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 us to visit the place.

Bet the House's fatty brisket. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)

"You won't be disappointed."

As it happens, Bet The House was already on our barbecue radar. We had it slated as the first stop of a Denton County tour, which we made Saturday. We covered about 120 miles in 6 hours and ate at 4 places.

Gosselin was right. We weren't disappointed by Bet The House.

"That brisket is awesome," Posse member Jim Rossman said, sampling a fatty piece with nice crust.

Later, after the fatty morsels were gone, Posse co-founder Chris Wilkins tasted one of the lean pieces.

"That's a test of a good brisket, man," he said. "That lean's been sliced for 15 minutes and it's still good."

Nine of us made this stop of the tour. We also sampled pork ribs, pulled pork, turkey, a beef rib and two kinds of sausage.

James Osborne, making his first trip with the Posse, especially liked the turkey and both sausages, regular and jalapeño cheddar. Posse veteran Ahna Hubnik singled out the beef rib. Several of us commented about the nice tangy taste of the pulled pork.

The one shortcoming: pork ribs. We thought they could have been cooked longer, have more smoke flavor and a more robust rub.

"Not a lot of flavor profile going on there," Rossman said of the ribs.

Bet  the House co-owners Cody Smithers, left, and Shawn Eagle. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)

When we talked to co-owners Shawn Eagle and Cody Smithers, we discovered that we might have been lucky to be eating any barbecue at all from their joint, a store front in a small strip center a few blocks from the main square in Denton.

They had a fire the previous day in the detached smokehouse at the rear. So, instead of their normal pit, they had to cook at home on portable pits.

"Now, it's got a little character on it," Smithers said, pointing to exterior smoke and heat stains on the smokehouse. They hoped to have the regular pit back in action soon.

Eagle teaches at Ryan High School in Denton and Smithers works in marketing at The Morning News. (Full disclosure: Some Posse members had previously tasted their barbecue when they catered  at the newspaper.)

Bet the House is located south of the Denton town square on Elm St..
(Photo ©Chris Wilkins)

The Denton Record-Chronicle did a story about Bet The House in June, shortly after the place opened. After cooking together as friends, then doing some catering, Eagle and Smithers are pursuing their barbecue dream, with the help of a small KickStarter campaign to raise money for some basic supplies.

"We've sold out all but three days of the first two months we've been open," Eagle said.

In future posts, we'll write about the other stops of our tour.

Denton County BBQ Tour

Bet The House BBQ, 508 S Elm St., Denton, 940-808-0332. Open Wed-Sat 11am-8pm (or when the meat runs out), Sun 11am-3pm. Website:

Texas Smoke BBQ Co., 205 Bolivar St, Sanger, 940-231-6674. Open Mon-Fri 11am-6pm (or when the meat runs out), Sat 11am-3pm.

Big Daddy's Ribs & BBQ, 102 Lobo Lane, Little Elm, 972-987-4885. Open Tues-Sun 11am-9pm.

Chasin' Tail BBQ, 8656 S Stemmons Fwy, Hickory Creek, 940-321-0524. Open Tues-Sat 11am-9pm, Sun 11am-7pm. Website:

Bet the House has a small indoor dining room along with outdoor tables. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)


Posse member Michael Meadows shows off a newly-acquired beef rib. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)


BBQ lovers wait to order Saturday lunch at Bet the House BBQ. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)


9 years ago

Hmmm, I guess I better visit that place, I want BBQs that as great and big as that, I already searched where's that place, haha.

Hans @ 12BET

Austin Top 5 plus Snow's

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