Pitmaster Interviews

Interview: Will Fleischman of Lockhart Smokehouse

Pitmaster: Lockhart Smokehouse, Plano; Opened 2014 Age: 42 Smoker: Indirect Heat Wood-Fired Pit Wood: Oak Will Fleischman has tattoos and steel hoops in his ears, but his most distinguishing feature is the beard. He’s hard to miss when behind the counter slicing, but it might be a while before he can get back at it. When I went in for our interview he greeted me with one arm in a sling. He broke a few bones trying to fix…

Interview: Lance Kirkpatrick of Stiles Switch BBQ

Pitmaster: Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew; Opened 2011 Age: 44 Smoker: Indirect Heat Wood-Fired Pit Wood: Post Oak Lance Kirkpatrick didn’t grow up cooking barbecue. He didn’t come from a long line of barbecue cooks, but at the age of thirty-one he answered the most important newspaper ad of his life. Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor, Texas was looking for someone to help at the restaurant. Lance got the job which set him on the path to learn barbecue from…

Interview: Steve Kapchinskie of Martin’s Place

Owner/Pitmaster: Martin’s Place; Opened 1925 (current location 1939) Age: 57 Smoker: Indirect Heat Wood-Fired Pit Wood: Oak A Kapchinskie has been cooking barbecue at Martin’s Place in Bryan, Texas since 1925. That makes it older than Black’s BBQ in Lockhart and just as old as Prine’s BBQ in Wichita Falls. Today, it’s still a family affair. Steve Kapchinskie has been manning the pits for forty-five years. He married his wife Betty thirty-seven years ago, and she has worked the front counter…

Interview: Kirby Hyden of Kirby’s Barbeque

Owner/Pitmaster: Kirby’s Barbeque; opened 1991 (2007 in current location) Age: 59 Smoker: Offset steel smokers Wood: Oak Until Anna Nicole Smith came along, the most famous area resident of Limestone County was Cynthia Ann Parker. She was abducted from Fort Parker at a young age, and her story inspired the John Wayne movie The Searchers. A decade after the 1836 massacre that led to her abduction, the Hydens settled in Limestone County. Kirby Hyden is a third generation barbecue…

Interview: Joe Davidson of Oklahoma Joe’s Bar-B-Cue

Owner/Pitmaster: Oklahoma Joe’s Bar-B-Cue; Opened 2011 Age: 52 Smoker: Gas-Fired Rotisserie Smoker Wood: Pecan Joe Davidson has been involved in all aspects of the barbecue world. He became a successful entrepreneur when his smoker company got off the ground in the eighties. He hit his stride in barbecue competitions in the early nineties, and won the Jack in 1993. Then he and his competition nemesis Jeff Stehney became business partners in the restaurant business with Oklahoma Joe’s Barbecue in…

Interview: Adrian Handsborough of Virgie’s Bar-B-Que

Owner/Pitmaster: Virgie’s Bar-B-Que; Opened 2005 Age: 49 Smoker: Wood-Fired Offset Smoker Wood: Post Oak On Virgie’s website they have a brief description of their restaurant, but what has stuck with me was their promise of a “barbecure.” It’s a pun so obvious I’m curious why it isn’t used more often. Their ribs are sure to be the cure for plenty of ailments, and the brisket’s not bad either. I love that sausage too, but Handsborough wasn’t about to tell me…

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