Aaron Franklin

Interview: John Lewis of La Barbecue

Owner/Pitmaster: La Barbecue; Opened 2012 Age: 35 Smoker: Indirect Heat Wood-Fired Pit Wood: Post Oak I talked to John Lewis over the phone while he was making preparations at La Barbecue to open up the following day. John Lewis became the pitmaster at La Barbecue on November, 4 2012. That’s a few days after John Mueller was forced out of the same barbecue trailer by the business’s owner and John Mueller’s sister, LeAnn Mueller. John…

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How to Slice a Brisket

When I’m watching a brisket being sliced, a few things make me shudder, like the aggressive purr of an electric knife, the whine of a deli slicer, and, the worst offense, watching the fat cap being discarded (but we’ll save that for another column). I’ll concede that there are several ways to slice a brisket, but I should note that some of them are just wrong, like slicing with rather than against the grain. But again,…

Texas A&M Meat Science's Beef 101 hanging room.

BBQ Anatomy 101: The Slaughter

For three days this week I was a student at Beef 101, an intensive course taught by the Texas A&M University meat science staff, led by Dr. Davey Griffin, Dr. Jeff Savell, and Ray Riley. The class covers everything about cattle, from the time that they’re weaned to the moment their meat makes it to your plate. The first day began with all of us students introducing ourselves. It’s a very cordial way of breaking…

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In Defense of Gassers

For one night last week, Franklin Barbecue was transported from Austin to New York. Texas Monthly brought Aaron Franklin and his kitchen manager, Braun Hughes, to cook a little barbecue in the pit of Hill Country Barbecue Market in Manhattan. Tickets for the event sold out in less than a day, and when the time came, the downstairs dining room at Hill Country filled up quickly with hungry patrons. Fifteen-hundred miles away, the true Austin…

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…

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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…