Austin

A James Beard for Barbecue

Aaron Franklin did it. Last night the owner and pitmaster at Austin’s Franklin Barbecue became the first ever pitmaster recognized in any “best chef” category of the annual James Beard Foundation Awards. (See this earlier post for more on the significance of the win) For the title of best chef in the Southwest region, Franklin beat out Martin Rios of New Mexico, Kevin Binkley of Arizona, and fellow Texans Bryce Gilmore of Austin, and Houston’s Justin…

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Scrubbing Out Austin’s BBQ Growth?

If you live on the outskirts of Austin, your suburb might be the new target for barbecue joints looking to open in Travis County. That is if prospective restaurateurs see a new resolution from the Austin City Council as too onerous. It requires that barbecue smokers (and other wood-fired cooking devices) be placed at least 100 feet from adjacent residential property lines, or that they “mitigate the impact of smoke emissions” on their neighbors. Aaron Franklin, the owner…

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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…