Best in Texas BBQ

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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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An authentic BBQ experience at Billy’s Oak Acres in Fort Worth

Lunch is served at Biily’s Oak Acres BBQ: Sausage, bologna, brisket, pulled pork, hot links and pork ribs. (Photo ©Daniel Goncalves/Fotobis.com) On an almost perfect autumn Saturday, there were so many possibilities for fun in North Texas. -The State Fair. -Big-time college football with UT at TCU and Baylor against Texas Tech in Arlington. -The Rangers’ pursuit of the American League West title. -Smoked Dallas, the barbecue and live music event. The Posse, of course, chose barbecue. But not the Dallas affair, which offered VIP tickets for $90 apiece. For us, the terms “VIP” and “BBQ” just don’t go together.…
 - 10/05/2015
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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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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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Mac’s Bar-B-Que of Dallas makes a surprise visit on Men’s Journal Top 10 Texas BBQ list

Brisket Frito Pie at Mac’s Bar-B-Que in Dallas. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Another day, another Top 10 Texas BBQ list. It’s gotten to the point where every publication, whether they’ve ever actually ever stepped foot in the state, is coming out with their own top 10 Texas BBQ list. Outside of Texas Monthly and the Posse’s recent Best of Texas BBQ rankings, I pretty much ignore all the often silly lists coming out these days. However, I couldn’t resist the temptation to open a link this weekend from Men’s Journal, trumpeting “EXPERT ADVICE: Daniel Vaughn’s Top 10 BBQ Joints…
 - 06/23/2013
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Will Texas Monthly’s Top 5 BBQ joints be same as those named by its new BBQ editor?

During our live online barbecue chat Monday on DallasNews.com, a reader asked us to predict the Top 5 ranked joints in Texas Monthly’s 2013 BBQ issue, which should be available soon. There was considerable agreement among the four Posse members participating. We each put Franklin Barbecue in Austin No. 1. The next three spots were occupied by the same three joints, although the orders differed: Snow’s BBQ in Lexington, La Barbecue in Austin and Pecan Lodge in Dallas. The fifth spot, depending upon the Posse member, went to either Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor or Kreuz Market in Lockhart. A…
 - 04/30/2013
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Today in the Dallas Morning News: The BBQ Posse’s Austin BBQ Tour

Here’s a look at our Austin BBQ Tour story in today’s Dallas Morning News travel section. This is the Posse’s second installment from the Texas BBQ trail in the DMN this year. Our Best of Texas BBQ project was published in early March. The tour grew out of a growing suspicion that Austin might be quickly replacing Lockhart as the state’s barbecue capital. And nothing we experienced on that day disproved the theory, every stop on the tour was nothing short of sensational. Click here to see the story, slideshow and video links on the DMN Travel section of dallasnews.com. Also, you can join us…
 - 04/28/2013
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Our first Posse wedding and our first taste of John Lewis’ pitmaster magic at La Barbecue in Austin

Ali cuts Easter brisket at La Barbecue “Cuisine Texicana” in Austin. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)  Over a three-day period recently, Posse co-founder Chris Wilkins and I each ate at La Barbecue “Cuisine Texicana” the trailer start-up in Austin featuring pitmaster John Lewis — and free beer. Comparing notes later, we agreed that La Barbecue would have fared well in our recent Best of Texas Tour. We didn’t include it because the joint opened last November and has been operating only a few months. Longevity is a consideration. On this trip, we went to Austin for the wedding of Posse members…
 - 04/05/2013
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The secret to avoiding those long lines at Franklin Barbecue in Austin

The line was over 100 deep at Franklin BBQ on a recent Saturday. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Even now, four weeks later, we’re still complimenting ourselves for our nifty navigation of the long lines at Franklin Barbecue in Austin during the Posse’s Best of Texas Tour. People can begin queuing up two hours before the joint opens and the number can quickly grow to a hundred or more. We took advantage of Franklin’s advance-order service and had Posse members and Austin residents Libby Jacobson and Mike Gagne pick up our food before the place opened for regular business. “It…
 - 03/05/2013
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Snow’s brisket is only meat to score a perfect 10 on Posse’s Best of Texas BBQ Tour

Our perfect 10 brisket from Snow’s BBQ in Lexington. (Photo by Tom Fox/DMN) During our recent Best of Texas BBQ Tour, we traveled nearly 700 miles over three days and tasted brisket, pork ribs and sausage at 10 top places in the state. Each meat was scored on a scale of 1 to 10 (best) by 6 members of Texas BBQ Posse. Just one received a perfect score: the brisket at Snow’s BBQ in Lexington. “The taste almost explodes in your mouth,” said Posse co-founder Chris Wilkins as he savored a bite. In 2008, Texas Monthly crowned Snow’s, which is…
 - 02/11/2013
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Fargo’s BBQ – New digs, same great BBQ

Fargo’s BBQ co-owners Belender Wells & Alan Caldwell in front of their new sign on 720 N. Texas in Bryan.  We dropped in on Fargo’s BBQ’s new location in Bryan as our third of 10 stops of the Top 5 BBQ Tour. They were in their old location five blocks north for 13 years, which didn’t have a dining room. Co-owner Alan Caldwell says the move went smoothly, including moving the original brick pit from the old location, which got broken but was put back together with a little masonry work. Their new location is a former Popeye’s Chicken and…
 - 02/09/2013
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Without a doubt, Fargo’s is one of the best BBQ joints in Texas

When you hit the Texas BBQ trail, there are often more disappointments than pleasant surprises. How can a place that looks so cool from the outside have such tasteless meat inside? How can a perennial BBQ people’s choice winner be so bad? We’ve seen and learned a lot over the past two and a half years as we travel around the state searching for the best smoked meats. Our recent Speedtrap BBQ Tour is a perfect example. Snow’s BBQ and City Meat Market in Giddings were off-the-charts good, just like they’ve always been when we go there. The next couple…
 - 01/30/2012
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Check out the Posse’s BBQ destinations story in the Dallas Morning News

Dallas Morning News travel section editor Mary Ellen Botter recently asked Gary Jacobson and I to come up with a list of the Texas BBQ Posse’s favorite joints to visit. We solicited suggestions from the posse and were off and running. We weren’t trying to come up with a list for the best meats we’d sampled, we did that last December in our piece Announcing the Posse’s “2010 Best in Texas BBQ picks and will follow up annually with updated lists. This is just an unofficial accounting of cool places we’ve been, though like any BBQ list I’m sure it…
 - 07/23/2011
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Meshack’s Bar-B-Que in Garland named as one of the best in the country

The honors continue for one of the Possse’s favorite BBQ joints in the state. Meshack’s Bar-B-Que Shack in Garland has been named in the list of Top 21 BBQ Sandwiches in this month’s Garden & Gun magazine. The slick looking national magazine describes itself as, “A Southern lifestyle magazine that’s all about the magic of the new South – sporting culture, food, music, art, literature, people, and ideas.” Meshack’s owners Donna and Travis Mayes got a visit yesterday from the city of Garland, who will be honoring them with a proclamation at the next Garland City Council meeting. Congrats to…
 - 06/09/2011
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See the latest & greatest photos of Franklin Barbecue in Austin

My Dallas Morning News colleague Guy Reynolds made a couple of trips to Austin to shoot photos for a page one story on Franklin Barbecue, which has attained cult status in an amazingly short length of time. Click here to see the slideshow of Guy’s work, behind-the-scenes photos of Aaron Franklin & crew from the early hours working the pits to closing time, and everything in between. Above is a photo of Aaron and wife Stacy relaxing in front of the little turquoise trailer that started it all. Guy describes how he shot the Franklin portrait on his facebook page,…
 - 06/09/2011
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Report from the new Franklin Barbecue: It’s still the same ol’ amazing BBQ

Texas BBQ Posse member Phil Lamb checks in after a visit to Franklin Barbecue’s new location at 900 E. 11th in Austin. Franklin’s former home, the little blue trailer at Concordia & I-35, quickly became a Texas BBQ legend. Can pitmaster Aaron Franklin continue to produce what some call the best brisket in Texas at his new sit down restaurant? That’s the million dollar question among Texas BBQ followers. Phil writes: I had another great BBQ lunch at Franklin this afternoon. My uncle and I did 1 lb. brisket (lean), 1 lb. brisket (fatty), 2 lbs ribs and 2 sausage…
 - 04/30/2011
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Texas Monthly’s Pat Sharpe joins the Top 50 BBQ dialogue….

Texas Monthly executive editor and food writer Pat Sharpe graciously comments on our blog posts regarding their Top 50 BBQ rankings. We wanted to publish her comments in a seperate post to be sure everyone got a chance to read it. Hello, all. Since I am the person who heads up Texas Monthly’s top-fifty list every five years, let me respond to a couple of questions. We do, in fact (as Jacob said, above), indicate whether each place uses wood or gas/electric, but it’s in the form of a symbol (of flames or a commercial smoker) so a reader might…
 - 04/19/2011
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More on Texas Monthly’s taking the gas

I don’t mean to pour charcoal lighter on the fire, but Gary is indisputably correct about gas versus wood: No one who cooks with gas belongs on a list of Texas’ best barbecue joints, any more than grape Nehi belongs on a wine list. (And the offense isn’t pardoned just because the gas cook throws on, as Marshall Cooper puts it, “a couple of sticks of wood for perfume.”) Texas Monthly, more than most, ought to realize this. Indeed, in the introduction to the magazine’s last Top 50 issue (published in June 2008), the editors described their vaunted list thusly:Our…
 - 04/19/2011
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‘Someone needs to call out Texas Monthly on its Top 50 BBQ joints’

One of the great things about full-day barbecue tours is the time it allows for important, spirited debates about important issues. Some of the topics we’ve addressed: Is it ever worth making a special stop at a joint that advertises on a highway billboard? (No.) Should you make an impromptu stop at a place that has “Soulman” in its name? (Probably not. They’re trying too hard.) Can “great” sausage ever truly compare to “great” brisket? (No. We need a new grading system for sausage.) On our East Texas tour last weekend, we got into a new hot topic. “Someone needs…
 - 04/18/2011
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Is Pecan Lodge in the same league as Franklin?

Is Pecan Lodge in the same league as Franklin? That was the case this week, according to Posse pit master Marshall Cooper, who eats barbecue – his own and other’s – several times a week. Marshall is hard to please. But after his lunch Sunday at Pecan Lodge in the Dallas Farmers Market he was raving. “In terms of quality, in my opinion, the brisket and ribs today hands down beats any BBQ in DFW,” he reported. “The ribs were better than any ribs I’ve eaten out. Today, the brisket was so damned good, it makes me re-think Franklin for…
 - 03/24/2011
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Super Bowl XLV Media Party – See photos of the Texas BBQ celebration

Even Super Storm 2011 couldn’t stop the BBQ greatness of the Super Bowl XLV Media Party last night at the House of Blues. Eight of the planned ten pitmasters from across Texas made it through the ice and snow to the HOB. The teams were Snow’s BBQ of Lexington, Louie Mueller Barbecue of Taylor, Franklin Barbecue of Austin, Black’s BBQ of Lockhart, Blue Ribbon BBQ (Mikeska family) of Austin, Mills County BBQ Company of Goldwaite, Stanley’s Famous Pit BBQ of Tyler, Schoepf’s Old Time Pit BBQ of Belton and Earl Campbell’s Sausage. Only the teams from Cooper’s Old Time BBQ…
 - 02/02/2011
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10 Texas BBQ giants gather in Dallas to cook for Super Bowl XLV Media Party

It’s like a dream BBQ tour. Imagine hitting 10 of the best barbecue joints in Texas…..all in one night. Posse lead writer Gary Jacobson got the scoop this morning about a gathering in Dallas next week of legendary pitmasters. Snow’s BBQ owner Kerry Bexley called to give Gary a heads up on the story. Pitmasters from 10 top TexasBBQ joints will gather in the parking lot of the House of Blues next Tuesday to cook for the 2011 NFL Super Bowl XLV Media Party, which is held that evening at the HOB. You have to be a Super Bowl credentialed…
 - 01/27/2011
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Why we chose Snow’s BBQ as the best joint in Texas

It was a tough call to name the best barbecue joint in Texas for our 2010 Best in Texas BBQ picks. After tallying the votes from Texas BBQ Posse members, we had three very strong contenders for the title. First came Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor. This is truly a world-class BBQ joint, with smoke staining the walls and windows. The tradition is there, the food is great and the ambiance is extraordinary. Their beef ribs and beef sausage are among the best we’ve ever had. The second contender was Snow’s BBQ, situated in an old country feed store next…
 - 12/17/2010
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Announcing the Posse’s “2010 Best in Texas BBQ” picks

We all know how controversial picking a “best of barbecue” list can be. Surf a few BBQ blogs in the Lone Star State and you’ll be entertained for hours. Outside of religion and football, it’s a close third for spirited and emotional discussion, to say the least. Folks in Texas take their BBQ very, very seriously. That being said, the Texas BBQ Posse is publishing our “2010 Best in Texas BBQ” picks. Disclaimer: We have not gone to every joint in Texas, that would take years. Thanks to our friend Daniel Vaughn and his Full Custom Gospel BBQ blog, we…
 - 12/13/2010
Texas BBQ Posse

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