In response to the pandemic, Texas Monthly put a virtual spin on its eleventh annual barbecue festival which normally attracts thousands of attendees in downtown Austin. In 2020, BBQ Fest: Backyard Edition was held from October 24–November 1 and invited BBQ fans from all over to participate in three ways—at home, in their neighborhood, or online—while also donating to help neighbors in need through Feeding Texas.
First, BBQ fans were encouraged to order an At-Home BBQ Box, filled with cooking tools and barbecue staples curated from Top 50 BBQ Joints. For eight days starting October 24, 60 barbecue joints participated in statewide TM BBQ Week, featuring limited-time menu items and specialty offerings. The festival ended with an online livestream event titled Daniel Vaughn’s Backyard BBQ Show. Texas Monthly’s barbecue editor invited viewers into his backyard where he cooked meat, toasted to Texas barbecue, and interviewed top pitmasters. During the event, he fielded audience questions and awarded prizes to lucky viewers, including products from YETI, Pit Barrel Cooker, ThermoWorks, KBQ, and memberships to the newly relaunched TM BBQ Club!
Thanks to all the pitmasters and BBQ Freaks who participated in BBQ Fest: Backyard Edition. We look forward to 2021, when we can hopefully all gather again!