Chris Wilkins

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Recipe: Jalapeño Bacon from HangryQ.com

From start to finish, the process to make jalapeño bacon will take up about 3 hours, but needs 3-4 days to cure properly. (Photos ©Jason Shane/HangryQ.com) Here’s the first recipe from our new partnership with the barbecue-crazed team at HangryQ.com. They post a new recipe and video every week, with some of the most creative ideas you’ll ever see for your backyard smoker. HangryQ is the brainchild of Jason Shane and Justin Horner of PCS Productions, an Irving-based video production company. Much like the origins of the Posse, HangryQ began with a love for all things BBQ and a desire…
 - 06/06/2018
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Recommended by the Posse: BBQ gift guide for Father’s Day

Father’s Day is fast approaching, do you need some gift ideas for the pitmaster in your family? Here are some recommendations from the Posse’s backyard cooks, including a couple of fun non-traditional tools to add to someone’s cooking repertoire. Happy Dad’s Day to you & yours from the Posse. 1. Texas BBQ, Small Town to Downtown, by Wyatt McSpadden Wyatt McSpadden, named by the Posse as the “Godfather of BBQ Photography,” is publishing his second book on Texas barbecue culture, coming out in late June. You can pre-order the new book from Amazon, add Wyatt’s first book Texas BBQ and…
 - 05/17/2018
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A star is born – Zavala’s Barbecue in Grand Prairie

Joe Zavala Jr., left, and partner Drew Wright work the cutting board at Zavala’s Barbecue in downtown Grand Prairie. (Photo ©Tom Fox/Texas BBQ Posse) Newly-opened Zavala’s Barbecue had been on the Posse’s radar for the past couple of weeks, so we headed south to old downtown Grand Prairie last Saturday. The sky was deep blue and it was 70-degrees. It also just happened to be Cinco de Mayo, the making of a perfect BBQ day. Zavala’s had been open on Main Street for eight Saturdays when we visited, growing from a small catering outfit to a pop-up and eventually to…
 - 05/08/2018
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Ode to the chopped brisket sandwich

A pound of chopped brisket, white bread, pickles & onions at Pat Gee’s Barbecue in Tyler. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Over the past year, I’ve found myself becoming more sentimental when it comes to barbecue. My earliest memories of eating Q are centered around East Texas and always involved ordering a chopped brisket sandwich, often served on  simple wax paper. As I’m exposed to more & more BBQ, I’m coming full circle and ending up where it all began. A great chopped brisket sandwich is one of the simple pleasures in life. You can eat one East Texas style, the…
 - 03/06/2018
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Bodacious Bar-B-Q on Mobberly: Is this the best kept secret in Texas?

Jordan Jackson, owner & pitmaster, poses beside the original sign for Bodacious Bar-B-Q. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) If the original Bodacious Bar-B-Q in Longview were located in Austin, you’d be waiting several hours in line to order. Trust me. It’s still one of the best BBQ secrets in Texas, despite the joint’s No. 4 ranking by Texas Monthly. We were so impressed after our first visit in early February that we went back two weeks later. It’s a two-hour trip each way from Dallas and one well worth it if you’re seeking some of the best barbecue in the…
 - 02/21/2018
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Coming home to Pat Gee’s Barbecue in Tyler

My dad, James Wilkins, enters Pat Gee’s Barbecue in the piney woods east of Tyler. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) What’s your barbecue home? Mine is a little clapboard BBQ joint deep in the woods outside of Tyler, where I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s. Every time I go home I try to squeeze in a visit to Pat Gee’s, my barbecue home. I’ve been going there for 40 years. Pat Gee passed away in 1999 and his wife Vida Gee continued the business until she died in 2010. The Gee children continue the family tradition today When my…
 - 01/28/2018
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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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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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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
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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
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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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Interested in owning a classic joint? Fatboys BBQ in Cooper is for sale

If you’ve ever wanted to own a true Texas barbecue joint, there’a a really good one — Fatboys BBQ — for sale 80 miles northeast of Dallas in Cooper. We first met and wrote about Heather Hoff & Shannon Bankston in 2012 when they ran Fatboys in the tiny town of Ladonia, population 612. Within a year they had moved the business to nearby Cooper, a bigger town with state Hwy. 24 running through it. When we saw earlier this summer that the joint was for sale, Marshall Cooper and I headed east to visit. Fatboys BBQ is a classic…
 - 09/19/2017
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Impressive return to Winners BBQ in Cedar Hill

Selection of smoked meats at Winners BBQ in Cedar Hill, sliced brisket, sausage, baby back ribs & chopped brisket. The Posse gathered recently at Winners BBQ in Cedar Hill, anxious to see if my impressions from a visit a few weeks earlier would hold. Owners De’Andre and Maegan Jackson had just opened their second location three weeks earlier when I dropped in the first time in late April. Posse pitmaster Marshall Cooper & I visited their Plano location in early April. We were very impressed. That led to my visit to Cedar Hill and then our gathering of 10 Posse members several weeks…
 - 06/06/2017
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The birth of the Posse during a lightning tour of Central Texas’ best BBQ joints

Snow’s BBQ on a foggy Saturday morning in Nov. 2009, this was the Posse’s first of many trips to the BBQ mecca. Editors note: We thought it would be fun to republish the story from our first BBQ pilgrimage to Central Texas in November 2009. What began as a simple roadtrip for six friends became a life-changing experience for us all, giving birth to the Texas BBQ Posse. Once we tasted that Snow’s brisket for the first time, nothing related to BBQ would ever be the same. Here’s our story… By Gary Jacobson In thick fog on a Saturday morning, we…
 - 05/07/2017
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Winners expands its BBQ dream from Plano to Cedar Hill

Two-meat plate with brisket & baby back ribs, baked beans and mac & cheese at Winners BBQ in Plano. Two years ago Maegan and De’Andre Jackson took a leap of faith and opened Winners BBQ in east Plano. They had shared the dream of opening up a BBQ joint since college, where they met as students at Iowa State. De’Andre grew up cooking barbecue, his dad was a backyard pitmaster who cooked for the neighborhood, then got into catering and eventually opened a restaurant. Growing up in Garland, De’Andre was an All Big 12 defensive back for the Cyclones with aspirations to play…
 - 04/25/2017
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Great BBQ photos by Austin’s Darren Carroll

Lunch rush at Smitty’s Market, Lockhart, Texas, 2009. (Photo ©Darren Carroll) Our first installment of Focus on BBQ features photos shot by Austin photographer Darren Carroll. This launches an occasional series that will showcase great barbecue images shot by top photographers in the country. Most are friends of the Posse, which was founded in 2009 by a core group of writers & photographers at The Dallas Morning News. Over the years, we’ve had a number of contributing shooters, ranging from top commercial, news and sports photographers, including several Pulitzer Prize winners. Darren has an impressive mix of editorial and advertising clients. You might know his work from…
 - 04/23/2017
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How-to videos: Prepping pork ribs with Posse pitmaster Marshall Cooper

Texas BBQ Posse pitmaster Marshall Cooper puts pork ribs on the Jambo smoker at his north Dallas home. Welcome to our first batch of short videos featuring how-to BBQ techniques from Posse pitmaster Marshall Cooper. Marshall has been cooking barbecue in his backyard for 30-plus years, after learning the craft from his late father. Now using his fourth custom Jambo pit, Marshall has cooked with such BBQ legends as Chris Lilly, Jamie Geer, John Mueller, and John Lewis. One of the missions of the Texas BBQ Posse is to share ideas and tips to help you become a great backyard pitmaster. We…
 - 04/16/2017
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Video surprise at Stiles Switch BBQ in Austin

With the launch of the new Posse website, we’ll be doing videos including interviews of Texas pitmasters along with “how to” cooking videos. On our trip to Central Texas last week, we shot two of the top pitmasters in the state, Esaul Ramos of 2M Smokehouse in San Antonio and Lance Kirkpatrick of Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew in Austin. We plan to have those interviews posted over the next week or two. When shooting video at a busy BBQ joint you must be prepared for the unexpected, as happened when Gary and Lance were talking about the ever-exploding Austin BBQ scene.…
 - 04/10/2017
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Photos: Depression era Texas BBQ through the eyes of legendary FSA photographers

I was recently researching some historic photos when I ran across the Library of Congress website for the Farm Security Administration (FSA) photo archive. Initially created in 1935 as part of the New Deal, the FSA was an effort during the Depression to document and combat American rural poverty. The FSA photo collection houses some of the most famous photographs in history, including Dorthea Lange’s migrant mother photo and Arthur Rothstein’s Oklahoma dust bowl photo. Other legendary FSA photojournalists included Gordon Parks, Russell Lee, Carl Mydans and Walker Evans. I was immediately curious if there were any Texas BBQ photos.…
 - 12/29/2016
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Going whole hog at CattleAck BBQ on Saturday

Tray of whole hog, brisket & pork ribs with sides at CattleAck BBQ in north Dallas (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) The Posse first caught wind of CattleAck BBQ in May 2013, when Jim Rossman picked up some Twitter buzz on a new joint in north Dallas near the Galleria. Jim headed up on the tollway to investigate, finding a promising new player on the DFW barbecue scene. After success in the catering business, owners Todd and Misty David decided to open on Fridays from 11am until the meat ran out. A full Posse contingent made a followup visit  to…
 - 11/05/2016
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Miller’s Smokehouse in Belton is moving on up

Dirk Miller, owner & pitmaster of Miller’s Smokehouse in Belton. (Photo ©Michael Ainsworth/ Texas BBQ Posse) We got a chance to visit Saturday with one of our favorite pitmasters in the state, Dirk Miller of Miller’s Smokehouse in Belton. Posse member Marshall Cooper & I first visited Miller’s in early 2012, after Texas Monthly BBQ editor Daniel Vaughn tweeted about a promising little joint in Belton. It quickly became one of our favorite BBQ places in the state. Our group of four caught up on all the BBQ news with Dirk, including their move down the street to a much…
 - 10/27/2016
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The Posse finds that John Lewis, indeed, has arrived in Carolina

(Note: Posse members Mike and Libby Gagne recently visited John Lewis’ new barbecue joint. This is Mike’s report from that visit.) Charleston, South Carolina has long been a culinary destination showcasing some of the most American of cuisines. Lewis Barbecue, the eponymous BBQ haven for Texas pit master John Lewis opened just a few months back and has caught the attention of many along the eastern seaboard. Given the Posse’s past with John and the mark he left at places like Franklin, John Mueller BBQ, and La Barbecue, being only an hour away from our beach vacation spot seemed too…
 - 10/27/2016

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