TMBBQFest, “23 Pitmasters in 23 Days”: Buzzie’s Bar-B-Que

Oct 10, 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, it's 29 year-old Tad Honeycutt of Buzzie’s BBQ in Kerrville -- co-winner of last year's People's Choice award for brisket. For more info, visit their page on is your heat source? Oak wood only.Who did you learn your craft from? My stepfather Buzzie Hughes (pictured) taught me everything he knows. Buzzie grew up cookin’ and is self-taught, with a German background. Every weekend they [Buzzie and Tad's mom] would have big parties doing barbecue. The parties grew and grew and before we knew it we had two hundred people at the house. My mom said, "look we’re going to have to start charging people or start a restaurant."What’s your signature meat? Brisket - slow smoked, low temp. 275 degrees.Sauce or no sauce? We offer a tomato-base homemade barbecue sauce on the side. We've tried doing marinades. We just feel like our product comes out a lot better without injecting them with anything. We’ve just never got into it.What non-secret ingredients are in your spice rub, if you use one Fajita seasoning.

TMBBQFest, “23 Pitmasters in 23 Days”: Casstevens B-B-Q & Catering

Oct 7, 2011 By Emily Mitchell

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 (fire away in comments section). Today it's Angela Ashley, 54, of Casstevens B-B-Q & Catering, which is tucked inside a Diamond Shamrock "Cash and Carry" in the town of Lillian, just southeast of Fort Worth. For more info, visit their page on Photograph by Daniel Vaughn What's your heat source? We use mesquite on two pits that are ancient! They are old. We’ve been cooking in those things for as long as I’ve been there and before. And we repair the ones that we have because we get much better service. When it develops a few holes, we get the welder to come out and fix it. Harold Casstevens, the founder, he had these two pits built for his specifications. He started the business in 1976, and was considered the "mayor" of Lillian. He had it up until six years ago, and he sold it to his son-in-law, and then he turned around and sold it to [current owner] Jameson Titus. Who did you learn your craft from? I’ve been here for 13 years. So either you got good at it or you weren’t there anymore! Harold Casstevens taught me everything that I need to know about the pit, and the quality of meat and everything. I worked for him for a lot of years. And he basically taught me how to build a fire, how to tell how hot the pits are, how to get them hot. Because we have one [pit] inside and one [pit] outside. We used to have both of ‘em that sat right on the street because I tell ya, that’s the best advertising that you can have. The pit sitting out front with the mesquite smell coming out… I mean, he taught me that from the very beginning. Instead of going and paying lots of money for your advertising, just keep those pits going all day with that smoke and that smell coming out all day. And he was right. But it’s been so dry, the fire chief from down the road, he said ‘Look. I’m not gonna give you a hard time about the pits…but can you please just move one of ‘em inside?’ So that’s what we did. What’s your signature meat? I will tell you, people come from miles around for our all-beef smoked bologna. I mean, I am not kidding you! You would not believe…it’s crazy. Cass [Casstevens] from the very beginning, he used nothing but all-beef bologna. And that stuff gets hard to find. And so we use all-beef bologna and we smoke it on the pit and we slice it ourselves. And it just hangs off the bun.  And these guys come in, and they will have one or two a day. We’re also very well-known for "Old Ike" hot links.* And when we don’t have ‘em, these guys get upset. And they love the black-brown crust on our brisket. And it really is the best I’ve ever had, and I’m not just sayin’ that.

Photo Preview: John Mueller’s JMueller BBQ Is (Finally!) Almost (Really!) Here

Oct 6, 2011 By Jason Cohen

It's been a long time in the making (a VERY long time in the making): John Mueller, sometimes called the black sheep of the Taylor smoked meat family, is almost back in business here in Austin. Mueller, who used to have a legendary place on Manor Rd. (and famously sold his smoker to Aaron Franklin), has a new trailer at 1501 South 1st St., and the fire has been lit. Visit his web site or follow @jmuellerbbq on Twitter for upcoming details (and while you're at it, follow us). The Smoker "Burning Out" Ribs to Prepare Smoker

Is That a Brisket in Your Pocket?… Sam’s Bar-B-Que and Other Austin Restaurants Charged With Buying Stolen Meat

Jul 29, 2011 By Jason Cohen

Photo by Brian Birzer MEATLIFTING. It's nothing new. The 2010 arrest of Austin's Ronnie Allen Brock provided Texas Monthly with one of our trademark never-ending punny Bum Steer headlines (as if "Bum Steer" itself wasn't enough). But meat fencing? With an undercover sting called "Operation Meat Locker" to catch local restaurants buying cowntraband? (Sorry.) It sounds like something out of Adult Swim's new procedural parody NTSF:SD:SUV. But it happened yesterday in Austin, with East Side institution Sam's Bar-B-Que getting nailed. Also charged was Willie's Bar-B-Que and the Mexican restaurant La Morenita. KUT appears to have been first to post the story:

Trailer Thursday: Old School BBQ and Grill

Sep 16, 2010 By Megan Giller

Good Samaritan that you are, if you saw a school bus on the side of the road with smoke billowing from its roof, you’d probably call 911. Now, it might seem counterintuitive, but don’t dial those digits. Pull over, whip out your wallet, and prepare for some of the…

Once a Barbecue Fanatic, Always a Barbecue Fanatic

Apr 8, 2010 By Patricia Sharpe

Many years ago, before he moved away from Austin to the Frozen North (the D.C. area), journalist Jim Shahin was one of the people I turned to in times of freelance need. He contributed to food stories for Texas Monthly, but mainly, he distinguished himself by possessing a barbecue…