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In a Hyden brothers barbecue showdown, Kirby wins with his brisket

Randy Hyden (top) of Hyden Family Barbeque in Teague and brother Kirby Hyden of Kirby’s Barbeque in Mexia.(Photos ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) You could call them The BBQ Brothers. In fact, we will. Kirby and Randy Hyden, once business partners with a long family tradition of barbecue, now operate separate joints about 15 miles apart. Kirby runs Kirby’s Barbeque in Mexia and Randy has Hyden Family Barbeque in Teague. The Posse first ate at Kirby’s in the summer of 2013 during a tour of Central Texas places that didn’t include Randy’s. Ever since, we’ve wanted to return and rectify that…
 - 02/09/2015
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More evidence that Lockhart has lost its barbecue magic

Smitty’s Market oak wood pile & the Caldwell County courthouse. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) On our way back to Dallas from our recent Houston-area barbecue tour, all 6 Posse members on the trip listed their top 5 joints in the state, in no particular order. Specific criteria probably varied from person to person, but these would be places we’d drive across the state to eat at or recommend to good friends that they do the same. Since then, we’ve been asked to run each person’s top 5. Those lists are below. Three joints mentioned by each of us: Killen’s…
 - 02/01/2015
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Greater Houston, we have barbecue redemption

The four meat plate with a link of boudin brought a smile to Posse faces at Ray’s Real Pit BBQ Shack in Houston. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) In a previous post, careful readers might wonder about the heading over the itinerary of our weekend trip: “Houston Redemption BBQ Tour” What’s that all about? Flash back to the Posse’s first Gulf Coast tour two years ago. It was disappointing. The only good barbecue we found was in Galveston, 50 miles away. “Houston, we have a barbecue problem” was the headline on that chapter of our BBQ Chronicles. Some of our…
 - 09/29/2014
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Behold the Fried Rib from Pecan Lodge — You need to try one

The fried rib from Pecan Lodge in Dallas. (Photo by Jim Rossman/Texas BBQ Posse)   It’s not often that I’m surprised by the menu at a BBQ joint. I’ve been to more than a few dozen places and didn’t think there was much else you could do to a pork rib, but I was wrong. One day last month I was eating at Pecan Lodge in Dallas when I spied a new entry on their menu board. It was a fried pork rib and I had to have one. The rib was a very large and meaty. It was lightly battered…
 - 09/18/2014
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Smoked meatloaf is a hit at Texas Smoke BBQ Co. in Sanger

The Posse samples various smoked meats at Texas Smoke BBQ Co. in Sanger. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) In the 5 years the Posse has been on the hunt for the best smoked meats in Texas, we’ve met lots of people chasing their barbecue restaurant dreams, including a preacher, a city councilman, and former corporate consultants. Jay Coin, the owner and pit master at Texas Smoke BBQ Co. in Sanger, is our first former undertaker. Texas Smoke was the second stop of our recent Denton County tour. We traveled 120 miles in 6 hours and ate at 4 places. Coin’s place,…
 - 09/10/2014
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Barbecue photography the old-fashioned way

Posse member Bruce Tomaso lends a hand with a reflector as photojournalist Guy Reynolds focuses in on Big Daddy’s Ribs & BBQ owner Blake Merrell in Little Elm. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) If you follow this blog, you know it regularly features great barbecue photography. Several Posse members are photographers and they bring their equipment — all kinds of equipment — when we go on tours. Our recent Denton County tour, though, saw the most unusual piece of equipment yet. Guy Reynolds used a tripod mounted Graflex to shoot portraits of some of the pitmasters we visited. On other tours,…
 - 09/03/2014
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Bet the House BBQ in Denton gets high marks from the Posse and football guru Rick Gosselin

The Posse digs into a platter of smoked meats at Bet the House BBQ in Denton. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Rick Gosselin is one of the foremost football experts in the country. When he says the Dallas Cowboys offense is not yet ready for the regular season, as he did this past weekend, fans — and the Cowboys — should take serious notice. The Dallas Morning News columnist also knows barbecue. A couple weeks ago, he emailed us about a new place in Denton, Bet The House BBQ, where he had just eaten. “Brisket was awesome,” he wrote, encouraging…
 - 08/24/2014
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Smoked cheese a highlight at Big Daddy’s Ribs & BBQ in Little Elm

A waitress delivers our first course, a four-meat platter at Big Daddy’s Ribs & BBQ. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) We called it our Denton County BBQ Tour, but it could have just as easily been named the Lake Country Tour. As we traveled 120 miles in 6 hours to eat at 4 joints on a recent Saturday, we crossed 3 different bridges over Lake Lewisville and drove atop the Ray Roberts Lake Dam. Seeing the water, the boats, the parks, and the nice shoreside homes was a pleasant respite from the heat, which approached 100 degrees. And then we…
 - 08/23/2014
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Ten 50 BBQ in Richardson shows promise in first week, but Franklin, it’s not…

Large pallets of wood wait their turn in the smoker  (Photos by Jim Rossman) After an extensive remodel of a K&G Men’s Wear on north Central Expressway in Richardson, Ten 50 BBQ, owned by Chili’s founder Larry Lavine, finally opened this week to long lines and daily sellouts around 2:30p.m. each day. I watched a few accounts of Monday’s opening day, including a good writeup by Kellie Reynolds in the Dallas Observer. It was a quote in her story that caught my attention. “Franklin’s in Austin is the gold standard and we think we’ve matched that,” Levine told Reynolds. “We’ve…
 - 08/21/2014
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Strong reviews for CorkScrew BBQ in Spring…but

  Brisket, ribs & sausage at CorkScrew BBQ in Sprint. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) The food is excellent at CorkScrew BBQ, a trailer joint located behind a shopping center in Spring: “This could be a Top 10 joint,” said friend of the Posse Bryan Norton, who joined us on this stop in our 35-hour, 610-mile barbecue tour of the Houston area. “I can’t stop eating,” said Posse member Phil Lamb as he picked from a selection of fatty brisket, pork ribs, turkey, sausage, pulled pork and chopped brisket. Later he said he would have liked more smoke flavor on the brisket and…
 - 07/21/2014
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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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High on smoke and creamed corn, BBQ eureka at Killen’s BBQ

Pork ribs, brisket, potato salad & creamed corn at Killen’s BBQ in Pearland. (Photo by Daniel Goncalves/fotobia.com) Just a week after the Posse’s barbecue tour of Houston-area joints, Posse member Daniel Goncalves and his wife, Magda, made a return visit, including a trip to Killen’s Barbecue in Pearland, which might just be the best barbecue joint in the state. Daniel says he had a couple of new barbecue revelations while high on smoke and creamed corn. Here is his report: My wife and I decided at the last minute to spend the 4th of July weekend in Houston. The previous…
 - 07/14/2014
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Robust flavors make Brooks’ Place in Cypress a BBQ winner

Our meal of Brisket, deer sausage & pork ribs at Brook’s Place in Cypress. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) In the Spring of 2013, Trent Brooks said, he was struggling to sell 3 or 4 briskets a day from his barbecue trailer located in an Ace Hardware parking lot in Cypress, outside Houston. “Then one Wednesday,” he recalled, “I opened and all of a sudden my Twitter account exploded. In an hour, I was done.” Sold out. The next day, he said, there were about 50 people in line when he opened. What happened? Brooks’ Place made Texas Monthly’s list…
 - 07/10/2014
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From the NFL to Ray’s BBQ Shack in Houston, meet Herb Taylor, pit master in training

Herb Taylor, co-owner of Ray’s Real BBQ Shack in Houston. (Photo ©Daniel Goncalves/fotobia.com) At TCU in Fort Worth, offensive tackle Herb Taylor started every game during his four-year college football career. He was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2007 and spent time with four other NFL teams over six years. Herb Taylor as a Kansas City Chief. Now out of football, Taylor is a co-owner and self described “pit master in training” at Ray’s Real Pit BBQ Shack in Houston. The other co-owners are Ray Busch and Maxine Davis, Taylor’s mother, who were’t there when we stopped. Taylor…
 - 07/07/2014
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Take a number — A different approach to BBQ lines

Posse members Jim Rossman & Gary Jacobson head up the line at Killen’s BBQ. (Photo ©Daniel Goncalves/fotobia.com) In our recent travels to Houston, part of the scheduling involved knowing that two joints – Killen’s and CorkScrew – were places that would require a wait in a pretty lengthy line. We hit CorkScrew BBQ in  Friday for lunch and did the same Saturday at Killen’s. Each place opens at 11am. I volunteered to be the line sitter each morning, arriving at 8:30 a.m. each day to secure the first spot in line. Note to our fellow line-waiters – I was alone…
 - 07/01/2014
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Killen’s in Pearland might just be the best BBQ joint in Texas

Customers wait for the 11am opening of Killen’s BBQ in Pearland on Saturday morning. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Even before we had finished eating at Killen’s Barbecue in Pearland on Saturday, the great debate began. “When you factor everything in, this is the best barbecue place in Texas,” declared Posse co-founder Chris Wilkins. We ate brisket, pork ribs, pork belly, beef ribs, turkey and sausage. Everything was excellent — moist, flavorful and nicely cooked. On a scouting mission in May, Posse member Jim Rossman called the food at Killen’s, which opened in a permanent location early this year, “spectacular.”…
 - 06/29/2014
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Stellar preview for the new Pecan Lodge in Deep Ellum, Dallas

Owners Diane & Justin Fourton address the crowd at Pecan Lodge’s preview party. (Photo by Jim Rossman) All right. The new Pecan Lodge will open Friday, May 23, ending nearly a couple weeks of Dallas barbecue drought since the original joint last served at the Farmers Market on May 11. That’s the grand opening target for the new place on Main Street in Deep Ellum, according to owner/pitmaster Justin Fourton, who with his wife, Diane, hosted a preview party Thursday attended by about 200 guests. The new space is wonderful. And the food won’t miss a beat, according to many…
 - 05/16/2014
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Killens’ BBQ in Pearland is going to crash everyone’s top 10 list.

Killen’s BBQ in Pearland. (All photos by Jim Rossman) I had lunch at Killen’s BBQ in Pearland today and the meats were spectacular. I have no doubt Killen’s is the best BBQ in Pearland, and likely the best BBQ in the Houston-area. The Posse will double-check my thoughts as we head down to Houston for a BBQ tour at the end of June and Killen’s is a highly-anticipated stop. I figured Mother’s Day would be a light day at a BBQ joint, but then I remembered this is Texas. Killen’s opens at 11 a.m., and at 10:05 a.m. I was…
 - 05/12/2014
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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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Some great BBQ joint names, and some great food, too

Clockwise from top left, our stops included Buck Snort BBQ, The First Baptist Church of Bells, Cackle & Oink BBQ and Bull Hollar BBQ.  (Photos ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Had this been an official Posse outing, we would have called it the All-Time Best BBQ Name Tour. Covering 180 miles over 7 hours last Saturday, we ate at Buck Snort BBQ in Van Alstyne, Bull Hollar BBQ in Bells and Cackle & Oink BBQ in Sherman. As names for Texas joints go, that’s a whole lot spicier than Franklin, Pecan Lodge and Kreuz Market. Mid-trip, we also ate at the First…
 - 04/23/2014
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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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Some barbecue bracketology: The Posse picks the best of the best in Dallas-Fort Worth for the Final Four

Pecan Lodge had a strong showing on the Posse’s Best of the Best DFW BBQ list. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BB Posse) While compiling our list for Final Four fans of the best Dallas-Forth Worth area barbecue joints, we also engaged in some smoked meat bracketology. We rated the best-of-the-best individual menu items — and some other categories — from the field of North Texas competitors. For this task, we relied on the opinions of 6 veteran Posse members. All have eaten a lot of barbecue since we started going on tours in 2009. All have strong opinions. There was just one…
 - 04/02/2014
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Hey, Final Four fans! Here’s the Posse’s guide to the best BBQ in Dallas-Fort Worth

Over the years, readers have asked the Posse for barbecue joint recommendations. Those requests have increased recently with the Final Four of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament headed to North Texas. So, here is our list of best places in the Dallas-Forth Worth area. None of them is more than an hour’s drive from AT&T Stadium. The closest is right across the street. One reader asked what may be the ultimate question this year for barbecue fans who also enjoy a little college basketball: Pecan Lodge or Hutchins? Our answer: Figure out how to eat at both. These are probably…
 - 03/31/2014
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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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Give customers what they want, says Pit Stop BBQ boss

Award-winning pitmaster Steve Graham and his primary smoker at Pit Stop BBQ. (Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) An experienced competition cook, Steve Graham has filled his Pit Stop BBQ restaurant outside Waxahachie with trophies and plaques. He knows how to cook for a tough audience, judges, even different sets of judges. For example, he said, he always tried to get a look at the judges before he started preparing his meat. Older judges like salt, he said. “In a competition, that first taste is everything,” Graham said. So the flavor has to be bold and great. If you read our posts…
 - 03/25/2014

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