Chris Wilkins

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Grand opening – Ferris Wheelers Backyard & BBQ in Dallas

The front of the line enters Ferris Wheelers Backyard & BBQ as it opens for the first time at 1950 Market Center Blvd. in Dallas. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) There’s a serious new player on the Dallas BBQ scene, as Ferris Wheelers Backyard & BBQ opened on Monday in the Design District within walking distance the Hilton Anatole. It’s a great location with ample parking, features a spacious dining room and awesome backyard party area. Did we mention the 50-foot ferris wheel out back? More about the later. Most importantly, the meats were spot on as they opened their…
 - 09/25/2017
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See the photos: Smoked Dallas BBQ Festival

Longtime Posse member Michael Ainsworth went to the Smoked Dallas BBQ Festival today and shares some great images, including the photo above of mouth-watering Meat You Anywhere BBQ sample trays from the event. Smoked Dallas was held at the Main Street Garden Park in downtown Dallas. The festival is in its fourth year and has shown steady growth each year. Sixteen of the top BBQ joints from around the state attended and fed a large crowd of festival goers. Here is Michael’s look at the event, enjoy! The crew from Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ in Austin serve samples at the Smoked Dallas…
 - 09/24/2017
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Interested in owning a classic joint? Fatboys BBQ in Cooper is for sale

If you’ve ever wanted to own a true Texas barbecue joint, there’a a really good one — Fatboys BBQ — for sale 80 miles northeast of Dallas in Cooper. We first met and wrote about Heather Hoff & Shannon Bankston in 2012 when they ran Fatboys in the tiny town of Ladonia, population 612. Within a year they had moved the business to nearby Cooper, a bigger town with state Hwy. 24 running through it. When we saw earlier this summer that the joint was for sale, Marshall Cooper and I headed east to visit. Fatboys BBQ is a classic…
 - 09/19/2017
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Impressive return to Winners BBQ in Cedar Hill

Selection of smoked meats at Winners BBQ in Cedar Hill, sliced brisket, sausage, baby back ribs & chopped brisket. The Posse gathered recently at Winners BBQ in Cedar Hill, anxious to see if my impressions from a visit a few weeks earlier would hold. Owners De’Andre and Maegan Jackson had just opened their second location three weeks earlier when I dropped in the first time in late April. Posse pitmaster Marshall Cooper & I visited their Plano location in early April. We were very impressed. That led to my visit to Cedar Hill and then our gathering of 10 Posse members several weeks…
 - 06/06/2017
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The birth of the Posse during a lightning tour of Central Texas’ best BBQ joints

Snow’s BBQ on a foggy Saturday morning in Nov. 2009, this was the Posse’s first of many trips to the BBQ mecca. Editors note: We thought it would be fun to republish the story from our first BBQ pilgrimage to Central Texas in November 2009. What began as a simple roadtrip for six friends became a life-changing experience for us all, giving birth to the Texas BBQ Posse. Once we tasted that Snow’s brisket for the first time, nothing related to BBQ would ever be the same. Here’s our story… By Gary Jacobson In thick fog on a Saturday morning, we…
 - 05/07/2017
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Winners expands its BBQ dream from Plano to Cedar Hill

Two-meat plate with brisket & baby back ribs, baked beans and mac & cheese at Winners BBQ in Plano. Two years ago Maegan and De’Andre Jackson took a leap of faith and opened Winners BBQ in east Plano. They had shared the dream of opening up a BBQ joint since college, where they met as students at Iowa State. De’Andre grew up cooking barbecue, his dad was a backyard pitmaster who cooked for the neighborhood, then got into catering and eventually opened a restaurant. Growing up in Garland, De’Andre was an All Big 12 defensive back for the Cyclones with aspirations to play…
 - 04/25/2017
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Great BBQ photos by Austin’s Darren Carroll

Lunch rush at Smitty’s Market, Lockhart, Texas, 2009. (Photo ©Darren Carroll) Our first installment of Focus on BBQ features photos shot by Austin photographer Darren Carroll. This launches an occasional series that will showcase great barbecue images shot by top photographers in the country. Most are friends of the Posse, which was founded in 2009 by a core group of writers & photographers at The Dallas Morning News. Over the years, we’ve had a number of contributing shooters, ranging from top commercial, news and sports photographers, including several Pulitzer Prize winners. Darren has an impressive mix of editorial and advertising clients. You might know his work from…
 - 04/23/2017
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How-to videos: Prepping pork ribs with Posse pitmaster Marshall Cooper

Texas BBQ Posse pitmaster Marshall Cooper puts pork ribs on the Jambo smoker at his north Dallas home. Welcome to our first batch of short videos featuring how-to BBQ techniques from Posse pitmaster Marshall Cooper. Marshall has been cooking barbecue in his backyard for 30-plus years, after learning the craft from his late father. Now using his fourth custom Jambo pit, Marshall has cooked with such BBQ legends as Chris Lilly, Jamie Geer, John Mueller, and John Lewis. One of the missions of the Texas BBQ Posse is to share ideas and tips to help you become a great backyard pitmaster. We…
 - 04/16/2017
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Video surprise at Stiles Switch BBQ in Austin

With the launch of the new Posse website, we’ll be doing videos including interviews of Texas pitmasters along with “how to” cooking videos. On our trip to Central Texas last week, we shot two of the top pitmasters in the state, Esaul Ramos of 2M Smokehouse in San Antonio and Lance Kirkpatrick of Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew in Austin. We plan to have those interviews posted over the next week or two. When shooting video at a busy BBQ joint you must be prepared for the unexpected, as happened when Gary and Lance were talking about the ever-exploding Austin BBQ scene.…
 - 04/10/2017
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Photos: Depression era Texas BBQ through the eyes of legendary FSA photographers

I was recently researching some historic photos when I ran across the Library of Congress website for the Farm Security Administration (FSA) photo archive. Initially created in 1935 as part of the New Deal, the FSA was an effort during the Depression to document and combat American rural poverty. The FSA photo collection houses some of the most famous photographs in history, including Dorthea Lange’s migrant mother photo and Arthur Rothstein’s Oklahoma dust bowl photo. Other legendary FSA photojournalists included Gordon Parks, Russell Lee, Carl Mydans and Walker Evans. I was immediately curious if there were any Texas BBQ photos.…
 - 12/29/2016
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Going whole hog at CattleAck BBQ on Saturday

Tray of whole hog, brisket & pork ribs with sides at CattleAck BBQ in north Dallas (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) The Posse first caught wind of CattleAck BBQ in May 2013, when Jim Rossman picked up some Twitter buzz on a new joint in north Dallas near the Galleria. Jim headed up on the tollway to investigate, finding a promising new player on the DFW barbecue scene. After success in the catering business, owners Todd and Misty David decided to open on Fridays from 11am until the meat ran out. A full Posse contingent made a followup visit  to…
 - 11/05/2016
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Miller’s Smokehouse in Belton is moving on up

Dirk Miller, owner & pitmaster of Miller’s Smokehouse in Belton. (Photo ©Michael Ainsworth/ Texas BBQ Posse) We got a chance to visit Saturday with one of our favorite pitmasters in the state, Dirk Miller of Miller’s Smokehouse in Belton. Posse member Marshall Cooper & I first visited Miller’s in early 2012, after Texas Monthly BBQ editor Daniel Vaughn tweeted about a promising little joint in Belton. It quickly became one of our favorite BBQ places in the state. Our group of four caught up on all the BBQ news with Dirk, including their move down the street to a much…
 - 10/27/2016
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The Posse finds that John Lewis, indeed, has arrived in Carolina

(Note: Posse members Mike and Libby Gagne recently visited John Lewis’ new barbecue joint. This is Mike’s report from that visit.) Charleston, South Carolina has long been a culinary destination showcasing some of the most American of cuisines. Lewis Barbecue, the eponymous BBQ haven for Texas pit master John Lewis opened just a few months back and has caught the attention of many along the eastern seaboard. Given the Posse’s past with John and the mark he left at places like Franklin, John Mueller BBQ, and La Barbecue, being only an hour away from our beach vacation spot seemed too…
 - 10/27/2016
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A return visit confirms, Killen’s BBQ is one of the best in Texas

Phil’s lunch of brisket, ribs, turkey & Sausage at Killen’s Barbecue in Pearland. (Photo ©Phil Lamb) Posse member Phil Lamb checks in this week with a dispatch from Houston: The passage of time plays funny tricks on the BBQ mind. For example, I often wonder whether a particular joint serving above-average ‘cue will hold up over time. This is especially true of out-of-town spots we don’t regularly visit. Similarly, I occasionally wonder whether a joint we once ranked as “outstanding” was really all that special. It’s as if doubt starts to creep in after a few months go by. Did…
 - 05/23/2016
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More photos from the Return to Austin BBQ Tour

Tending the late-night pits at Freedmen’s Bar, Austin. (Photo ©Tom Fox) One of the great rewards after a Texas BBQ tour is looking back on our trip through the eyes of Posse member Tom Fox.  We’ve written about Tom’s amazing work before, he’s a staff photographer at The Dallas Morning News and a 2006 Pulitzer Prize winner for his work on the Morning News photo team coverage of Hurricane Katrina. We consider Tom to be one of the top visual storytellers documenting the Texas BBQ trail. Along with our friend Wyatt McSpadden, the godfather of Texas BBQ photography, Tom brings the unique beauty…
 - 02/02/2016
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Check out the map of the Texas BBQ Posse’s favorite joints

Since 2009, the Texas BBQ Posse has logged over 7,000 miles visiting joints around the state. In early 2010, group member Gary Barber set up an interactive Google map to chart our favorite BBQ joints around the state. Dozens of BBQ tours have followed since then. This map shows the places we’d visit again, an unofficial Texas BBQ Posse “stamp of approval.” You can click here to access our Google map of Texas BBQ Posse stops. Enjoy the blue highways of Texas BBQ and follow the smoke!
 - 08/24/2015
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How to plan the perfect Texas BBQ tour

Pecan Lodge in Dallas is a don’t miss stop on any DFW BBQ tour. The Posse is approaching its eighth anniversary of driving the cities, towns and backroads of Texas in search of great barbecue. Inspired by Texas Monthly magazine’s 2008 list of the Best BBQ joints in Texas, our original group of six hit the road in early November 2009. Seven-plus years later, we’ve made dozens of trips around the state, sharing our stories on this blog and in The Dallas Morning News. Here are a few things we’ve learned along the way. 1. Do your research: There’s no substitute…
 - 06/20/2015
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The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Wine Tasting

Brisket and wine were on the menu for the Posse at Pecan Lodge. (Photo ©Daniel Goncalves/fotobia.com) By Bruce Tomaso/Texas BBQ Posse On Tuesday, the BBQ Posse was invited to join the Dallas Morning News Wine Panel for a tasting at Pecan Lodge. The mission: Find the red wines that pair best with Texas barbecue. (Look for the story in the July 30 Arts & Life section of The News.) Diane and Justin Fourton served up platters of Justin’s other-worldly smoked brisket. Cathy Barber, the paper’s food editor, and Tina Danze, a Dallas freelance writer, served up 26 bottles of wine.…
 - 07/17/2014
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See the photos: Good times at the Red Dirt BBQ & Music Festival in Tyler

Lockhart Smokehouse pitmaster Damien Avila slices brisket at the Red Dirt BBQ & Music Festival. (Photo by Phil Lamb) Several Posse members headed over to Tyler on Saturday for the first annual Red Dirt BBQ & Music Festival. Fifteen of the best barbecue restaurants in the state were represented, along with great Texas music all afternoon and evening. The event was held on Tyler’s historic downtown square. Click here to see a list of the 15 All-Star BBQ joints that served attendees of the festival. Judging from what we saw, it was a huge success. Though the event was sold out,…
 - 05/04/2014
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Check out our South of Fort Worth BBQ Tour story in this weekend’s Dallas Morning News

Here’s the latest Texas BBQ Posse tour story in the pages of The Dallas Morning News. The story written by Posse co-founder Gary Jacobson tells about our recent trip to four joints located south of Dallas/Fort Worth. Award-winning DMN staff photographer and Posse member Tom Fox takes you on visual journey of our tour. You can click here to read Gary’s story online on dallasnews.com. Click here to see a slideshow of Tom’s photos from the tour. The South of DFW BBQ Tour 9am: Leave Dallas. 10am: BBQ on the Brazos, 9001 E Hwy 377, Cresson, TX. Open Mon-Fri 6:30am-3pm, Sat…
 - 04/20/2014
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Future Posse member has his first-ever taste of brisket at Pat Gee’s BBQ in Tyler

My daughter Ashley Montgomery and grandson James at Pat Gee’s Barbecue. (Photo ©Chris WIlkins/Texas BBQ Posse) For every Texas barbecue fanatic, there are smoked meat moments that will always be remembered. I was lucky enough to have another of those great memories on Saturday at Pat Gee’s Barbecue outside of Tyler. I remember the first time eating brisket for breakfast with friends at Snow’s BBQ on a foggy Saturday morning in November 2009. That experience forever changed our view of what barbecue could be and led to the birth of Texas BBQ Posse. Every Central Texas BBQ tour we’ve had…
 - 03/30/2014
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Poll: What are your top 5 Texas BBQ joints?

A father and son wait to order at a Texas barbecue joint. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) It’s hard to say what’s a more emotional subject for Texans, barbecue or politics. Over the years we’ve tried to keep the Posse blog free of partisan politics, there are plenty of other places on the web where you can endlessly argue that subject. But when it comes the BBQ, strong loyalties and opinions have been shared between writers and readers on the Posse blog over the past five years. Nothing gets BBQ fanatics going like a list of the “top” BBQ joints…
 - 03/05/2014
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The Posse Shows a Tolerant Side: Rethinking the ‘No-Sides’ Rule at Bull Hollar BBQ in Bells

Jim and Jan Worsham opened Bull Hollar BBQ in Bells in early February. (Photos @Daniel Goncalves & Chris Wilkins) Editor’s note: Bull Hollar BBQ is now closed. By Bruce Tomaso/Texas BBQ Posse A few days ago, I disagreed with fellow Posse member Gary Jacobson, who said we might have been wrong in the past for condemning gas-fired smokers. Call me an extremist, but I say the only way to cook fine barbecue is with wood. There’s no need to revisit that argument. I’m right. Gary’s wrong. Fin de conversación. However, as we discovered on a recent North Texas tour, the…
 - 03/03/2014
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Soft on gassers? Not so says Posse member Bruce Tomaso…..

Snow’s BBQ pit boss Tootsie Tomanetz tends the pits as the sun rises over Lexington. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) By Bruce Tomaso/Texas BBQ Posse Gary Jacobson is a friend of mine. He’s a gifted writer, an extraordinary journalist with a sharp wit and a sharper mind. And he knows his barbecue. He’s been riding with the Posse longer than just about any of us. So it pains me to say this: On the subject of gas-fired smokers, Gary Jacobson is full of gas. A few days ago, he wrote on this blog that “perhaps we have mellowed a bit”…
 - 03/01/2014

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