May 2011

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smokersWEB001

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
possesetupWEB

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
chickenWEB

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
smokeSM

Fear & Loathing at the Smokin’ Possum Cookoff at Possum Kingdom Lake

It’s less than 11 hours til our first check in time at the Smokin’ Possum Cookoff. This is the second year for the competition, which has been named as a Texas state championship by the I.B.C.A. We’re missing two members of our cook team, Bryan Gooding and Gary Barber, who were key members of the award winning run at last year’s Blues, Bandits & BBQ Festival in Oak Cliff. This is our first cookoff since then. We’re cooking ribs, chicken and brisket against a tough field of seasoned competitors. We’ll be live blogging during the day, for better or for…
 - 05/21/2011
ribalone

Posse favorites: Beef ribs at Lockhart Smokehouse

Beefed Up Wednesday is something you’re going to want to check out at Lockhart Smokehouse in Oak Cliff. Posse member Jim Rossman came back after a recent lunch raving about the beef ribs, a menu item available only on Wednesdays. And Jim eats there one or two times a week. Not a lot of joints serve beef ribs, though I’ve tried them at several places including Louie Mueller BBQ, Gonzales Food Market and Smoke in Dallas. The ribs from Louie Mueller have been amazing every time I tried them and Gonzales was really good as well. I probably won’t order…
 - 05/17/2011
smokefestWEB001

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
mixon

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
garyMARSsm

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
justin_marshallSM

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
temp

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
smokefest

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
pride2

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
da13

A grim indictment of the lack of BBQ choices in Dallas

I just bought a copy of the Barbecue Lover’s Guide to Austin, by Gloria Corral. Daniel Vaughn, the BBQ Snob, reviewed it a couple weeks ago and he’s right. The 174-page paperback is skinny on critical guidance. But if you live in Dallas, like some of us in the Posse, it’s also evidence of our lack of barbecue choices.   Corral has write-ups on nearly 60 places within the city of Austin. Subtract the chains (anything with more than one outlet, which knocks out County Line, Bill Miller, Cartwright’s and PoK-e-Jo’s, among others) and there are still about 35 joints,…
 - 05/05/2011
etxLede

The Barbecue Chronicles: Back to East Texas where we find proof that wood rules

It had been a few months since the Posse’s last barbecue tour. So, we reminded ourselves to be conservative and not overeat at the first stop. “I’m just going to have one rib,” said tour veteran Marshall Cooper as he drove east from Dallas on I-20. His passengers laughed. “Well, if they’re good I might have four or five,” he conceded. In the end, somehow, Texas barbecue always manages to bring out the truth. For this chapter of our barbecue chronicles, we traveled 290 miles over 10 hours on a beautiful spring Saturday that was chilly when we started and…
 - 05/01/2011

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