Pitmaster Interviews

Interview: Kent Black of Black’s BBQ

Pitmaster/Manager: Black’s BBQ, opened 1932 (current location since 1936) Age: 60 Smoker: Wood-fired offset smokers and gas-fired rotisseries Wood: Post Oak Black’s BBQ is a family affair. After starting in 1932, they now have the fourth generation, Barrett Black, working at the restaurant. Three of those generations recently appeared together on CBS Sunday Morning. Black’s BBQ was featured along with Kreuz Market in Lockhart, and it was something special seeing Edgar Black, who is not in great health, sitting there…

Interview: Roy Perez of Kreuz Market

Pitmaster: Kreuz Market, opened 1900 (current location since 1999) Age: 51 Smoker: Wood-fired offset smoker Wood: Post Oak The following is reprinted from the January 2014 issue of Texas Monthly, and also includes additional material from the interview taken on October 5, 2013. Kreuz Market is the most famous name in the most famous barbecue city in Texas. Founded in 1900, it has for decades been an exemplar of the classic German meat-market style of Texas barbecue and…

Interview: Bob Allen of Bob’s Bar-B-Que

Owner/Co-Pitmaster: Bob’s Bar-B-Que, opened 1980 Age: 74 Smoker: Wood-fired offset smoker Wood: Hickory Henderson, Texas is a small town of about 13,000 between Tyler and Nacogdoches in East Texas. This is where Bob Allen was born and raised, and where he aims to stay. He’s seen a lot of Henderson barbecue joints come and go in his seventy-four years, but he has stayed strong at his own barbecue joint for almost thirty-four years. Keeping up the legacy is…

Interview: Kathleen Mann of Mann’s Smokehouse BBQ

Pitmaster: Mann’s Smokehouse BBQ, opened 1996 Age: 31 Smoker: Gas-Fired rotisserie smoker Wood: Pecan and Oak In a town that’s all about the meat, Mann’s in Austin boasts sixteen side items. It’s cut from a different cloth, which makes sense if you know that Jim and Sallie Mann opened this place after moving from a small town in Georgia. They didn’t know much about Texas barbecue and they knew even less about the restaurant business, but…

Interview: J&R Manufacturing

Owners: H.E. Finley and Mike Higgins Company: J&R Manufacturing, since 1974 Mike Higgins, a chemical engineer, and H. E Finley, a mechanical engineer, joined forces and families nearly forty years ago to start J&R Manufacturing. H. E. had just married Mike’s sister, and Mike had just started with the company thinking he would work in the sheet metal business. Before long he was building barbecue pits instead. It may have all started with a rotisserie…

Interview: Dirk Miller of Miller’s Smokehouse

Pitmaster: Miller’s Smokehouse, opened 2008 Age: 48 Smoker: Wood-fired offset smoker Wood: Oak Dirk Miller has never been this busy in his life. He called me from a van outside of his barbecue joint so nobody would bug him. He hasn’t taken a vacation in years, and he paces the floors of his barbecue joint Miller’s Smokehouse in Belton at night worrying about tomorrow’s meat. He’s also never been happier. He left a good job with…

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