Austin

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Testing the Limits of Barbecue Science

Barbecue pulls at a traditionalist’s heart strings like few other cuisines, but it is no stranger to innovation. An offset smoker filled with brisket bathed on oak smoke has only been common across the state for about fifty years, but introducing science into a cooking process so reliant on fire and human instinct can be a tricky proposal. That’s what GE—yes, that GE—was hoping to do during SXSW in Austin last week. The BBQ Research Center…

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Texas Barbecue Appreciation Society

For forty years, Paul Burka has been a part of Texas Monthly. His retirement officially begins today, on Texas Independence Day. His legacy will live on in Texas Monthly’s list of the best and worst legislators, and his celebrated career has made an impact on Texas politics. But what few know is that before his career in journalism, Burka was a Texas barbecue lobbyist. Paul Burka’s love affair with Texas barbecue began on October 8, 1966. Griffin Smith…

New Head Pitmaster at La Barbecue

It’s not breaking news that la Barbecue pitmaster John Lewis is working to open a new barbecue joint in Charleston, South Carolina. He announced his intentions late last year, and Lewis Barbecue will open later this year. That means John Lewis will be spending a lot of time in Charleston. He has an apartment there, and flies back and forth on a regular basis. “Once we open [in Charleston] I’ll pretty much be there full-time” he…

Pastrami at Pieous

Joshua and Paige Kaner opened Pieous in early 2013. They took over an old Cartwright’s BBQ building southwest of Austin on Highway 290. The plan was always to cook with fire, so a custom wood-fired oven was installed to cook the pizzas. A rotisserie smoker was left behind by the previous owners, so they decided to add house-made pastrami to the menu. Now about half of the customers add pastrami to their order at this…

Interview: John Mueller of John Mueller Meat Co.

Owner/Pitmaster: John Mueller Meat Co.; Opened 2013 Age: 46 Smoker: Wood-fired Offset Smoker Wood: Oak Mercurial is often the word chosen to describe John Mueller. Verbal attacks on customers and employees are a regular occurrence, but they keep coming back for his famous barbecue. There’s a famous name involved too. John’s father was the legendary Bobby Mueller who stoked the fires at the heralded Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor, Texas for decades before his death in 2008. John’s brother is Wayne…

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Nutter Buster BBQ

Lindsey Nutter and Brian “Buster” Rauschuber operate Nutter Buster BBQ from a trailer in a small dirt patch of a food truck park near 290 and MoPac in Austin. They sat in relative obscurity in Manchaca south of Austin for a year and a half, but a few months ago they scooted their way up Brodie Lane into Austin. You’ll only find them open three days a week, but then they both have day jobs. The entire…