? I’ll probably just stick to the wood. I’ve seen the other grills, as a matter of fact I cooked on one before. I don’t like them. They’re better now, I tried an Ole Hickory they brought out here. Ever have any Texas barbecue outside of Texas? What did you think? I’ve tried Indiana and California BBQ. Just a different BBQ. Way different. I’ll try just about anything, but I prefer Texas on the BBQ, for the flavor overall.