Alan Caldwell, owner and pitmaster at Fargo's Pit BBQ in Bryan, has been very protective of the cooking secrets that help make his joint one of the top two or three in Texas.
"You still refusing to show anyone your pit?" he was asked during our weekend barbecue tour that covered 700 miles and took us to the Texas Gulf Coast.
"That's my secret," he said. "Let's talk about something else."
After we had eaten and Caldwell came out from behind the counter to talk, he seemed to mellow a bit.
He said he cooks with a brick pit that he had built on site.
"I like it because it will just seal in that flavor," Caldwell said of his smoker.
And, without being specific, he said he uses a mixture of wood.
Before we drove to our next stop, we did sneak a look through a gap in his fence. Outside his smokehouse was a big stack of oak.
Was that for real? Or, just a prop to fool BBQ snoops like us?
Only Caldwell knows for sure.
Photos ©Jim Rossman, bottom, & Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse