Taylor

Interview: Wayne Mueller of Louie Mueller Barbecue

Wayne Mueller Owner/Pitmaster: Louie Mueller Barbecue; opened in 1949 Age: 47 Smoker: Brick pit with an offset firebox Wood: Post Oak I had intentions of talking to Wayne for this interview while we were both attending the Big Apple BBQ Block Party in New York. We talked a few times during the event, but there just wasn’t the thirty minutes of peace we needed for a real interview amongst the chaos. Instead he called back…

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Louie Mueller Barbecue

Louie Mueller Barbecue has been described as a “cathedral of smoke,” and indeed, many of the trappings of organized religion are present here: the sacramental offerings, the priesthood in their ecclesiastical red apron-robes, the flock of devoted congregants, even the disciples (Austin barbecue star Aaron Franklin credits a bite of brisket on a trip to Louie Mueller in 2002 with his own conversion to the fatty faith). At most other joints, this level of veneration…

Louie Mueller Barbecue

In the words of owner Wayne Mueller, black pepper is a food group at Louie Mueller Barbecue, in Taylor. There isn’t a whole lot that it doesn’t go into, and its pervasiveness around the restaurant means it will find its way into unexpected places like your cup of lemonade, and most certainly between your teeth. When in Rome, drink it in. Three of us hit Louie Mueller early on a Friday morning. There was some…

Louie Mueller Barbecue

Forty-nine years of post oak coals in the pit have smoke-cured the building, which previously housed a ladies’ basketball court and a grocery market. Louie moved in with his barbecue business in 1959; his son, Bobby, took over more than three decades ago, but not a thing has suffered from the change of hands or the progression of time. Rather, the soot-covered green paint, high ceilings, and aging business cards on the wall have elevated…

Taylor Cafe

Octogenarian Vencil Mares has been perfecting his skills on the brick pit since 1948. We’d heard about his chicken, but the day we visited, the pork ribs were the highlight, with brisket not far behind. Mares’s trick is wrapping the meat in butcher paper and smoking it over post oak for eight or nine hours. “Don’t ever turn it over,” he says. After the meat is cooked, he rewraps it and stores it in an…