Houston

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Jackson Street BBQ

It’s big, it’s bright red, and Jackson Street BBQ is a great new option for Texas barbecue in downtown Houston. Opened earlier this year, it’s a joint venture between Houston chef Bryan Caswell and local pitmaster Greg Gatlin. The two joined forces on a menu with plenty of variety, and aimed squarely at Astros fans headed to Minute Maid Park just a few steps away. It can be startling to drive up to the joint…

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Pappa Charlie’s Barbeque

The transition from competition barbecue to commercial barbecue can be challenging. Restaurateurs generally have to cook more than once a week, there’s more meat to smoke, and a lot more people need to be pleased than one table of judges. In my experience, shelves full of competition trophies don’t often translate into good barbecue from the menu, which is why Pappa Charlie’s Barbeque in Houston is so remarkable. Owner Wesley Jurena doesn’t exactly have room for…

Interview: Trent Brooks of Brooks’ Place

Owner/Pitmaster: Brooks’ Place; Opened 2009 Age: 45 Smoker: Indirect Heat Wood-Fired Pit Wood: Red Oak, Pecan, Hickory, and Mesquite Brooks’ Place isn’t exactly easy to get to, but that’s part of its charm. Cypress is at least a thirty minute drive from downtown Houston. It’s a destination, and those in line along with you understand that traveling for good barbecue is worth it. Trent Brooks has been running this trailer on a parking lot in front of an…

Interview: James Davis of Davis Meat Market

Owner/Pitmaster: Davis Meat Market; Opened 1988 Age: 76 Smoker: Gas-fired Rotisserie Smoker Wood: Oak I rang a buzzer outside this bright red metal building in Houston’s Fifth Ward, and owner James Davis met me at the door. As soon as I stepped inside the smell of raw meat was present, but not unpleasant, and it was tempered with a whiff of fried cracklins. I followed Mr. Davis to his back counter where most of the transactions happen. Along the way I…

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Kings of Competition BBQ

With all the contests and various sanctioning bodies, competition barbecue can get confusing, but one thing is clear. Getting into the Champions Corner at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo World’s Championship Bar-B-Que is a big honor. It is bestowed upon the winners of the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo Bar-B-Que Cook-Off, the American Royal, and the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue, also known as The Jack. That means Royal winner Tuffy Stone and the…

Triple J's Smokehouse 03

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…