Pitmaster Interviews

Interview: Samuel “Bo” Phillips of Cooper’s Bar-B-Que

Pitmaster: Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que; Opened 1963 Age: 64 Smoker: Charcoal-fired steel cooker and electric rotisserie smoker Wood: Lump Mesquite Charcoal There’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 get the briskets on. In their high heat method of cooking, the meat gets done a lot faster than anything cooked in the low and…

Interview: Johnny Fugitt of Barbecue Rankings

Writer: 100 Best Barbecue Restaurants in America Age: 29 Johnny Fugitt is nearing the end of a one year tour around the country looking for the best barbecue joints in the country – one hundred of them to be exact. He was sick of all the poorly researched national top ten lists out there, so he decided to set out on his own and eat as much barbecue as he could along the way. He…

Interview: Billy Durney of Hometown Bar-B-Que

Owner/Pitmaster: Hometown Bar-B-Que; Opened 2013 Age: 42 Smoker: Indirect Heat Wood-Fired Pit Wood: Oak and Cherry Billy Durney is all New York, but he knows where to go in Texas to find great barbecue. This past week his restaurant Hometown Bar-B-Que in Red Hook, Brooklyn celebrated its one year anniversary. Afterwards, he celebrated with a trip to Austin and Dallas for some pro-style barbecue eating. I enjoyed a great meal at Hometown when I visited there earlier this year….

Interview: Jimmy Harris of David’s Barbecue

Owner/Pitmaster: David’s Barbecue; Opened 1988 Age: 49 Smoker: Wood-fired Rotisserie Smoker Wood: Hickory Jimmy Harris doesn’t have much time for barbecue reviewers. “The real judge is that cash register.” And it hasn’t let him down for over two decades since he and his dad opened the place in Pantego. If you’re unfamiliar with Pantego, it’s a tiny municipality surrounded by the city of Arlington. The town is known for two things according to Harris. “Speed traps and bad water.”…

Interview: Prause Family of Prause Meat Market

Owners: Prause Meat Market; Opened 1890’s Age: Gary Prause (60), Brian Prause (59), Kathy Prause (55), Mark Prause, pitmaster (51) Smoker: Wood-fired brick pit Wood: Oak Prause (pronounced Prowse-ey) Meat Market has been operating in La Grange for one hundred ten years. The family moved the market into its current building on the downtown square in 1953, and these days the fourth generation of the family keeps it going. It’s one of the few barbecue joint/meat markets in Texas where the meat…

Interview: Seth Glaser of Opie’s BBQ

Pitmaster: Opie’s BBQ; Opened 1999 Age: 27 Smoker: Wood-Fired Rotisserie Smoker Wood: Mesquite Todd and Kristin Ashmore are the owners of Opie’s BBQ in Spicewood. A few years ago Seth Glaser married their daughter, and shortly after he started working there. At first, it was just a way to earn some extra money while he attended classes at Texas State, but after a few years he realized how much he liked barbecue. Now, the Ashmore’s son-in-law is also their…

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