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Texas BBQ

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)! Pat Gee’s Barbecue: McSpadden captured the joint, deep in the woods outside Tyler, before the sun came up. Evie Mae’s Pit Barbeque: A beef rib at Evie…

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”: Stanley’s Famous Pit Bar-B-Q

Oct 23, 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. Today we bring you Nick Pencis of Stanley's Famous Pit Bar-B-Q in Tyler. For more info, visit their page on TMBBQ.com. Photo courtesy Daniel Vaughn. What is your heat source? We use pecan. It’s just kind of a preference thing. Stanley’s actually sits on a pecan grove. I was smelling the pecan smoke, and I thought ‘no one around here smokes with pecan. Everyone’s hickory, hickory, hickory. Or mesquite or oak, and it’s like, I’m gonna be a different guy.' It’s my personal preference, and I just decided I’m gonna be straight pecan guy. Who did you learn your craft from? I came to work here in 2005, and I bought it in 2006. That’s the crazy thing, I had never in my life barbecued before. But I just have always been a huge, huge fan of barbecue. I'm 100 percent self taught. What’s your signature meat? I’m really happy with our sausage. I don’t know if I would call it our signature meat, but I’m happy with the philosophy. I don’t like MSG or weird chemical things. The sausage is just pork and spice in a natural case. Do you make your own sausage? You know, there is a meat market a block from here that’s been here since the 1950’s and I take my recipe and they make our sausage. It’s fresh. I’m not able to actually do it here, but they do it for me there. They bring me sausage every other day or so. The first batch we ever made was for the Texas Monthly BBQ festival last year. And people liked it! So I was like, alright, let’s figure it out.

TMBBQFest, “23 Pitmasters in 23 Days:” Taylor Cafe

Oct 23, 2011 By Daniel Vaughn

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 Scott Morales, 45 and Vencil Mares, 87, of Taylor Café in Taylor. For more info, visit their page on TMBBQ.com. As far as your heat source, I assume you guys use all wood there? Scott: Yes. And what kind of wood? Scott: Post Oak Who did you learn your craft from? Did you previously work at another barbeque joint? Scott: I learned the majority from Vencil and then a little bit on my own, just barbecuing on weekends. How about you, Vencil? Vencil: From Southside Market in Elgin, Texas. And at your place do you have a meat that you consider a signature meat? Scott: Probably our turkey sausage. The turkey sausage and pretty much everything’s to die for. The turkey sausage, you guys make that in-house. Do you have another sausage? Scott: Yes. We also make our own beef sausage also. Is that like an Elgin "hot guts" style? Scott: No it’s pretty much a signature of Vencil’s. It’s always been.

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.