Pitmaster Interviews

Interview: Stephen Joseph of Riverport Bar-B-Que

Owner/Pitmaster: Riverport Bar-B-Que, opened in 1993 Age: 45 Smoker: A steel offset smoker Wood: Post Oak I called Stephen Joseph in the late afternoon while he watched over his pit. He was trying to get it up to temperature so he could put on the meat he would need for service the next day. Stephen had just returned to Jefferson from Dallas where he provided some incredible pulled pork at an event that benefitted Café…

Interview: Tootsie Tomanetz of Snow’s BBQ

Pitmaster: Snow’s BBQ; opened in 2003. Age: 78 Smoker: A steel smoker with an offset firebox for briskets, a direct heat pit for everything else. Wood: Post Oak Tootsie took her lunch break to talk with me while working her day job with the Giddings school district. After Texas Monthly named Snow’s BBQ the best barbecue joint in the state in 2008 she became one of the most well known names in Texas barbecue. By default that made her…

Interview: Kerry Bexley of Snow’s BBQ

Owner/Pitmaster: Snow’s BBQ; opened in 2003. Age: 46 Smoker: A steel smoker with an offset firebox for briskets, a direct heat pit for everything else. Wood: Post Oak It was Friday afternoon and Kerry was getting ready to start the fires for the pits at Snow’s BBQ in Lexington, Texas. Snow’s is open just one day a week, but Kerry has plenty other activities to keep him busy. He opened the place in 2003 and…

Interview: Wayne Mueller of Louie Mueller Barbecue

Wayne Mueller Owner/Pitmaster: Louie Mueller Barbecue; opened in 1949 Age: 47 Smoker: Brick pit with an offset firebox Wood: Post Oak I had intentions of talking to Wayne for this interview while we were both attending the Big Apple BBQ Block Party in New York. We talked a few times during the event, but there just wasn’t the thirty minutes of peace we needed for a real interview amongst the chaos. Instead he called back…

Interview: Justin Fourton of Pecan Lodge

Justin Fourton Owner/Pitmaster: Pecan Lodge; opened in 2010 Age: 37 Smoker:  Steel smoker with an offset firebox Wood: Mesquite and Oak I called Justin Fourton on his day off to set up this interview. His voice mail was full. He is a man in demand, but is always generous with his time. I drove to his restaurant where an employee watching the smoking pits said he had just left. When we finally hooked up it…

Interview: Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue

Aaron Franklin Owner/Pitmaster: Franklin Barbecue in Austin; opened in 2009 Age: 35 Smoker: Five steel offset smokers made from 1000 gallon propane tanks that are 5/16” thick. Wood: Post oak. Some seasoned, some green. Last week, I sat down with Aaron Franklin over a tray of ribs and brisket at the Blue Ox in Austin. Franklin had left the following day’s early shift to another employee so he had time for a few beers and…

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