Texas Monthly BBQ

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.

TMBBQFest, “23 Pitmasters in 23 Days:” Baker’s Ribs

Oct 19, 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 bring you Joe Duncan, 61, of Baker's Ribs in Dallas, Garland, Mesquite, Rowlett, Greenville, Canton, Houston, Weatherford, Rowlett, and even Eden Prairie, Minnesota. For more info, visit their page on TMBBQ.com. Photo courtesy Daniel Vaughn What is your heat source? Hickory wood. Who did you learn your craft from? I did an internship with Roland Lindsey but I taught myself quite a few things. I just learned some smoking techniques and what not there. What’s your signature meat? Well, obviously ribs. You know what the name of my restaurant is right?

TMBBQFest, “23 Pitmasters in 23 Days:” Hard Eight BBQ

Oct 18, 2011 By Alana Peden

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 Chad Decker, 38, of Hard Eight BBQ in Stephenville, Brady, and Coppell. For more info, visit their page on TMBBQ.com. What is your heat source? Strictly mesquite wood. We burn it down in the incinerator until we get good coals, and then we take the coals from our heat box and shovel them and spread them out underneath our meat. Mesquite always gives the barbecue a good flavor. We derive from the Hill Country area, and mesquite wood tends to be the most favored flavor of meat down there. We’ve found it to be pretty popular up here in the North Texas area as well. Who did you learn your craft from? My dad, and my family. We grew up there in Llano, and this is the way we cook. This is how everybody does for every FFA meeting, livestock show, backyard barbeque, church on Sunday; everybody does this the same way. So that’s where I learned it. Did you previously work at another BBQ joint? I worked at Cooper’s for a little bit. You know, just in the summer there in Llano. One summer, three or four weeks there, it wasn’t a long term deal. I started this place with my mother-in-law and father-in-law, Phillip and Vicki Nivens. What’s your signature meat? A lot of people really do like our ribs. Our ribs are one of our main items. Of course, being a barbeque place, brisket and sausage are the most popular. But as far as one of our signature items, I’d say our ribs, and then we have our brush poppers. A brush popper is a small piece of turkey breast, wrapped with a jalapeno onion, then wrapped in bacon, and then grilled over mesquite coals. Do you make your own sausage? We have our own sausage recipe. It’s a beef-pork mixture that we wanted to be eaten as a meal. Somebody can come in here and have it as a meal, instead of a side item like most people do. I’ve got customers now that love our sausage so much they’ll just say, “Give me half a link of that,” and that’s all they want. It’s not that big, greasy, overwhelming, when-you-bite-into-the-grease-just-shoots-down-the-back-of-your-throat, it’s not that way. We use more of a coarse grind, so you get a taste of the meat itself. You get to actually taste the texture of the meat that’s used in the grind.

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