big boy’s bar-b-que

Interview: Gaylan Marth of Big Boys Bar-B-Que

Owner/Pitmaster: Big Boys Bar-B-Que, opened 2000 Age: 57 Smoker: Direct heat steel pits Wood: Mesquite I’ve been out to Sweetwater twice for Gaylan Marth’s barbecue at Big Boys. The first time I was with my wife and kids. They stayed in the car while I got a to-go order. Eating in the car we saw a truck speeding up the road into Sweetwater with eight or nine cop cars following close behind. It ended in a crash and shootout…

beef_anatomy

BBQ Anatomy 101: Know Your Brisket

IF YOU’RE EATING BRISKET in Texas, chances are that your favorite pitmaster is ordering Item No. 120: a beef brisket, deckle-off, boneless. The number corresponds to the cut of meat defined by the Institutional Meat Purchase Specifications, or IMPS. No. 120 is “boneless,” meaning that ribs one through four have been removed (Item No. 118 is just “Beef Brisket” and the bones remain intact), and the “deckle,” or the hard fat between the rib cage and…

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Big Boy’s Bar-B-Que

The exceptional thing to note about Big Boy’s Bar-B-Que is the fact that it exists at all. Located in a caliche lot along a desolate road in Sweetwater next to a bowling alley turned bar, Big Boy’s has the feel of an oasis—or a mirage. Blink and it might disappear. But Big Boy’s isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it was Harold’s, the venerable joint forty miles up the interstate in Abilene, that disappeared, back in…

Big Boy’s Bar-B-Que

A large pickup truck whizzed along Lamar St. (State Highway 70) in Sweetwater while we sat in the parking lot of Big Boy’s enjoying some smoked meats while my newborn son ate in the backseat. The scene was only worth a glance until a State Highway patrolman followed with lights and sirens blaring . . . then another, and another, and another, until five police cars had passed, one of which narrowly missed a semi…