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NM_27ClydeBiggins1

Still no joint of his own, but Clyde Biggins wins more BBQ fans

The first time we sampled the cooking of Clyde Biggins, the former Dallas BBQ king who is trying to make a comeback after nearly 17 years in prison, we arrived with about 10 Posse members and friends. The food was great. So was the company. That was a month ago. Since then, Clyde’s fame has grown, even though he still doesn’t have a joint of his own, just a portable smoker. When we arrived Friday for another lunch sampler, we were more than 30 strong, all anxious to taste Clyde’s brisket, ribs and sausage. “It was better than the first…
 - 07/27/2012
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Posse members react to Clyde Biggins’ BBQ

There is no shortage of opinions on the Texas BBQ Posse. Often we differ among ourselves. That wasn’t the case when we ate lunch last week at Clyde Biggins’ house. We all agreed that the former Dallas BBQ King, trying to make a comeback after nearly 17 years in prison, can still cook. Here are comments from Posse members there: Michael Ainsworth: Took me back to a different time, when it was just a bunch of friends getting together for food and fun. It’s not re-creatable. It just is. Chris Wilkins: What a great setting for a Friday afternoon BBQ…
 - 06/26/2012
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Clyde is back, cooking some of the best BBQ in Dallas, but you can’t buy it

Sometimes, the only place to start is at the beginning. In early January 2010, a large manilla envelope came to me in the mail from the federal prison in Fort Worth. A reader commented on a story I had written for The Dallas Morning News about the Posse’s very first barbecue tour, to the Central Texas BBQ heartland. “It’s all good,” the reader wrote. “‘But’ have you really tasted the best barbecue in Texas?” The reader said his name was Clyde Biggins and that he once owned “Clyde’s Old Fashion Hickory Smoked Barbecue” on Westmoreland Road in Dallas. “‘Note,'” Biggins…
 - 06/25/2012
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About the iguana who thought he was a cat and the python who only eats rats

On a barbecue tour, there is no such thing as down time. Even the long drives bring surprises. Last year, returning to Dallas from East Texas, we decided that someone should call out Texas Monthly for including joints that use gas-fired pits in its Top 50 BBQ rankings. We did just that, eventually engaging TM food editor Pat Sharpe in a constructive discussion about the magazine’s selection criteria. Sometimes, we just learn interesting things about our fellow Posse members. On the first leg of our recent 35-hour, 700-mile dash to the Gulf Coast and back, Posse co-founder Chris Wilkins talked…
 - 06/22/2012
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Professor Rossman explains the BBQ star system

So we’re sitting in our bring-your-own chairs on the narrow sidewalk outside of Fargo’s Pit BBQ in Bryan during our recent tour, loudly licking our fingers after eating some fine brisket, ribs, chicken and sausage. “I like everything,” I said. “That’s rare,” Posse member Jim Rossman said. “A five-star place is good at everything. A six-star place is good at everything all the time. Consistency.” Rossman, a technology expert at The Dallas Morning News when he isn’t visiting pawn shops and eating barbecue, did an authoritative job explaining the star-rating system that the Posse borrows from Daniel Vaughn, the BBQ…
 - 06/18/2012
philfish

The Posse takes a beach break in Galveston

For me, a little beach goes a long way. So, during the Posse’s 45-minute beach break in Galveston last weekend, midway through a 700-mile, 35-hour barbecue tour, I mainly watched the pelicans dive-bombing for fish. At times, I’d swear those big birds were flying in attack formation. Phil Lamb, an attorney and also the wheelman on the tour in his Chevy Tahoe, fished from a rocky breakwater nearby. He caught one small mullet and 15 pounds of seaweed. Chris Wilkins, a photo editor at The Dallas Morning News, shucked his shoes and walked into the surf for a while. Then…
 - 06/09/2012
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Avoiding the dreaded barbecue belch

On a barbecue tour, sometimes wisdom sneaks up on you. And so it was in Galveston on Saturday when Leon O’Neal told us his secret to preventing his customers from burping after they ate his smoked meat. Use dry wood, the owner of Leon’s World’s Finest In and Out B-B-Q said, standing in front of a tall wall of cut oak. “That’s where the after belch comes from.” In other words, sappy wood is burping bad. Some might put this wisdom in the same category as always buy brisket from the left side of the cow, which we wrote about a…
 - 06/05/2012
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Follow the Texas BBQ Posse on Facebook and Twitter

The Texas BBQ Posse began in November 2009 when six friends took their first BBQ road trip to Central Texas. As we sat beside the smokers at Snow’s BBQ, our lives changed with the first bite of brisket during breakfast at the legendary Lexington joint. Stops at Louie Mueller, Smitty’s and Kreuz Market followed that day. We started the Posse blog shortly thereafter. Since then, we’ve driven 4,000-plus miles of Texas highways and backroads. Whether on organized tours or meandering road trips, we’re always searching for the best BBQ in the state. We’ve reported on our adventures on the blog, on…
 - 05/24/2012
aaronCWEB

Is reality TV stardom in Aaron Franklin’s future? BBQ Pitmasters season 3 update

BBQ Pitmasters season 3 will begin filming tomorrow at the Don’t Be Cruel BBQ Duel competition in Tupelo, Mississippi. The big news for Texas BBQ followers is that Austin BBQ pitmaster/owner Aaron Franklin will be joining the upcoming season of BBQ Pitmasters as a judge. BBQ entrepreneur and author Myron Mixon, of Jack’s Old South BBQ, has already anounced he will be back as a judge on the show. Championship pitmaster Tuffy Stone will also be joining the judging team. He was a major player on season one of BBQ Pitmasters and has great respect in competition circles. He also…
 - 03/15/2012
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John Mueller challenges Aaron Franklin to one-on-one cookoff

UPDATE: I phoned Aaron Franklin earlier today and he quickly agreed to do the showdown with the only hesitation being his busy upcoming agenda. We planned to talk again soon about the details and coordinate a date that works for everyone. We talked how the showdown will be a very positive spirited thing, something that would be really be cool and fun to do, with proceeds donated to charity. Afterwards John Mueller replied via text, “it sounds cool and think it would be best to wait til summer because thru June there is something every week”. We are planning on…
 - 03/07/2012
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Details are leaking out on BBQ Pitmasters season 3

We’ve been watching closely as little tidbits have been floating to the surface on season three of BBQ Pitmasters on TLC. Posse pitmaster Marshall Cooper and I were over visiting Jambo BBQ pit builder Jamie Geer in Burelson last month when we first caught wind of the new season. Jamie casually mentioned that a producer from Pitmasters had just called him that morning and TLC was proceeding with another season. Besides building world-class BBQ pits, Jamie has been cooking at BBQ competitions for years. He was a winner on season one of the show. I’m not sure if he’ll be on the…
 - 02/28/2012
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More BBQ Signs of Our Times

Odom’s Bar-B-Que, 1971 Singleton Boulevard, Dallas. A Posse rule of thumb: The more homemade the sign, the more down home the barbecue. BBQ Signs of our Times is back again, this time with a mix of new and historic photos. This is our fifth blog post on classic BBQ signs. If you happen to see a cool sign while you’re out on the Texas BBQ Trail, please snap a photo and keep us in mind. If you’re a fan of our Texas BBQ Posse Facebook page, you can upload a photo for us to include on a future BBQ signs…
 - 02/25/2012
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Once last shot: FSA photographer Russell Lee and the 1940 Pie City Fair

I wanted to share one last batch of Farm Security Administration (FSA) photos shot by Russell Lee. These were shot during a free community BBQ at the Pie Town (NM) Fair in 1940. As a photojournalism student at the University of Missouri in the early 1980s, I was exposed to his work along with fellow FSA staffers including Dorthea Lange, Gordon Parks, Russell Lee, Carl Mydans and Walker Evans. Outside of Life magazine in its heyday, this has to be the most talented photo staff ever assembled. Their documentation of the Great Depression gives us an irreplaceable visual record of the struggles and…
 - 02/09/2012
TMcover

Casting call for the Aaron Franklin-John Mueller BBQ movie

Just finished the February Texas Monthly cover story about Aaron Franklin and John Mueller and it is a very nice read. Posse member Mike Gagne even thinks the tale of the novice pitmaster (Franklin) and the troubled master (Mueller) would make a great movie. Tobey Maguire as Franklin? Sean Penn as Mueller? One pivotal scene in any movie would certainly have to be when Franklin had his barbecue epiphany at Louie Mueller Barbecue in 2002. “I think I might have cried a little bit,” Franklin told Texas Monthly of his reaction after his first taste of Mueller’s brisket. When the…
 - 02/01/2012
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More historic BBQ photos from the files of the Farm Security Administration

Here’s another set of barbecue photos from the collection of the Farm Security Administration (FSA) photo archive. These were shot in 1940 by photojournalist Russell Lee at a free community barbecue picnic on Labor Day in Ridgway, Colorado. After my blog post last week on FSA images of Texas BBQ, I spent some more time going through their photo archive searching “barbecue.” I found an amazing set of color photos from a community BBQ in New Mexico, also shot in 1940 by Russell Lee, a rarity as almost all FSA images were shot on black & white film. I’ll put…
 - 12/30/2011
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Photos from the Blues, Bandits and BBQ cook off in the OC

Here’s a list on winner’s from the Blues, Bandits and BBQ cook off at Lake Cliff Park in Oak Cliff. Congrats to all….. Brisket: 1st – Matador Meat wine; 2nd – Texas BBQ Posse; 3rd – The Smoke Cliff Boys Pulled pork: 1st – Smokin Ronnie’s BBQ; 2nd – Texas BBQ Posse; 3rd 3-Bar BBQ Ribs: 1st – Oak Cliff Oh’s; 2nd – Smokin Ronnie’s BBQ; 3rd – Matador Meat wine Chicken: 1st – Oak Cliff Oh’s; 2nd – Texas BBQ Posse; 3rd – The Smoke Cliff Boys Sausage: 1st – BBQ Bandits; 2nd – Matador Meat wine; 3rd –…
 - 10/23/2011
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The Sheriff and her Posse

The Texas BBQ Posse cook team poses with Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez during the Blues, Bandits and BBQ cook off held in Oak Cliff’s Lake Cliff Park. We did well (more details to come), placing second place in brisket, pulled pork and chicken. I’ll be posting more photos shortly, but here’s one of our favorites. Thanks to the amazing Rob Schear and his awesome crew, it was a BBQ fellowship to remember. Also thanks to the judges, who each had to eat samples of all 54 meat entries today! See you all next year…… Photo by Daniel Vaughn
 - 10/23/2011
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BBQ Signs of our Times – Chapter 4

Once again, our BBQ signs series continues. And yes, we like homemade signs the best. Our Texas BBQ tours went on hiatus for most of one of the hottest summers in Texas history, but we’ll be hitting the road soon for Houston, among several other planned BBQ journeys. The top photo is from Dairy Land Drive Inn in Jacksboro. You can click to see the first BBQ Signs of our Times post, or BBQ Signs of our Times II and last but not least BBQ Signs of our Times III. Stay tuned for more tales for the Texas BBQ trail.…
 - 09/02/2011
gettin_sauced

Hey, Drew, next year, let’s Get Sauced! in November

How hot was it at the 2nd annual Gettin’ Sauced! competition in Austin last week, organized by Drew Thornley and Man Up Texas BBQ? “If sweat was gold, my friend Steve would be a millionaire,” one Yelp reviewer wrote of the event at Independence Brewery. How hot was it? The official high was 110 degrees, just two degrees short of the all-time record for any day, any time in the Texas capital. (The record was tied the next day.) How hot was it? Texas BBQ king Aaron Franklin waved the white flag after about two and one-half hours in the…
 - 09/01/2011
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The best in Dallas BBQ join to honor firefighter Shannon Stone

Anyone who has ever taken their son to a big league baseball game can relate. We all watched the footage as Rangers fan Shannon Stone fell trying to catch a ball for his six-year-old son Cooper. Heartbreaking beyond belief…….. Now is your chance to help. Diane Fourton of Pecan Lodge and Jill Bergus of Lockhart Smokehouse, aka: the First Ladies of Dallas BBQ, have joined forces to help the Stone family. This will be a can’t miss event for hardcore Dallas BBQ fanatics and will be held at Dallas Farmer’s Market shed #2 on Sunday, August 14, 2011, starting at…
 - 07/22/2011
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Smokin’ Possum Cookoff a character-building experience for the Posse

We’re still processing everything we learned at the Smokin’ Possum Cookoff. It will take a while. We had fun cooking just outside our cabins at Possum Hollow Resort on Possum Kingdom Lake over a nearly weather-perfect weekend. As for our results, however, the best thing we can say is that it was a character-building experience. Our first entry into the world of sanctioned barbecue competitions was a crash course in harsh reality. Cooking to maximize the impact of that one bite a judge takes of your food is not the same as cooking for friends and relatives in your backyard.…
 - 05/23/2011
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The first families of Dallas BBQ meet up at The Great Posse Smokefest

A spouse of one Posse member likened The Great Posse Smokefest this past Saturday and Sunday to a sleep-over for 10-year-old boys. Yes, I did take my pillow and, thankfully, got to use it for an hour and a half. The smoking of meat started Saturday evening, continued all night, and culminated in a party for Posse members and friends, totaling more than 50 people. The highlight, other than the fellowship around the pits, was early Sunday afternoon when the owners of the Pecan Lodge — Justin and Diane Fourton — met the owners of Lockhart Smokehouse — Jeff and…
 - 05/17/2011
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We love the smell of hickory smoke in the morning

It’s 11 a.m. on a beautiful day for The Great Posse Smokefest in Dallas. Everyone has had a nap — some longer than others — and we feel rejuvenated after a night of fellowship around the pits. Most of the meat is done and resting. Chris’ pork butt still has some time to go. Justin’s brisket, which looks absolutely beautiful, is finishing. We just loaded the chickens on the Jambo. For now, we can relax and enjoy the smell of hickory smoke. Photos ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse
 - 05/15/2011
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Justin Fourton of Pecan Lodge is in the house

It’s now 4:49 a.m. and Justin Fourton, owner and pitmaster of the Pecan Lodge has joined the party at the first Great Posse Smokefest. Justin and his wife Diane, aka: The Boss Lady, serve what many consider to the the best brisket in Dallas. We started with a tour of his awesome mobile pit as he got the fire up to temp. It’s now 5:30 a.m. and we’re talking BBQ technique and getting as many of his secrets as we can. Brisket and biscuits for breakfast before too long….. Photos by ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse
 - 05/15/2011
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Welcome to The Great Posse Smokefest

It’s 1:30 a.m. on Preston Crest Lane. The Jambo J-3 is locked in at 250 degrees. Five briskets soaking up clean hickory smoke. We’ve got a half-dozen racks of ribs in the brine, waiting to be rubbed and put on the smoker at 6 a.m. or so. A couple of chickens, and pork butt, too. Justin Fourton, pitmaster of the Pecan Lodge, plans to arrive at 4 a.m. with his pit. Later, Jeff Bergus, owner of Lockhart Smokehouse plans to arrive with some of his original Kreuz Market sausage. Welcome to The Great Posse Smokefest. We hope to have fun…
 - 05/15/2011
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