Texas BBQ Posse

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Welcome to our new Texas BBQ Posse website

In Texas, Robert Earl Keen probably comes as close to being the official Bard of Barbecue as anybody we’ve got. You might quibble with his spelling, but not his sentiment: Don’t give me no broccoli Or any Swiss fondue Baby if you want to rock me Give me good ole barbeque And what, you ask, puts us in such a mood for song? After seven years of blogging about smoked meats, the Texas BBQ Posse is launching a full blown Web site about our favorite topic. Don’t worry. Our main mission remains the same. We’ll tell the stories of the people and places…
 - 03/31/2017
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Lights, Camera, Eat BBQ! The Posse — briefly — goes Hollywood

George Clooney and Leo DiCaprio can relax. It’s unlikely anyone from the Texas BBQ Posse will challenge them for leading roles in Tinseltown. Still, we had our brush, very briefly, with video fame. And while nothing came of it — yet, anyway — the experience was great fun so we thought we would share it with you. About a year ago, the folks at 12 Forward Entertainment in Dallas approached us about making a “pitch” video for a reality TV show based on the Posse. The video would then be used to sell the concept to producers and networks. We…
 - 01/02/2017
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The top 10 posts in the history of the Texas BBQ Posse Blog

Our first trip to Snow’s BBQ in 2009 was a life-changing event for a group of friends. If a milestone occurs and no one notices, is it still a milestone? That question certainly doesn’t rank with the great philosophical barbecue debates — i.e., foil or butcher paper? — but it is something we’re pondering this week. Why? This is the 400th published post since we launched the Texas BBQ Posse blog in March of 2010, six and one-half years ago. The initial post in our Barbecue Chronicles is still one of my favorites. It was about our first trip to…
 - 10/17/2016
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On an eating pilgrimage to Austin, a Californian meets Aaron Franklin and the Posse, and tastes ‘the love’ of Texas BBQ

Steven Hecht visits with La Barbecue pitmaster Dylan Taylor, 21, who was trained by the legendary John Lewis. (Photo ©Tom Fox) Posse Note: During our barbecue tour of Central Texas last weekend, we met Steven Hecht, born in Texas who now lives in California. He said that he’s a regular reader of this blog and he used it to plan his Texas BBQ tour. Of course, after learning that, we asked him to write about his experience. Here is his story: I just returned from my first BBQ Pilgrimage to Austin, Texas and it was a life-changing experience. My name…
 - 01/30/2016
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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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‘Nobody better’ in Dallas than Cattleack Barbecue

Lunch sampling of brisket, pulled pork, beer bacon beef sausage & brisket pastrami at Cattleack BBQ. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) There may be some prophets of smoked meat, but too bad there aren’t more poets. The Posse could have used one last Saturday because the smoked pastrami that Todd David served at Cattleack Barbecue deserved an ode, if not a sonnet. “That’s the barbecue gauntlet right there,” Posse member Bryan Gooding said of the pastrami. “Everybody else is going to have to figure out how to do it.” Sliced from the lean end, the meat glistened on the tray.…
 - 06/15/2015
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A very tasty Texas BBQ day: Breakfast at Snow’s, lunch at Louie Mueller and dinner at Miller’s Smokehouse

Legendary Snow’s BBQ pitmaster  Tootsie Tomanetz. (Photo ©Daniel Goncalves/fotobia.com) The Posse took it’s long overdue 5th anniversary barbecue tour Saturday. Dubbed the Central Texas Legends Tour by Posse co-founder Chris Wilkins, it came 5 years and 5 months after our very first trip in November 2009. It was a one-day roundtrip dash from Dallas, covering 390 miles in about 13 hours. We ate at 3 joints and stopped at a fourth to pay homage to one of the state’s cooking legends. A lot has changed since the Posse first started touring. And some things haven’t. One of those is the…
 - 04/15/2015
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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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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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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 ribs.…
 - 07/21/2014
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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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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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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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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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In Texas, barbecued bologna is not the new turkey

Pitmaster Terry Massey slices smoked bologna at Lazy S&M BBQ in Joshua. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) A year ago, after our best of Austin tour, we wrote about how turkey breast was making a move to join the royal family of Texas barbecue: brisket, pork ribs, and sausage. We’re still not ready to give the big bird equal status, but we order it whenever we see it on menus. A lot of joints in the state are smoking great turkey. On our recent South of DFW Tour, three of the four places we visited served barbecued bologna. Different, we…
 - 03/22/2014
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A second opinion on the Posse’s South of DFW BBQ Tour

Michael Meadows, left, and the Posse dig in at Pit Stop BBQ in Waxahachie. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Maybe there was a time, long ago, when I was surprised at how seriously people take barbecue. But certainly not anymore. Take Michael Meadows, one of the Posse’s newest members. He and his family were in Colorado skiing last week. They drove 900 miles Friday arriving back in Dallas just before midnight. And yet Meadows made the starting gate with the rest of us Saturday morning at the first stop of our South of DFW Tour. During the day, we ate at…
 - 03/21/2014
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Rave reviews for BBQ on the Brazos from the Posse

Pitmaster John Sanford works the cutting board at BBQ on the Brazos. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Too bad Posse member Bruce Tomaso didn’t make our tour last weekend. We could have renewed our recent wood-versus-gas debate when our first stop, BBQ on the Brazos in Cresson, got rave reviews from everyone present. BBQ on the Brazos uses a gas-fired Ole Hickory smoker. “How many of our tours have started off with barbecue better than this?” said Posse member Phil Lamb. Technically, it was a question. But like all good attorneys, Lamb knew the answer before he asked: Very, very…
 - 03/16/2014
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Win a free meal with the Texas BBQ Posse at DFW’s favorite joint

UPDATE:  And the winner is……….. Hutchins BBQ in McKinney. Click here to see photos of the favorite D/FW joint, as voted by Dallas Morning News readers. ORIGINAL ITEM:  The Dallas Morning News just launched a new poll for readers to pick their favorite barbecue joint in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. As a bonus, one voter and his or her guest will be treated to a meal at the winning joint by the Posse. Get all the details at The News’ Web site and don’t forget to Tweet a link to the poll with the hashtag #texasbbqposse to become eligible for…
 - 01/10/2014
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