Houston

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Triple J’s Smokehouse

The smokers were everywhere. Co-owner Rhonda Scales had led me through a swinging door into the kitchen where a hulking rotisserie pit was churning with tomorrow’s briskets. “We use all oak,” she told me as we walked out the back door. Split oak logs were piled around two more trailer-mounted rotisseries, a Southern Pride and an Ole Hickory, that were loaded with poultry, links, and boudin. “We only use wood. The gas is just to…

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Baker’s Ribs – Houston

Great barbecue at a chain restaurant? I was skeptical to say the least, but in Houston I stopped at the lone Baker’s Ribs location in town. I’d heard it from friends, colleagues, and the store’s owner via Twitter that this was destination worthy barbecue. Having had a number of serviceable meals at the Baker’s Ribs location in Dallas, where the chain was founded in 1988, I didn’t expect to be wowed, but what I found…

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Highway BBQ: Part Three

If you’ve spent any time on the interstates of Texas, you’ve probably seen barbecue restaurants advertised on numerous billboards, blue service signs, or obnoxiously huge structures situated along the access road. Who among hasn’t seen one of those logos and thought, is the food worth stopping for? If a place needs that much advertising, maybe the barbecue tastes terrible. Or, the food may be so good that thousands of customers stop in,  adding dollars to a huge…

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Ray’s BBQ Shack

In a gas station just south of the University of Houston campus you’ll find some of the best fried catfish you’ll ever eat and some great barbecue to go along with it. The barbecue comes from the experienced hands of co-owner Ray Busch who has been serving smoked meat to the public via a food truck since 1985. He didn’t settle down here until he made his good friend Maxine Davis his business partner three years…

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Killen’s Barbecue

“The Best Barbecue, Period.” That’s the motto Ronnie Killen has printed on the shirts that he and his staff wear, putting a daily target on every one of their backs. Making that declaration even after a good run of success toes the line between confidence and arrogance, but Killen had them printed while still serving his pop-up customers, five months before he opened the doors of his new restaurant. It was just plain cocky. I admire…

A Tour of Houston Sausages

As one third of the Texas barbecue trinity, smoked sausage has important stature in Texas. Central Texas has its beef sausages, East Texas has got hot links, and you’ll find plenty of smoked boudin along the Louisiana border. In Houston, they have it all as J.C. Reid and Michael Fulmer showed me in a guided tour last week through the south side of town. There are still plenty out there still left to try, but…