Brisket

TMBBQFest Photo Gallery

Oct 31, 2011 By Jason Cohen

Mouse over for captions, or click for full-size image. See ya next year (or tomorrow at your favorite joint)!…

Fine Advice for the TMBBQ Festival from The Texanist

Oct 29, 2011 By The Texanist

The barbecue bacchanal that is the Texas Monthly BBQ Festival is set to be, for the second year in row, an awe-inspiring helping of the very best barbecue in Texas (and therefore the world). Carnivorous connoisseurs of charry comestibles, a toothy group amongst whose ranks the Texanist proudly counts himself, will have their smoky dreams brought to life for this glorious once-a-year afternoon in Austin. To understate it badly, it’s going to be a very appetizing affair. In all, there will be 22 of the state’s most renowned barbecue establishments showcasing their succulent wares at the Fest. Smitty’s Market in Lockhart? Check. Snow’s BBQ in Lexington? Check. Casstevens Cash & Carry in Lillian? Check. Even already-venerable newcomer Franklin Barbecue in Austin will be there. Attending the festival will be not unlike like having the results of a months-long barbecue road trip conveniently delivered to you, where you can check nearly two dozen places off of your barbecue bucket list in one fell swoop. But wouldn’t it be a crying shame to have to be wheeled over to the emergency services tent for a light head and a heavy belly after having only visited, say, a dozen or so of the pits? Here, for the lucky attendants, are a few things to keep in mind. Not attending this year’s fest? Take note for next year. Admittedly the Texanist does not always heed his own advice, but try to exercise a little self control. In such a setting, what with all the mouthwatering aromas and glistening morsels, it will be impossible, but it never hurts to make the effort. Just remember, you are not a contestant in a competitive barbecue-eating contest.

TMBBQFest, “23 Pitmasters in 23 Days:” Smitty’s Market

Oct 29, 2011 By Jessica Huff

Editor’s Note: Just one more day until the Texas Monthly BBQ Festival! As you surely know by now, we’ve been interviewing all the featured pitmasters, with questions from TM staffers, esteemed BBQ experts, Twitter followers and you, the readers of this blog. Today we’re featuring John A. Fullilove, 38 , of Smitty’s Market…

TMBBQFest, “23 Pitmasters in 23 Days:” Wild Blue BBQ

Oct 27, 2011 By Emily Mitchell

Editor’s Note: Just three more days until the Texas Monthly BBQ Festival! As you surely know by now, we’ve been interviewing all the featured pitmasters, with questions from TM staffers, esteemed BBQ experts, Twitter followers and you, the readers of this blog. Today we’re featuring Abraham Avila, 42, of Wild Blue BBQ in…

TMBBQFest, “23 Pitmasters in 23 Days:” Vincek’s Smokehouse

Oct 26, 2011 By Willa Cockshutt

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’re featuring Gary Vincek, 48, of Vincek's Smokehouse in East Bernard. For more info, visit their page on TMBBQ.com. Photo by RioGailTX What is your heat source? We use pecan and oak wood. We start off with pecan and finish with oak. If you do everything with pecan it gets dark; pecan's a real heavy smoke Who did you learn your craft from? Did you work previously for another BBQ joint, learn it from family, or did you just learn it on your own? I used to work at Dozier's. It's just a meat market and barbecue joint. I learned here on my own through trial and error. There was a lot we didn't sell. What's your signature meat? Mainly brisket. Sauce or no sauce? We have it here if people want, and about 85 percent of people want it. But when we're cooking, we don't use any except the mop sauce which is vinegar, oil, and Worcestershire sauce.

TMBBQFest, “23 Pitmasters in 23 Days”: City Meat Market

Oct 24, 2011 By Jessica Huff

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're featuring Gerald Birkelbach, 55, of City Meat Market in Giddings. For more info, visit their page on TMBBQ.com. Photographs by Daniel Vaughn. What is your heat source? Post oak. Who did you learn your craft from? I learned it right here with on the job training starting 37-and-a-half years ago to be exact. What’s your signature meat? I think our signature meat is the pork Boston butt and the pork ribs. Sauce or no sauce? It is offered, yes. I do it both ways though to be perfectly honest. It depends on how I feel. We also make a jalapeno pepper sauce that’s on the tables and if I want sauce I’ll use that over BBQ sauce.

TMBBQFest, “23 Pitmasters in 23 Days:” Franklin Barbecue

Oct 21, 2011 By Layne Lynch

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 you Aaron Franklin, 33, of Franklin Barbecue in Austin. For more info, visit their page on TMBBQ.com. Photo Courtesy Franklin Barbecue Facebook/Jeff Stockton What is your heat source? Fire and post oak. We have two stacks. One stack is a year old, and the other is about two years old. We alternate between them. You’ve become popular so quickly. Does that newfound fame ever make you nervous? Yeah, it does make me really nervous. The more people know about a place, the more critical they are of it. You always wonder how to increase volume and keep the quality up when everybody is already searching for something to be wrong with it. It’s a little nerve-racking. We just hope for the best. Where did you learn your barbecue knack from? Honestly, I’d say in the backyard. Stacy and I have backyard barbecues every month, and I’d use my friends as guinea pigs. I remember you telling me your family was involved in the restaurant business? My family had a barbecue place for about three years when I was about ten. Later on when I was really getting into barbecue and getting nerdy with it, I ended up getting a job at John Mueller’s BBQ on Manor Road. I worked the register there and didn’t do a whole lot. I wanted to see if I liked it enough to pursue that kind of thing. You’re self-taught. Is good barbecue something you can be taught, or is it more of an innate thing? I don’t think you can teach someone how to do good barbecue. It takes so much experience to roll with punches and all of the different variables that come up. It’s not the kind of thing where you could work at a place for a year and all of the sudden know how to make great barbecue. It takes time to develop a sixth sense for it where it becomes something that you know exactly what’s going on.

TMBBQFest, “23 Pitmasters in 23 Days:” Snow’s Barbecue

Oct 20, 2011 By RL Reeves Jr

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 you Kerry Bexley, 44, of Snow's Barbecue in Lexington, Texas [ed: while Tootsie Tomanetz is the pitmaster, Kerry gets the ball rolling on Friday night 'til Tootsie comes in at 2 a.m. on Saturdays.] For more info, visit their page on TMBBQ.com. Photo courtesy Daniel Vaughn What is your heat source? We only use oak wood and we cook our briskets on indirect heat. All other meats are slow cooked over a bed of coals. Why oak? Oak is plentiful in our area—Lee County, Texas. Who did you learn your craft from? I actually learned from Miss  Tootsie who has more than 45 years in the game. What's your signature meat? We take pride in everything we do but our brisket is the most popular item, after that would be our signature sausage, then chicken, pork and ribs, special care is taken with everything we do. Sauce or no sauce? We offer our own blend of sauce on the table but we do not put any on during cooking process. We use a dry rub on our meat.