Reviews, News, & Interviews

BBQ News: 04/04 – 04/10

- The Houston BBQ Festival was held on Sunday. The BBQ Geniuses from Texas A&M enjoyed their time, there were plenty of photos shared, and there were some pleasant surprises too. – Beef prices just keep going up. We’ve hit another record high for price, and the cattle herds are the lowest since 1951. – Pork prices aren’t doing much better. – Evan LeRoy, pitmaster at Freedmen’s Bar in Austin, noticed a mention of Freedmen’s…

Interview: John Raven PhB

Title: Commissioner of Barbecue, PhB Age: 76 “Allow me to introduce myself. I am John Raven. I am the individual who has done more for barbecue than anyone else.” Those were the first three sentences in a letter I received about a year ago. It was the first letter I received after being named the barbecue editor at Texas Monthly. I then went searching for more about Mr. Raven when I found his barbecue autobiography. “I…

Paynes BBQ Shack 03

Payne’s Bar-B-Q Shak

Robert Payne has worked as a butcher in the past, and more recently for the Butter Krust bread bakery. His wife, Penny, was also in food service at a local school cafeteria. Three years ago, they both decided to retire and open up a barbecue joint in Burnet. They chose a building on the west side of town that has seen number of barbecue joints come and go. One of those was Burnet County Barbeque…

A Few Discoveries in Houston

Amidst the rain and overcast skies in Houston yesterday, there was a barbecue festival. The second year for the Houston Barbecue Festival was held at Reliant Park, and twenty local pitmasters gathered to share their barbecue bounty with an estimated two thousand guests. The rain came in waves, but I had plenty of time between the downpours to try every one of the restaurants in attendance. I was already familiar with the excellent brisket at…

BBQ News: 03/28 – 04/03

- April Fools Day was on Tuesday, and there were some tricks played in the barbecue world. The Sidedish blog announced a new BBQ Explosion flavor of Orbit gum based on Pecan Lodge’s barbecue. Delaney Barbecue in Brooklyn said they were changing their name to TofuTown. And Southern Soul BBQ in Georgia said they were switching their all-wood operation to gas cookers. – Another April Fools favorite was from the Paris Review that ran this…

Interview: J. D. Bost of Jasper’s Bar-B-Q

Pitmaster: Jasper’s Bar-B-Q, opened 1915 (or 1918) Age: 52 Smoker: Gas-fired rotisserie smoker Wood: Pecan and Oak About six weeks ago I sat down with J. D. Bost at Jasper’s Bar-B-Q in Waco. He’s the general manager of this nearly century-old barbecue restaurant on Elm Street started by an Italian immigrant. Since the DiMaria family sold the business it has gone through multiple hands. Now a trio of local investors own it, and J. D. Bost is…

Billys Oak Acres 09

Billy’s Oak Acres Bar-B-Q

On my first visit back in October, I thought that Billy Woodrich of Billy’s Oak Acres was smoking the best brisket in Fort Worth. It was smoky, moist, and perfectly tender showing some real skill from whoever was tending the pit. Since then, my opinion has wandered back and forth a bit over several visits where the restaurant seemed to be schizophrenic. It turns out it was all in Woodrich’s head, but it was just…

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