Hashknife on the chisholm

Interview: Jim McLennan of Hashknife on the Chisholm

Owner/Pitmaster: Hashknife on the Chisholm, opened 2006 Age: 51 Smoker: Gas-fired Rotisserie Smoker Wood: Oak and pecan Jim McLennan and his wife have run a barbecue joint at the southwest corner of highways 281 and 284 for over a decade. Shortly after he bought the place in 2005 he also bought the house next door. He’s lived in this area of the state most of his life and graduated from Weatherford High School. In all his time living in…

Big Jim McLennan. Photo by Nicholas McWhirter

2013 Top 50 BBQ Joint Closes

The phone rang. “Mr. Vaughn, this is the Parker County Sheriff’s office.” There wasn’t actually an officer at the other end of the line. It was Big Jim McLennan calling, the pitmaster at Hashknife on the Chisholm in Peadenville, Texas. He has always been good at making jokes, but it was refreshing that he was in good spirits. The day prior to this call was the final day in business for his beloved barbecue joint…

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Hashknife on the Chisholm

Staunch traditionalists who refuse to eat meat that’s been smoked in a gas-fired pit should drive right on past this remote joint just north of Mineral Wells without stopping. That way, there’ll be more of the smoky brisket—cut into thick, beautifully fatty slices—for the rest of us. And the ribs, which devotees (mostly oil-field workers, farmers, and folks involved with cutting horses, which are big around here) would likely rather we not mention, lest there…

Hashknife on the Chisholm

This joint has been on my list for a long time. Back in June 2008 Texas Monthly’s “Top 50 BBQ Joints” listed Hashknife on the Chisholm, and a name like that really piqued my attention. Peadenville is barely a blip on the map at the crossroads of two state highways. Besides this joint and a gas station on the opposite corner, Peadenville is made up entirely of horse and cattle farms. As I neared the…

Hashknife on the Chisholm

Like a mirage in the desert, the Hashknife springs up out of nowhere at an otherwise unremarkable intersection just north of Mineral Wells. Pitmaster Jim McLennan and his wife, Lesa, have been in business here only since 2006, but Jim’s been serving up ’cue for oil field workers and nearby ranches since he was sixteen. We could taste the experience: His pecan-and-oak-smoked ribs were juicy and his vinegar slaw unparalleled.