Aaron Franklin

Franklin Sign

Interview: Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue

Aaron Franklin Owner/Pitmaster: Franklin Barbecue in Austin; opened in 2009 Age: 35 Smoker: Five steel offset smokers made from 1000 gallon propane tanks that are 5/16” thick. Wood: Post oak. Some seasoned, some green. Last week, I sat down with Aaron Franklin over a tray of ribs and brisket at the Blue Ox in Austin. Franklin had left the following day’s early shift to another employee so he had time for a few beers and…

TM_FranklinPit_2013

Franklin Barbecue

The best barbecue joint in Texas is only four years old. This is an unusual development, but one that will surprise no one familiar with Franklin Barbecue, which, since opening in 2009, in a trailer off Interstate 35, has built a cult following for its meats. Has any other restaurant in Texas history had a consistent two-hour wait, outside, in the elements, year-round, six days a week? Franklin’s current location is a cozy old brick…

John Mueller Meat Co.

You may remember last October when John Mueller was shut out of his well-regarded JMueller BBQ trailer on South First Street in Austin. He wasn’t happy about it, to say the least, but stayed quiet, plotting his return. That return will occur in just two weeks, and for smoked meat lovers everywhere, let’s hope it’s a triumphant one. Saturday, February 23rd will be the opening day of John Mueller Meat Co., and the trailer will be set…

MeatAndMen

Of Meat and Men

THEY WERE THE FIRST. At nine o’clock on a cool Friday morning last fall, three young men sat on the ground outside Franklin Barbecue, in Austin, though the restaurant wouldn’t open for another two hours. “If I’m not waiting here, I’m waiting at home,” explained Marcus Kellis. In front of him sat Jonathan Nguyen, a poet studying for his MFA at Texas State University. At the head of what would soon be a line of…

Franklin Barbecue

The music was blaring, and my regard for the speed limit was waning. I’d just finished a hearty breakfast of brisket and brisket at Snow’s in Lexington, and I was racing time to get a spot in line at Franklin Barbecue on a Saturday morning. I’d heard from the Twitterverse that lines were still sane one hour before opening at ten, but I hadn’t factored in the start of another semester at UT. Hungry folks…

Photograph by Jody Horton

Smoked Brisket

THE DISH Why do we love brisket above all other barbecued meats? Is it because of its resonant beefy flavor, its exterior as shiny as black patent leather, its rivulets of fat moistening every mouthful and staining the eater’s shirt? Yes. The very nature of brisket is to be delicious. Yet there’s more to it than that. We love brisket because cooking it is a spiritual path, a quest that, as a wise man once…