Reviews, News, & Interviews

Brisket Prices Tumbling

The wholesale cost of brisket has been increasing, sometimes dramatically, since 2013. Now, it seems to be tumbling from its peak. Back in mid-January the wholesale price for whole briskets (IMPS 120) was $3.59/lb and this week it has dropped to $2.74/lb. That’s the lowest price for brisket in over a year. It’ll take some time for retail prices to reflect the drop, but one food supplier in Texas has seen them come down quite…

Interview: Edward Davila of Davila’s BBQ

Owner/Pitmaster: Davila’s BBQ; Opened 1959 Age: 65 Smoker: Indirect Heat Wood-Fired Pit Wood: Mesquite Edward Davila has just hit retirement age, but he can’t imagine life without working at the barbecue joint. He’s been doing it since he was a boy, and now he’s teaching his son to follow in his footsteps. After our interview, Davila wanted to show off his custom built pits. They have a unique design where the racks are stacked like a giant Lazy Susan for…

El Machito 09

El Machito

Restaurateurs dismissing the use of all wood cookers saying “the city won’t let us cook with wood” no longer have an excuse, at least not in San Antonio. Just beyond a low counter that they call the altar at El Machete, there’s a crackling mesquite fire, the flickers of which you can gaze at from the dining room. There’s a commercial kitchen hood above, and animals speared onto rebar in between. This is barbecue in the…

BBQ News: 04/17 – 04/23

– A semi hauling more than twenty tons of pork butts caught fire on the Interstate in Kansas City. – The New York Times offered their take on the Austin barbecue smoker resolution. They looked at it in context of other odor-related cases. You’ll also learn what a Nasal Ranger is. – A film on South Carolina BBQ from the SFA:   – Jalopnik picks up the brisket bandit near-getaway story in San Antonio. –…

Pioneer BBQ 05

Pioneer BBQ

Pioneer BBQ has been around a while in the middle of Nixon, a town about an hour southeast of San Antonio. It was operated by the Chambers Brothers out of Luling, then a family of Jehovah’s Witnesses who eventually put the business up for sale on Craigslist. That’s where Shawn Collins found it when he was shopping for cooking wood from his apartment in Brooklyn. He bought it. Shawn’s fiancé Amy Powell is from the…

BBQ Photographer: Matthew Fuller

This month we bring you a profile of another photographer who has captured the people, the food and the spaces that make up the world of barbecue. Matthew Fuller – Wimberley, Texas Working in the classical traditions of photography, Matthew Fuller creates beautiful color and black and white images that resonate with a sense of place and carry an emotional charge. He maintains personal hands-on control of the photographic process from concept to print. A self-taught…

Smoke Shack 01

Smoke Shack BBQ

Three years ago I ate some promising barbecue from a food truck in the shadow of I-410 in San Antonio. Chris Conger was doing it all that day inside what was called Conger’s Smoke Shack, cooking, slicing, and making change. Last year he had stowed away enough change to make the jump into a steep-roofed building along Broadway just north of the swanky Pearl district. The food truck is still hanging around the highway at lunch time,…

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