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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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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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Pit Talk: How to smoke a great backyard brisket

Without a doubt, one of the hardest things to cook perfectly is brisket. 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. Here are my 10 essential steps to smoking a backyard brisket on an offset, log-burning pit. Some of the techniques may work for other types of…
 - 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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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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Pit Talk: Finding the best level of BBQ smoke

Here’s a new feature on our blog, Pit Talk. Texas BBQ Posse pitmaster Marshall Cooper will share insights he’s gained in almost 30 years manning a backyard smoker. Here are a few of his thoughts on smoke and BBQ. Marshall writes: So, it seems there could be a big disparity on desired smoke levels between competition judges, BBQ restaurants and everyone else. In talking to several competition guys, “the judges just want a very subtle layer of smoke, so you can taste smoke but not enough smoke that it makes you burp” is one comment. “I always lose points if…
 - 04/15/2011
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