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Smoked pastrami recipe that is sure to impress your guests

By Bryan Gooding It was more than two years ago when the Posse heard a rumor that Cattleack Barbecue in Far North Dallas was going to be serving smoked pastrami for its Saturday special. I remember thinking “Wow! This is different!” Pitmaster Todd David would be cooking “outside the box.” Afterward I told Posse co-founder Gary Jacobson that Cattleack had thrown down the gauntlet with its smoked pastrami and that there would be a lot of pitmasters experimenting with recipes over the next year.  The times were ripe for some new barbecue. In the fall of 2015 Gary and I…
 - 04/05/2017
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Recipe: Smoked beef tenderloin recipe the Lopez Island way — hot and fast

Smoked beef tenderloin recipe Editor’s note: Posse members not only love to eat barbecue but they also love to cook. Bryan Gooding, who recently retired and moved from Dallas to Lopez Island in Washington state, shares his secrets for smoking great tenderloin. By Bryan Gooding Though I love to barbecue meats you can’t treat a beef tenderloin like a brisket or pork butt. The smoking needs to be hot and fast since there isn’t enough fat on a tenderloin to survive a long time in low heat. So I use my smoker with a lot of heat from a wood…
 - 12/29/2016
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How to put some smoke on your prime rib roast before using the 500-degree reverse sear

The Gagne’s prime rib roast ready for carving. (Photo ©Texas BBQ Posse) Warning: This isn’t a normal Posse blog post. Just how atypical? I had to look up how to spell sous vide. But don’t worry, that vacuum-sealed cooking method was used only for warming up some wonderful leftovers from the meal that long-time Posse member Mike Gagne cooked on Christmas Day. Mike is a University of Texas law school grad and serious Longhorns fan, so when we (Mike is married to my daughter, Libby) decided to cook prime rib for the holiday, he went right to the source of…
 - 10/24/2016
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Here’s the best comment we’ve ever seen about wood and Texas BBQ

Over the past four years, we’ve gotten a lot of comments from readers about our observations on Texas barbecue. Good or bad, we post them all, with the exception of those with extreme profanity. Texas BBQ is an emotional issue. However, a comment on Gary Jacobson’s Monday post “Memo to Gov. Perry: Texas needs a truth in BBQ law” set a new bar for comments on our blog. A reader tagged as “Anonymous” left a pronouncement that summed it all up better than we could ever do. Here’s an open offer to Anonymous: you have permanent membership in the Posse and…
 - 02/26/2013
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For sale: A piece of Texas BBQ history

For sale: Snow’s BBQ original catering smoker and trailer. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Want to buy a serious piece of Texas barbecue history? Snow’s BBQ owner Kerry Bexley has a deal for you. One of the fringe benefits of having breakfast at Snow’s on a Saturday morning is talking barbecue with Kerry. From our first visit in Nov. 2009, he’s treated us like family as we’ve caught up on all the Central Texas BBQ gossip. During our trip a week ago he casually mentioned that his original catering rig was for sale, priced at $2750 or best offer. Several…
 - 02/17/2013
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My crash course in smoking with the Knights of Columbus

  Tom Rossman loads the pit with pork butts. This weekend I had the pleasure of hanging out with my dad Tom Rossman and the Knights of Columbus Council 6950 in Katy for a full day of smoking meat. Several times each year the Knights sell barbecue as a fund-raiser. They presell briskets, ribs and pork butts, cook on Friday and customers pickup on Saturday. This time they prepared 42 briskets, 75 racks of ribs and 12 pork butts. The preparation of the meat was done Thursday and cooking commenced Friday at 6 a.m. The Knights were using 4 large smokers (three for…
 - 02/03/2013
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Cooking backyard BBQ with John Mueller & John Lewis

Last Sunday I hauled my Jambo pit to Austin. The first stop was John Lewis’ house. Both Lewis and I had been invited to a backyard BBQ with John Mueller the next day. John Lewis is a pitmaster (I call him The BBQ Genius, food critics call him the BBQ savant) who works at Franklin BBQ in Austin for Aaron Franklin. Franklin’s has been named the best BBQ joint in America. That also means best in the world, says John Mueller, because no place else cooks real BBQ except Texas. I help John Lewis on national KCBS BBQ competitions. John’s…
 - 03/09/2012
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The wood versus gas BBQ debate rages on: “extramsg” responds to his critics

We were introduced to blogger and Portland, Oregon, deli owner extramsg last week when he responded to Gary Jacobson’s post The wood versus gas BBQ debate continues as we analyze a Southern Pride recipe. His take on the piece? “Ah, bullshit.” You can read his initial comment under the original blog post to get the gist of his argument. Basically, he says that he can cook BBQ every bit as smokey as the best wood-fired Texas BBQ joints on his gas-burning Southern Pride oven. To that, I say: “Ah, bullshit.” When extramsg sent a lengthly followup comment last night, we…
 - 02/23/2012
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Smoke brisket in your backyard

  Smoked brisket in your backyard is, without a doubt, one of the hardest things to cook perfectly. Despite all the articles, books and videos out there telling you how to do it, there is no magic to the process. You need tremendous patience and you need to know the specific characteristics of your pit. That takes practice and experience. The more you cook, the better you’ll be. The approach may sound simple and straightforward, but getting there is not. 10 Tips – Smoke brisket in your backyard Here are my 10 essential steps to smoking a backyard brisket on an…
 - 02/13/2012
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Pit Talk: To dunk or not to dunk, that is the question

Lately, the Posse has observed that at a few joints, including some stellar ones, meats are stored (or dipped) in a broth or juice before they’re served. Posse pitmaster Marshall Cooper says the practice, known as dunking, isn’t new. It’s something that many cooks, including those who take part in professional barbecue cookoffs, have used for years as a way to keep meats moist and juicy. But it’s no substitute for proper smoking techniques – all the dunking in the world won’t rescue a poorly cooked piece of meat. And it’s probably not something that your dietitian or cardiologist would…
 - 02/05/2012
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Pit Talk: The 7 essentials of damn good barbecue

What makes good BBQ? I consider successful barbecue to be the combination of seven basic characteristics happening at once: tenderness, juiciness, smokiness, proper fat rendering, enhanced rub, good exterior bark, all with a firm texture. Good-tasting brisket, ribs and pork butt are s-l-o-w smoked at l-o-w temperatures using a real wood fire. Most importantly, BBQ should be left undisturbed on the pit and should not be hurried at all. Be aware of smoldering fires, which produce bitter tasting creosote that destroys the natural flavors of properly cooked meats. The meat is done when it’s tender, the fat has rendered and…
 - 02/04/2012
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To shig, or not to shig, that is the barbecue question

Excuse me if I’m late to the party, but I just learned a new word: shigging. It means stealing, or attempting to steal, someone’s barbecue secrets. The term seems to have come out of the BBQ competition circuit, but also works for joints and backyard pitmasters. For example, my good friend Bryan Gooding, who won the chicken category at the Blues, Bandits & BBQ cook-off in Oak Cliff last year, won’t share his recipe. But I watched him. And there’s vinegar — and ice cubes — in his brine. And on tours, the Posse is almost always shigging. We’re constantly…
 - 09/15/2011
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We read a label on a Cookshack smoker oven — this ain’t real Texas BBQ, folks

Normally, we don’t like piling on. But some opportunities can’t be resisted, especially when it involves a topic important to us: real wood-fired barbecue. A couple months ago, we got a good debate going here about wood vs. gas, and even ran highlights of a Southern Pride recipe for Texas-style brisket that we thought supported our point of view. Now, our attention turns to commercial pellet machines. Posse pitmaster Marshall Cooper found the above photo of labels attached to a Fast Eddy’s by Cookshack Model FEC100 “smoker oven.” The company says on its Web site that the machine is “100%…
 - 06/16/2011
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Checking out the smokers at the Smokin’ Possum Cookoff

One of the coolest things at a BBQ cookoff is the opportunity to check out everyone’s smokers and cook setup. Here’s a quick tour of some of the teams the Posse is competing against here at Possum Hollow Camp near Graham.         Photos by Chris Wilkins
 - 05/24/2011
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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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It’s turn in time at the Smokin’ Possum Cookoff

Gary J’s famous chicken & ribs have been turned in to the judges, now it’s down to the biggie – brisket. That’s a 3 p.m. turn in time. Marshall cooked three briskets to choose between for our entry. Out of that we’ll enter just seven slices for the judges to taste test. Win or lose, we’ve had a great time last night and today. What an amazing day out here at the second annual Smokin’ Possum Cookoff.   Photos by Chris Wilkins
 - 05/21/2011
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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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Myron Mixon may conquer the world, but there’s no way it’s real Texas BBQ

Gotta love the title of Myron Mixon’s new book, Smokin’. One word that conjures a thousand pictures. And the self-proclaimed “winningest man in barbecue” even weighs in on our recent debate here about wood versus gas. “Can I smoke food on a gas grill?” Mixon asks rhetorically midway through his opening chapter. “You bet your ass you can,” he answers. Mixon’s credentials are impressive, as he lets you know in a short section called: “How Much Have I Won?” No self-esteem issues with Myron. Of course, anyone who has watched him on TLC’s BBQ Pitmasters already knows that. He cites…
 - 05/16/2011
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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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Marshall Cooper explains the temperature variances of his competition-tuned Jambo

When the temperature gauge says 250 degrees, that’s the grate temp for the center third of the pit, Posse pitmaster Marshall Cooper says, based on three months of test cooks. The left third of the cooking chamber, away from the firebox, is 10 degrees cooler, and the right third, nearest the firebox, is 25 degrees warmer, perfect for chicken and pork butt. Cooper fired the pit at 6:30 p.m. with three 22-inch hickory logs and has added a log an hour. It’s 2:30 a.m. and the gauge is a steady 250. “This cook is going damn good,” Cooper said, sitting…
 - 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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The wood versus gas BBQ debate continues as we analyze a Southern Pride recipe

Southern Pride makes gas-fired commercial smokers, which burn a little wood for flavor, and offers cooking tips to its customers. For one of its larger machines, the XLR-1400, which has a capacity of 72 briskets, the recipe for “Texas style brisket” says cook 12 to 14 hours and use a total of two 4-inch by 12-inch logs. That’s for a “heavy smoke” taste, the recipe says. A couple weeks ago, we got into a good discussion on this blog about real Texas barbecue and whether it could ever be cooked with gas. We still say no and offer Southern Pride’s…
 - 05/06/2011
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Smoking brisket in a grocery sack

Jason Hoskins writes: First of all, I enjoy your blog. Check in on it everyday. I have one question. I am planning on smoking a brisket this weekend and I wanted to try the butcher paper method you all wrote about. The problem, I can’t find any plain brown butcher paper and I don’t have time to order it. I was wondering if you all thought a plain brown paper sack (grocery bag) would work? I figured it is basically the same as butcher paper but I’m not totally sure. Thanks for your time. Posse Pitmaster Marshall Cooper responds: Interesting…
 - 04/21/2011

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