Louie Mueller Barbecue

Fred Fountaine Feature Image

The Most Famous Pitmaster You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

Fred Fountaine is arguably Texas barbecue’s most influential pitmaster—and you’ve probably never heard of him. For forty years he cooked the barbecue at Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor, and during his tenure, he helped bring national acclaim to Texas barbecue. Fountaine, who grew up in Massachussetts, lived in Rhode Island after he completed his service in World War II, but he left for Texas after a doctor ordered him to live in a warmer climate….

Photograph by Jody Horton

Brisket Ain’t Cheap

Two weeks ago Cranky Frank’s Barbeque in Fredericksburg finally bit the bullet. They raised their prices for barbecue and posted a sign on the door explaining the change to their customers. Not two days later I received a question over Twitter with a photo of the sign. @bbqsnob Is this a supply-demand byproduct of the central Texas BBQ renaissance? At Cranky Frank’s, Fredericksburg. pic.twitter.com/UjvtJ7WJgH — Chris Creel (@chriscreel) March 30, 2014 Not even close. Complaining…

Kreuz Market building

Barbecue Sequels

If 2013 was the year of the new barbecue joint, 2014 will be the year of barbecue expansion. Some legendary Texas barbecue stalwarts who for decades were happy to be one-offs are looking to write their sequels. Southside Market (1882), in Elgin, Kreuz Market (1900) and Black’s BBQ (1932), in Lockhart, and Louie Mueller Barbecue (1949), in Taylor, will all expand their brands to a second location this year. Also included in this boom are…

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The Best Method for Reheating Barbecue

The barbecue you eat can’t always be fresh. Maybe grandma sent you a brisket in a care package. Sometimes you might even have some leftover ribs. So, what is the best method to reheat it? While eating around the state I know that even in the hands of a microwave maestro, brisket is never going to be great if you hear a DING coming from the kitchen. Throw a fully smoked rack of ribs straight…

Lines Big Apple

Everybody Line Up

“Line are overrated.” This is the conclusion of economist Tyler Cowen in a recent article where he shared some of his principles for finding good restaurants. For Cowen, standing in line is a conformist activity, and the presence of a line is a not a good indicator of the quality of food inside. This principle was aimed at all restaurants, especially those that manufacture an unnecessary line, but it got me thinking: what does a line,…

Beef Rib J Mueller

You May Love Beef Short Ribs, But Pitmasters Don’t

Customers love beef ribs. When a pitmaster plunks down a big, thick fatty rib on a plate, cameras are whipped out to document this ultimate carnivore trophy that is the succulent symbol of the Texas obsession with beef. While beef backs ribs have been found in joints from Fort Worth to El Paso for decades, beef short ribs have historically been served at very few barbecue joints in Texas. The short rib’s history as a…