Pitmaster: Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que; Opened 1962Age: 64Smoker: Charcoal-fired steel cooker and electric rotisserie smokerWood: Lump Mesquite CharcoalThere’s more than one cook at a big operation like Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que in Llano, but Bo Phillips is the one who gets up early enough to
You’d think finding good barbecued goat in the Texas Hill Country wouldn’t be so difficult. This area has been the U.S. epicenter of sheep and goat ranching since the nineteenth century when wool and mohair (wool from goats) production took a foothold. Herds expanded greatly in the twentieth century, and while numbers have fallen in this
Texas is in the midst of a barbecue renaissance, an age of smoky enlightenment. One need only sample the goods at new-guard establishments like Franklin Barbecue, in Austin, or Pecan Lodge, in Dallas, to realize it. Yet in the face of all this newfangled excitement, Cooper’s continues to soldier on—an
The Hill Country Drive, the BBQ Market Drive, the Backwoods Drive, and thirteen other summer trips, from the mountains to the coast, that will take you down some of the prettiest, most picturesque, most wide-open stretches of asphalt Texas has to offer. Buckle up!
Out of more than half a million acres of state parks and natural areas, we’ve chosen the ten best trips—where to camp, what to do, and what to look for when you head to the nearest town
Don’t miss your ’cue: We pick the top joints in Texas for brisket, ribs, sausage, and all the sides. Plus, the godfather of barbacoa, the biggest free feast in the state, and more.
Big, breezy porches in Port Aransas, the only heated pool for miles in Marathon: You’ll get more than just a bed and breakfast at these ten appealing places to stay.
In 1962, Tommy Cooper was sent out by his father George to expand the Cooper’s BBQ business from Mason to Llano. Tommy sadly died in an accident in 1979 and the business was sold. It was sold again in 1986 to current owner Terry Wootan who has seen this Hill
A selection of our favorite bird-related stories from around the state.
The luminaries of Texas barbecue are justly revered—from Lockhart's century old Kreuz Market, to Taylor's estimable Louie Mueller Barbecue to the ever-popular Cooper's Old Time Pit BBQ in Llano. For the BBQ dabbler these names are familiar, but their pitmasters may as well be Hollywood celebrities
This blistering summer has left Texas drier than a piece of gas station jerky. It was so hot that planes couldn’t take off from airports and train tracks were bent out of shape. And while Governor Rick Perry prayed for a downpour to end the drought, officials in Llano turned
Where it is: 24 miles south of Llano What you’ll do: Climb a 425-foot batholith in the middle of the Hill Country Where you’ll sleep: Three primitive camping areas for those who like to get away from it allWhat you’ll learn: The name is thought to come from the Tonkawa,
It had been some time since my last visit to Cooper’s in Llano. This haven for bikers out on their Saturday stroll isn’t on the way from Dallas to anywhere, so I made a special road trip of my own. There was some BBQ sampled along the way, but
Handmade crafts, homey cafes, and cowboy couture make this Hill Country hamlet a browser’s paradise.
The horror! Our first pass through the Hill Country’s most renowned barbecue joint was utterly disappointing. The pork ribs were tough, the sausage was bland, and the fatty brisket was downright chewy. Even the sides were lackluster. Still, no one seemed to mind; the place was packed on a weekday
A grand old opry in Mason, a homestyle bakery in Llano, a cabin with a view of the Sabinal Canyon, and sixteen other things I love about the Hill Country.