2017

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Smoked Ham-101

Smoked ham from heritage piglets

Heritage hams with rub applied, ready to become smoked ham. (Photo ©Bryan Gooding) Every spring there’s a new crop of weaners on Lopez Island. Robin and David Gibson of Two Shed Farm raise heritage pigs down the hill and ended up with 17 piglets from their two sows. Time for some smoked ham. We were lucky enough to have two six-pound hams for a holiday dinner. A six-pounder easily fed eight people with leftovers to take home for each couple. Reports have come back of smoked ham and egg breakfasts and ham omelets deluxe the following morning. Robin and David…
 - 12/29/2017
Truth-BBQ-meats

Check out the top Posse Stories in 2017

Our trip to Texas Monthly Top 50 newcomer Truth Barbeque in Brenham was one of the best meals the Posse had in 2017. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) As Texas BBQ Posse co-founder Chris Wilkins observes, when Texas Monthly comes out with its Top 50 list of joints every four years, “it’s the Super Bowl of BBQ.” So, it’s no surprise that five of the 10 top Posse stories in 2017 were related to TM’s list. For this post, we’re defining top as most read. And, right at the very top, we batted .500 in our fearless barbecue predictions. Franklin…
 - 12/28/2017
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Two great recipes for your Greenberg turkey leftovers

Fresh out of the oven, smoked turkey tetrazzini made with Greenberg turkey leftovers. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) One of the true joys of having a Greenberg smoked turkey for the holidays has always been the Greenberg turkey leftovers. I’ve been enjoying Greenbergs for most of my life and have probably eaten hundreds of post-holiday smoked turkey sandwiches on wheat bread, with a swipe of mayo. Ah, the simple pleasures of life. . . I’ve been lucky this year to have back-to-back turkeys. We ordered one for Thanksgiving and I picked up a second one on our recent tour of their…
 - 12/25/2017
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Talking turkey — smoked! — with Sam Greenberg

A simple sign displaying a turkey marks Greenberg Smoked Turkey offices in Tyler. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) TYLER, Texas – As a Greenberg Smoked Turkey rolls off the production line – hickory-cured to its distinctive mahogany hue, sealed in plastic, then packed into its distinctive white box with red and black lettering – it passes beneath a small mechanical press. The press drives two copper-colored staples into the box, to seal it. That stapler is the first and only machine you’ll find on Greenberg’s production line. Up to that point, every step in creating this world-famous delicacy – “The…
 - 12/20/2017
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We wanted lamb burnt ends and got great smoked lamb instead

Skewered lamb strips and veggies ready to go on the Jambo for the smoked lamb cook. (Photo ©Marshall Cooper) This cook was definitely an experiment. We wanted to produce lamb burnt ends. Didn’t get ’em this time. But we did get some damn good smoked lamb. Some people like lamb and some don’t. If it’s not fresh or cooked right, it can be gamey. I like it as long as it’s fresh, seasoned well and cooked right. We eat a lot of rack of lamb and lamb chops, cooked on our PK Grill. My plan for this cook was to…
 - 12/19/2017
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Recipe: How to cook the perfect rib roast

A finished prime rib roast sits on the grill. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) For me, nothing compares to cooking a prime rib roast on the grill. It’s a tasty cut of meat, always fun to prepare, and sometimes there can be a bit of adventure. And let’s not forget the cost. For this cook, we special ordered a four-bone, seven-pound rib roast from our neighborhood H-E-B in Austin, Tx. Price: About $85. Not a fortune, but certainly enough to keep the mind focused on proper preparation and technique, even after a glass or two of wine on a sunny…
 - 12/07/2017
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In its new digs, Austin’s la Barbecue hasn’t lost a step

Isabelle Palumbo of Austin shows off her beef rib at la Barbecue. (Photo ©Tom Fox) The Posse has always liked — loved, actually — the food at la Barbecue. The Austin joint opened in 2012. Our first visit was the next year. And we’ve consistently ranked the place among the very best in the state. So when Posse members Chris Wilkins and Tom Fox came to Austin recently, our first stop on a Saturday morning was the new la Barbecue, which moved out of its trailer location in August and into the Quickie Pickie on East Cesar Chavez. The barbecue,…
 - 12/05/2017
Jambo-smoker

Tips for choosing a backyard smoker

Marshall Cooper fires up his two main backyard pits, a Jambo J-3, front, and a custom oversize Pitts & Spits smoker. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) You have visited plenty of stops on the Texas BBQ trail and know what good barbecue is. You’ve experimented on the grill in the backyard, but need to buy the proper equipment to take the next step of becoming a serious backyard smoker and pit master. Here are a few simple tips and options to help you make the right choice of backyard smoker. Determine how many people you want to cook for at…
 - 11/30/2017
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Recipe: How to cook brisket burnt ends. . .’five pounds of absolute heaven’

Brisket burnt ends cook on the smoker, held together by steel shish kabob rods. (Photo ©Marshall Cooper) The first time I ever had brisket burnt ends was in 1967 at a barbecue shack on Maury Street located in the 5th ward of Houston, Texas. They cost $1 for a small brown paper sack full. They were really damn good and that’s when I fell in love with them. They were real, authentic, not sauced, you know cut straight off the ends, aka bark, of a brisket that had been cooked low and slow in a stick burner. Sonny Bryan would give…
 - 11/28/2017
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A BBQ gift guide from the Posse

With Christmas fast approaching, we reached out to the Posse’s backyard pitmasters for suggestions of their favorite cooking tools so we could assemble this BBQ gift guide. Here are some ideas for the pitmaster in your family. 1. ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4 This is the probe thermometer that all the others are judged by. It may cost a little more that some others, but its accuracy & durability are unquestioned by professional cooks. Phil Lamb calls the Thermapen his “favorite piece of grilling equipment.” –Marshall Cooper & Phil Lamb 2. Dexter Sani-Safe 12” Scalloped Roast Slicer Knife This is the go-to…
 - 11/28/2017
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Words of business wisdom from Grant Pinkerton at Pinkerton’s Barbecue

Grant Pinkerton works a homemade cinder block pit he set up for fun behind Pinkerton’s Barbecue. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) As business philosophies go, the approach at Pinkerton’s Barbecue in Houston is direct and simple, the best kind. “Do a little better today than you did yesterday,” Grant Pinkerton says. “And don’t make the same mistakes twice.” That approach helped land Pinkerton on the prestigious Forbes 30 Under 30 list earlier this month, as well as get his place on Texas Monthly’s list of the Top 50 joints in the state earlier this year. And it keeps the young…
 - 11/24/2017
turkey

A Thanksgiving tribute to Walt and all the grill masters and pitmasters in our lives

Libby & Gunnar Jacobson at the cabin on Grindstone Island in 1991. (Editor’s note: Making a nod to Thanksgiving tradition, we’re re-running this post, first published in 2013.) With the Posse, I’ve eaten turkey at some of the best barbecue joints in Texas, including Franklin Barbecue in Austin and Stanley’s in Tyler. Their turkey breast is first rate, no question, just like their other smoked meats. But the most memorable turkey I’ve ever eaten still remains Walt Scheela’s, cooked at his cabin on Grindstone Island. The ambiance is important. One of 1,600 islands in Rainey Lake, Grindstone is located about…
 - 11/21/2017
appetizers

Holiday recipes: The Posse’s favorite side dishes

Here are 3 of the Posse’s favorite holiday side dish recipes, left to right, collard greens, twice-baked potato casserole & kale salad. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Like a good song, no barbecue feast is complete without strong accompaniment. So, just in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas, here are a few of the Posse’s favorite side dishes. Sherry’s favorite twice-baked potato casserole This recipe cooks up easily for a crowd and can be prepped early, refrigerated and then baked at the last minute. Sherry Jacobson’s twice-baked potato casserole recipe. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Ingredients 5 pounds baking potatoes 1…
 - 11/20/2017
Jambo-smoker

Calling all pitmasters and grillers and cooks, Oh My!

In the realm of barbecue and grilling, proud cooks reign with smoke and fire. The proof is everywhere. Look at your neighbor with a Weber, or all the Facebook pages dedicated to barbecue and grilling. There you’ll see photo after photo of baby backs, turkey, smoked meatloaf, chicken wings, beef cheeks, brisket, rib roast, even pork belly slow smoked using walnut shells. Side dishes, too. When the Posse launched its new Web site earlier this year, we said we were going to run more items about cooking. We have. Now, it’s your turn to share some of your knowledge about…
 - 11/15/2017
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Recipe: How to cook a spatchcock turkey

Two spatchcock turkeys on Marshall Cooper’s custom Jambo J-3 smoker. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) With Thanksgiving right around the corner, the Posse wanted to share a lesser-known turkey recipe with our readers. Pitmaster Marshall Cooper suggested we smoke a spatchcock turkey, a technique I hadn’t tried before. He enjoys having the ability to cook a big turkey hot and fast. Our total cook time for two huge turkeys was three hours. By definition, spatchcock is poultry or game that has been prepared for roasting or grilling by removing the backbone, and sometimes the sternum of the bird and flattening…
 - 11/12/2017
Thanksgiving-turkey

How to put great Thanksgiving BBQ on your table

With the holiday fast approaching, the Posse reached out to some top barbecue joints to see what they’re offering to help bring some great Thanksgiving BBQ to your dining table this year. We didn’t find any places open for regular business on Thanksgiving, preferring their staffs spend the day with family and friends. In the true spirit of the holiday, our friends at Slow Bone in Dallas and Meat U Anywhere in Trophy Club are both holding events to help feed the less fortunate. Here’s what we heard from 11 of the the Posse’s favorite joints around Texas. Happy Thanksgiving…
 - 11/07/2017
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Looking for a great Dallas lunch deal? Dylan’s Barbecue Saloon may be your place

Diners eat on the front patio of Dylan’s Barbecue Saloon on Northwest Highway in Dallas. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Eating good barbecue for lunch in Dallas can often be a costly proposition, sometimes heading north of $20 at the better-known joints. The Posse is always on the lookout for the next great lunch deal and we recently found one at Dylan’s Barbecue Saloon, located just west of Loop 12 on Northwest Highway. Dylan’s was opened a little more than two years ago by Dylan Johnson, owner of Milo’s Bar in Arlington, in partnership with long-time caterer Bryan Mahoney. I…
 - 10/31/2017
Rabbi Shawel

Meet the top Kosher cop at the Dallas Kosher BBQ Championship

Rabbi David Shawel at the first Dallas Kosher BBQ Championship. (Photo ©David Duchin) Along with the food and the fun, one of the more intriguing aspects of the Dallas Kosher BBQ Championship, which makes its third annual run Sunday, Oct. 29, is how the smokers, grills, knives and other cooking utensils are kept from year to year to ensure they remain kosher. “It’s pretty neat,” said Rabbi David Shawel, the top Kosher cop at the event. “We’re dealing with a very high standard.” Kosher dietary laws, derived from the Hebrew bible, involve the food itself and the way it is…
 - 10/23/2017
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Franklin Barbecue targets first week of November for re-opening

Smokers sit in the burned out smokehouse of Austin’s Franklin Barbecue in early October. (Photo ©Gary Jacobson/Texas BBQ Posse) Call it serendipity. I stopped by Franklin Barbecue near downtown Austin this morning just to check on rebuilding progress since an August fire closed the place. And there was Aaron Franklin, red socks and all, talking barbecue to a couple in a big SUV. “They’re from Wisconsin,” Franklin told me, smiling, after he had finished. Yes, the most famous pit master in the world, even in the midst of major reconstruction, still makes time for his fans. The news from this…
 - 10/19/2017
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The state of Dallas BBQ 2017, a Posse debate

The Dallas-area barbecue scene has changed dramatically over the past six years. (Photo ©Michael Ainsworth/Texas BBQ Posse) A few years back, six to be exact, we wrote a “grim indictment” of the lack barbecue choices in Dallas. Pecan Lodge and Lockhart Smokehouse had recently opened, but, we concluded, there was a dearth of joints, especially for a city the size of Big D. Not to mention for the fourth largest metro area in the nation with more than seven million people located in the heart of barbecue country. Why? Were the chains smothering the independents? Tough city regulations? Lack of…
 - 10/17/2017
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Recipe: A Texas-style test of ribs, and rib rub on Lopez Island

A plate of finished baby backs, “spares” from Midnight’s Farm and chicken. (Photo ©Bryan Gooding) Creative embers aglow, Martha Gooding walked to her spice cabinet. “We’ve got to find some magic ingredient for our rib rub.” she said. “And what I was thinking was garam marsala.” It was the last Sunday of Sherry Jacobson’s and my visit to Martha and Bryan Gooding’s home on Lopez Island. Our mission was to test a punchy Texas style rub on two kinds of pork ribs: a meaty, fatty grocery store-bought rack of baby backs and a much smaller, leaner rack from pigs raised at…
 - 10/10/2017
Weber-charcoal

Confessions of a Kingsford guy: This new Weber charcoal ain’t bad. . .

I’ve been a Kingsford charcoal guy since first learning to grill more than 40 years ago from Walt Scheela, my wife’s grandfather. Walt used Kingsford and literally counted the briquets as he added them to his Weber kettle each hour when he cooked the Thanksgiving turkey. Over the years I’ve tried other brands, even some lump charcoal. But I always come back to Kingsford Original. I use it with my Weber machines at home, including a 22.5 Smokey Mountain. I’ve also used Kingsford for big cooks for large groups on homemade cement-block pits. We arranged whole bags along the bottom…
 - 10/04/2017
BBQbooks

The best BBQ books of all time

New barbecue books appear regularly, a testament to the enduring popularity of a distinctly American food and the people who created and continue the traditions. Earlier this year, for example, I received a review copy of Texas BBQ, written by a Swede. The book was making its way to the U.S. after being published a few years ago in Sweden and the United Kingdom. Lone Star barbecue has fans everywhere. While Jonas Cramby’s book is a serviceable take on the Texas barbecue phenomenon, it’s not what we’re looking for in this post. With the help of other Posse members, we…
 - 09/28/2017
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Grand opening – Ferris Wheelers Backyard & BBQ in Dallas

The front of the line enters Ferris Wheelers Backyard & BBQ as it opens for the first time at 1950 Market Center Blvd. in Dallas. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) There’s a serious new player on the Dallas BBQ scene, as Ferris Wheelers Backyard & BBQ opened on Monday in the Design District within walking distance the Hilton Anatole. It’s a great location with ample parking, features a spacious dining room and awesome backyard party area. Did we mention the 50-foot ferris wheel out back? More about the later. Most importantly, the meats were spot on as they opened their…
 - 09/25/2017
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See the photos: Smoked Dallas BBQ Festival

Longtime Posse member Michael Ainsworth went to the Smoked Dallas BBQ Festival today and shares some great images, including the photo above of mouth-watering Meat You Anywhere BBQ sample trays from the event. Smoked Dallas was held at the Main Street Garden Park in downtown Dallas. The festival is in its fourth year and has shown steady growth each year. Sixteen of the top BBQ joints from around the state attended and fed a large crowd of festival goers. Here is Michael’s look at the event, enjoy! The crew from Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ in Austin serve samples at the Smoked Dallas…
 - 09/24/2017

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