Belton

Interview: Dirk Miller of Miller’s Smokehouse

Pitmaster: Miller’s Smokehouse, opened 2008 Age: 48 Smoker: Wood-fired offset smoker Wood: Oak Dirk Miller has never been this busy in his life. He called me from a van outside of his barbecue joint so nobody would bug him. He hasn’t taken a vacation in years, and he paces the floors of his barbecue joint Miller’s Smokehouse in Belton at night worrying about tomorrow’s meat. He’s also never been happier. He left a good job with…

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Miller’s Smokehouse

If Miller’s were in Austin, it might have started in a food truck. Instead, Dirk Miller began cooking in the front room of his meat-processing and taxidermy business, which opened in 2006. First came sausage wraps and pulled pork in 2008; he started “throwing briskets” on the smoker a year later. Good move, as his brisket is now one of the best in the state, with great flavor, nice bark, and juicy, melty, beautifully rendered…

Miller’s Smokehouse

Dirk Miller knows his way around meat. He’s a deer processor, taxidermist, sausage maker and a master at the barbecue pit. Hidden a couple blocks down a side street in Belton you’ll find his small but expanding storefront. On the way there it’s hard to ignore the billboards and prominent location of nearby Schoepf’s right on Central Avenue, but the few extra blocks are painless. It started with a single smoker and a tiny dining…

Schoepf’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que

A few months ago Schoepf’s added on a new room in the back, and a new entry where you can now order your food inside rather than in the out-of-doors. I ordered brisket, ribs, and a pork chop. The brisket had the same roast-beefiness as it did on my last visit, but this time the slices had no crust, and therefore no real smoky flavor. The ribs had plenty of flavor from the heavy salt…

Schoepf’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que

The moment we entered the smoke-filled patio and beheld the meats-a-plenty (brisket, chicken, pork ribs, pork chops, sausage, sirloin, turkey breast, and venison sausage), we knew we were in business. The pitman was patient as we made our exacting selections, then—plop, joy: the tenderest of briskets, the thickest of pork chops, the happiest of bellies.