In the world of next level BBQ, there are tried and true methods where simplicity is key, but getting to the next level also requires creativity, innovation and painstaking product sourcing. Even when you think you’ve found a winning combination, don’t come to that conclusion by asking your family to review your BBQ. “Let someone else tell you if it’s good.”
And that’s just what brothers Brad and Brandon Doan of 1775 Texas Pit BBQ did when they started out. After they found a location to set up their BBQ joint near College Station, they got straight to work setting up their smokers and food truck, and started waving people in. When advertising is 100% word-of-mouth, getting as many people as possible to try their BBQ and tell their friends was key. It turns out there are some benefits to opening a BBQ joint right down the road from Texas A&M University; some of those frequent visitors who came to sample happened to be the Professors there.
As Brad reminisced, “When the folks that teach courses on BBQ start giving you props, that’s something special.” Especially when those Professors also happened to have a significant following in the BBQ world. After some initial praise from them, the broader BBQ community started coming out and sharing on their social media which helped tremendously. And then of course making the 2019 Texas Monthly ‘Top 25 New BBQ Joints’ list gave them a healthy nudge. But don’t be fooled, the Doan brothers aren’t getting comfortable.
“You’re only as good as the last brisket you smoked,” Brad explains, “so it’s important to continue to push yourself and make things better every week.” Brad isn’t satisfied when customers feel good about his BBQ; he wants them to be blown away, every time. When those kinds of commitments are in tow, you have to keep striving for excellence. And with the competitive nature of the BBQ scene overall, being unique is essential. One of 1775’s main differentiating factors – beyond the requisite outstanding food – is that it’s a true family business.
When you pull up to 1775, you’ll be greeted by Mark (Dad) who is the host with the most. You’ll also see the smiling faces of Belinda (Mom) and Glenda (Brandon’s wife) making fresh sides like their signature cucumber salad which is a nice light addition with your BBQ, along with homemade sauces and desserts. Another key differentiator came while Brad served in the Army in South Korea. While there, he used to cook up BBQ on the weekends for their camp–a prerequisite, not a request: “Get the Texas crew over here to cook some BBQ!” This required a lot of creative thinking and problem solving in an unpredictable environment.
When asked if Brad and Brandon could share some of their BBQ secrets (yes, we had to ask that question), they mentioned a few key things:
- Fire Management: Consistent temperature is vital. At first, keep a close eye on your temperature gauges. Once you’re more experienced, you’ll know exactly how hot the pit is just by feeling it (for advanced folks only!)
- Patience, patience, patience: Brandon explains this one feels like a given but it’s not always as easy as you may think.
- Outstanding Product: This one is essential and don’t make decisions based on price. Go the extra distance for the highest quality beef that will be a guaranteed return on the investment. 1775 serves Goodstock By Nolan Ryan beef which is the best beef for BBQ because it cuts like butter every time.
Here are some more details that Brad and Brandon shared with us about Goodstock beef:
- Goodstock beef is consistently tender and smokes amazing every time.
- 1775 only smokes Goodstock Black Label beef briskets, a U.S.D.A. Prime product. When they made the switch, regulars could tell the difference.
- The Goodstock team just understood the needs of 1775 and put a beef program into action that made sense for their business. Goodstock’s service is everything. This level of integrity is important to Mr. Nolan Ryan.
- Goodstock is responsibly sourced and folks these days want to know that they’re getting their beef from a trusted beef purveyor.
- The Goodstock team stocked 1775 with printed materials explaining all of the details behind their beef program so customers can read about it while they visit and dine.