Pitmaster Interviews

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…

Interview: Cliff Payne of Cousin’s BBQ

Owner/Pitmaster: Cousin’s BBQ; Opened 1983 Age: 59 Smoker: Wood-fired Rotisserie Smoker Wood: Hickory & Pecan As the name suggests, Cousin’s BBQ is about family. Calvin “Bootsie” Payne III opened the place on McCart Avenue in Fort Worth in 1983 along with his wife and three of his children. His son Cliff Payne has been in charge of the barbecue since they opened the doors, and you can still find him working at the McCart location…

Interview: Ricky Murray of Murray’s BBQ

Owner/ Pitmaster: Murray’s BBQ; Opened 1987 Age: 58 Smoker: Indirect Heat Wood-Fired Pit Wood: Hickory and Pecan Ricky Murray handed me a chopped beef and hot link sandwich and lined up several bottles of hot sauce. He makes a good barbecue sauce, but he considers himself more a hot sauce aficionado. Before my meal and our interview ended, he was swirling together sauces to make a custom blend that he swore would go well with the last few bites…

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