Reviews, News, & Interviews

Interview: John Rivers of 4 Rivers Smokehouse

Owner/Pitmaster: 4 Rivers Smokehouse; Opened 2009 Age: 49 Smoker: Gas-fired rotisserie Wood: Hickory Sitting with a 2003 copy of the Texas Monthly Top 50, John Rivers occupied a table inside Rusty Taco in Dallas waiting for me. His travel schedule didn’t allow for a barbecue lunch, so bacon, eggs, cheese, and avocado on a tortilla became the best option. Austin was his afternoon destination where he would meet his team from 4 Rivers Smokehouse based in Winter Park, Florida. They…

Matt's BBQ 01

Matt’s BBQ

High-caliber Texas-style barbecue keeps popping up in the oddest places. Two weeks ago I found some great brisket in Los Angeles, and this past weekend the same thing happened in Portland, Oregon. I visited a tiny place called Matt’s BBQ, and its origin story is a wonderful microcosm that highlights the deep reach of Texas barbecue. In April 2013, Australian chef Craig McShane traveled to the Lone Star State expressly to learn the ways of smoked meat. He considers Live…

B and D Ice House 03

B & D Ice House

When Jason and Jake Dady opened Two Bros. BBQ Market, the barbecue joint on San Antonio’s north side of town was met with critical acclaim (including from Texas Monthly, which named it one of the Top 50 in 2013). Pivoting off of this success, the brothers decided to turn their sights to Southtown, and in 2014, they opened B & D Ice House, a casual place with emphasis on the barbecue (obviously) and beer. (The Dadys partnered with Steve and Jody…

BBQ News: 09/11 – 09/17

– Wanna work in a barbecue joint? Good read & all #truth. Melanie Kurtz, pit master @oldglorybbq via @mossr — Amy Mills (@17thstreetbbq) September 15, 2015   – Michael Harriot, host of The Black One podcast, shares his tips for white folks attending a black barbecue.  – These are the best drinks in the South to go with your barbecue, according to Southern Living. I guess they forgot about Dr Pepper.  – The changing…

Maple Block BBQ 09

Maple Block Meat Co.

It’s my job to travel this great country—and parts outside Texas—looking for notable barbecue joints. But searching for good brisket in California can feel like waiting for a cool September day in Texas: both exist, but mainly in theory. After making my way through a solid Southern California itinerary a couple months back, I enjoyed the original Compton branch of Bludso’s and Studio City’s Barrel & Ashes. They were solid finds on opposite ends of the…

Pizzitolas BBQ 01


Legends in the barbecue world perpetuate themselves. Keeping your doors open for decades takes hard work, loyal customers, and a little luck, and it doesn’t happen that often. In return, such barbecue joints are worshiped for their longevity, and rightly so. It’s a huge benefit, but it also comes with some disadvantages. Unlike upstarts who can charge more, tailor a menu for today’s tastes, and have no past to answer to, storied barbecue joints carry…

BBQ News: 09/04 – 09/10

– Staying healthy as a pitmaster can be a challenge: Health hazards of the barbecue pitmaster / @jcreidtx Great to hear Clarence is healthy again. — Mike Morris (@mmorris011) September 9, 2015   – “Texas is an amazing state. It is vast and varied in its terrain, and it boasts some of the most mouth-ji–ing BBQ across which I have come in my planet-wide search for pork ribs and brisket.” – Nick Offerman …

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