Gary Jacobson

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FLORES20

The BBQ Posse journeys into the heart of Texas

Pitmaster & owner Michael Wyont greets customers at Flores Barbecue in Whitney. (Photo @David Woo/Texas BBQ Posse) If the Texas BBQ Posse has a fault, it might be it’s bluntness. We talk bluntly — positively and otherwise — about our favorite food, barbecue. So, on a recent Saturday while I was telling Michael Wyont, pitmaster and owner of Flores Barbecue in Whitney, how much the Posse liked everything he served, I added that at least one of us could have used a little vinegar sauce on the side with Wyont’s wonderful pulled pork. “You can go to Carolina, get you…
 - 11/27/2018
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Is the BBQ Posse just ‘a bunch of city boys’?

The Posse works a Moberg smoker full of briskets before eating at Flores Barbecue in Whitney, our No. 7 favorite spot in the state. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) We always knew barbecue commentary was a full-contact sport. So many good joints. So many different opinions. That message came through loud and clear after we published our list of the Texas BBQ Posse’s Favorite 41 joints last week. So far there have been a total of nearly 100 comments on Facebook postings by the Posse and others sharing our posts. And even a few here on our site. Some comments…
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2M Smokehouse No. 1 Posse Favorite

Lunch spread at 2M Smokehouse in San Antonio, the Posse’s favorite BBQ joint in Texas. (Photo ©Tom Fox/Texas BBQ Posse) If you’re a regular Posse reader, you know that we’ve been high on 2M Smokehouse in San Antonio since it opened a couple years ago. So, naturally, we’d take a close look at the place as we put together the Texas BBQ Posse’s Favorite 41, our list of our favorite joints in the state. After our first visit in the spring of 2017 we wondered if 2M was, in fact, turning out the best barbecue in Texas. After a return…
Snows BBQ

Posse members share their Favorite 5 BBQ lists

Pitmaster Tootsie Tomanetz works the smokers early on a Saturday morning at Snow’s BBQ, the favorite stop of Bruce Tomaso. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Full and frank discussions about our favorite food. That’s what the Texas BBQ Posse has been all about in the decade or so we’ve been on the barbecue trail. Sometimes we all agree. Often we don’t. So it is with the Posse’s Favorite 41. After getting opinions from everyone, co-founders Chris Wilkins and Gary Jacobson made the final selections. Here’s how other Posse members rate their Top 5. Bruce Tomaso Snow’s BBQ, Lexington: The brisket is…
 - 11/07/2018
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Dear readers, now it’s your turn

Customers stand in line at Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) You’ve seen the Texas BBQ Posse’s list of its favorite barbecue joints in Texas. Tell us your favorites. List them in the comments section here along with a short explanation why. You can also send us an email at [email protected] We’ll compile the responses and publish a story about the readers’ choices. Have at it. . . Other links from the Posse’s Favorite 41 project: The Texas BBQ Posse’s Favorite 41 2M Smokehouse is the Posse’s No. 1 Favorite Posse members share their Favorite 5…
 - 11/07/2018
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Posse’s Favorite 41: How we did it

Posse co-founders Chris Wilkins, left, and Gary Jacobson, center, with photographer Tom Fox at 2M Smokehouse, our favorite BBQ joint in Texas. (Photo ©Texas BBQ Posse) In the course of barbecue events we hold this truth to be self-evident: Not all smoked meat is created equal. And so after a decade and tens of thousands of miles on the barbecue trail, Texas BBQ Posse co-founders Chris Wilkins and Gary Jacobson decided the Posse was finally ready to name its favorite joints in Texas, including a ranking of the Top Ten. Our very first tour was in 2009 when a half-dozen…
 - 11/07/2018
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Tell us about the most unusual Texas BBQ you’ve ever eaten

Brisket caramel corn at Loro in Austin. (Photo ©Sherry Jacobson/Texas BBQ Posse) Over the years, the Posse has eaten some unique Texas barbecue dishes. The Toddfather sandwich from Cattleack Barbeque in Dallas. Brisket with mole sauce from the Tejas Chocolate Craftory in Tomball. More recently, Sherry Jacobson and I had lunch with author Sam Gwynne at Loro, the Aaron Franklin-Tyson Cole collaboration in Austin. Sam made sure we got the candied kettle corn with brisket. “This is possibly the most unique combination that includes brisket. . .carmel corn and burnt ends,” Sherry said. “Delicious but a little greasy for finger…
 - 10/31/2018
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Join the discussion: Thanksgiving turkey

Two splatchcock turkeys smoke on Marshall Cooper’s Jambo smoker. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) On Thanksgiving, just a short while away, 46 million or so turkeys will be eaten by Americans. Many will be baked in the oven, others smoked or cooked on a grill for friends and family. I learned to cook turkey on a Weber nearly 50 years ago from my wife’s grandfather. But this isn’t about our methods. The Posse wants to know your favored method for smoking or grilling turkey. Do you brine? What kind of wood, charcoal, pellets do you use? Seasonings? Butter baste? Share…
 - 10/15/2018
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Recreating Valentina’s breakfast tacos with barbecue leftovers

The gold standard of all breakfast tacos in Texas, from Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ in Austin. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) What to do with barbecue leftovers? Always an important question. The best advice the Posse ever received on that front came years ago during a visit to Snow’s BBQ in Lexington, Tx. Reheat slowly in the oven with lots of butter, owner Kerry Bexley told us. Still solid advice. After a recent Saturday Posse feast at 2M Smokehouse in San Antonio, we found ourselves with lots of barbecue leftovers on a Sunday morning at our place in Austin. There…
 - 09/26/2018
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400 miles, or so, to the pork rib on a long road trip

Josh Johnson, left, and friend Cooper Furlong dig into pork ribs at 2M Smokehouse in San Antonio. (Photo ©Tom Fox) Over a decade on the barbecue trail, the Texas BBQ Posse has seen a lot of things. But we ran into a first last Saturday during a visit to 2M Smokehouse in San Antonio: A couple of young guys fueling up on smoked meat before their two thousand mile road trip to Oregon. Talk about a cross country adventure. Cooper Furlong of San Antonio and his friend Josh Johnson of Los Angeles arrived at 2M Smokehouse at 8 a.m. and…
 - 09/24/2018
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Slow Pokes Brisket Shack, you gotta see it to believe it

Slow Pokes Brisket Shack in Manchaca, south of Austin, one of the most unique BBQ joints the Posse has ever visited. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) We arrived at Slow Pokes Brisket Shack in Manchaca, Tx., a little after noon on a recent Friday. No more than 60 seconds later, Posse co-founder Chris Wilkins declared: “This is the most unique barbecue joint we’ve ever been to, man.” Wilkins has never been more right. Visually, Slow Pokes Brisket Shack, located in a rural area not too far south of Austin, is overwhelming. It’s a hoarder’s paradise that had its beginning about…
 - 09/18/2018
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BBQuest, a new video series, gets high marks from the Posse

Dishes featured in scenes from BBQuest, a web series from the Texas Beef Council. (Photos ©Beef Loving Texans) If memory serves, and sometimes it doesn’t in my advancing years, no one on the Texas BBQ Posse has ever gone shopping for party clothes, cowboy boots and hats before one of our smoked meat tours. That’s exactly what Kelsey Pribilski and Jess Pryles do in the middle of the premier episode — about Austin — of BBQuest, a new digital video series from Beef Loving Texans, a consumer brand of the Texas Beef Council. No matter. The main focus for Pribilski…
 - 09/10/2018
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Why aren’t the lines longer at Brown’s Bar-B-Que?

Customers line up to order at Brown’s Bar-B-Que in Austin. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Call it a continuing smoked meat puzzlement for the Posse: Why aren’t the lines longer at Brown’s Bar-B-Que trailer on South Lamar in Austin? Owner Daniel Brown has been cooking and serving barbecue for more than a decade. His trailer started getting some serious buzz in 2013 and over the years has been touted by Eater Austin, Texas Monthly, even Bon Appetit. Early this year, Conde Nast Traveler included Brown’s on its list of the 10 best barbecue joints in Austin. Daniel Brown Jr. slices…
 - 08/30/2018
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Some damn good steaks from Texas Beefhouse

Hot off the grill and sliced, Wagyu ribeye steak, top row, and Black Angus ribeye steak from Texas Beefhouse in Whitehouse. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Jonathan Wilkins, brother of Posse co-founder Chris Wilkins, succinctly summed up our recent test of Black Angus and Wagyu steaks from the Texas Beefhouse: “The lede is this place in Whitehouse produces good beef,” he said, getting nods of approval from the seven other Posse test eaters in attendance. The Beefhouse farm is located near Whitehouse, not far from Tyler. Jon is a finance guy, but as a retired newspaper dinosaur I loved the…
 - 08/27/2018
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Old 300 BBQ, feeling right at home in Blanco

Old 300 BBQ, on the Square in Blanco, is a very civilized place, even during the town’s popular Lavender Festival. Posse co-founder Chris Wilkins and I met another newspaper veteran, Roy Appleton, there for a late lunch on a recent Saturday. The joint was packed, as was the festival nearby. But the first sign we saw inside the front door of Old 300 BBQ made us feel very much at home. “While you wait,” it said, “grab a drink and we will settle up at the counter.” We did just that. Wilkins was driving, so I grabbed a Corona from…
 - 08/01/2018
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Smoking times and temperatures, your guide

Briskets cook at a steady 225-degrees on the smoker at Tejas Chocolate Craftory. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Over the years, the Posse has seen — and used — many guides to smoking times and temperatures for barbecue. This chart from the folks at Bro BBQ is one of the most comprehensive we’ve run into. It includes seafood and a couple veggies as well as beef, pork, lamb, and poultry. It comes to us from Jack Thompson, the founder of BroBBQ.com, who said he was looking for information on barbecue recipes when he ran into our post from a while…
 - 07/16/2018
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‘Meat Day’ at Brotherton’s Black Iron Barbecue

Brisket, sausage, turkey and smoked orange chicken at Brotherton’s Black Iron Barbecue in Pflugerville. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Don’t know if Horace, the Roman poet who lived a couple thousand years ago, was a barbecue fan. But if he was and if he were around today, he would probably like Brotherton’s Black Iron Barbecue in Pflugerville. If for nothing else than the sign on the front window. “Carne Diem,” it says, a play on Horace’s immortal phase, “carpe diem,” commonly translated “seize the day.” The Brotherton’s sign is a mashup of Spanish and Latin. The joint translates the bilingual…
 - 07/11/2018
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The challenge of cooking chicken right

Posse member Bryan Gooding preps whole chickens for competition at the first Blues, Bandits & BBQ cookoff in Oak Cliff. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) In barbecue and grilling, properly cooking chicken is a tough challenge. Much of the chicken served by backyard grillers and smokers, as well as barbecue joints, is overcooked. Probably because no one wants to undercook. Posse co-founder Chris Wilkins and I had undercooked chicken at two consecutive stops on a recent tour of Austin-area places. It’s jarring to bite into a piece of chicken and see small red splotches — blood — deep in the…
 - 07/03/2018
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Talking BBQ biz with Jerome Faulkner at J. Leonardi’s

Jerome Faulkner, pitmaster at J. Leonardi’s Barbeque in Austin. (Photo ©Tom Fox) Jerome Faulkner at J. Leonardi’s is an excellent pit master. We could tell that after our first visits to his original trailer location on Airport Boulevard in Austin more than a year ago. Faulkner and his partner, former UT and NFL star Cedric Griffin, opened a second location on the near East side late last year and, after operating both spots for a short while, have since closed the place on Airport. Their new place is on 11th Street, short walks from both Franklin Barbecue and Micklethwait Craft…
 - 06/26/2018
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New Wyatt McSpadden BBQ book is must-have

  Austin-based photographer Wyatt McSpadden and his new book, Texas BBQ: Small Town to Downtown. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Dallas BBQ Posse) Texas BBQ, Small Town to Downtown by Wyatt McSpadden is as much a testament to changes in photography as it is to changes in the Texas barbecue scene. One photo in the new book due out soon illustrates both. It’s a full-page shot of Leonard Botello IV, pit master at Truth Barbecue, sprinkling rub on briskets. Light reflects off the spices, gliding in gentle curves to the meat. Beautiful! “I bet I shot maybe 400 frames to get that,” McSpadden said…
 - 06/19/2018
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Sneak peek: The Switch near Dripping Springs

The Stiles family poses for a portrait in the pit room of their new restaurant,The Switch, located near Dripping Springs. Left to right, Stella, 6, Shane, Catherine and Ava, 5. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Barbecue impresarios Shane and Catherine Stiles gave the Posse a sneak peek recently of their new place — The Switch — which they will be opening on Friday June 22, located just off Highway 290 near Dripping Springs. Their original place, Stiles Switch BBQ and Brew in Austin, is one of the best joints in the state. Catherine Stiles, of course, has made her own…
 - 06/15/2018
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Is Louie’s the best kept BBQ secret in Austin?

A customer picks up his order at Louie’s, a BBQ trailer in south Austin. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Louie’s, a trailer joint on South Congress, wasn’t on the itinerary for the Posse’s recent tour of Austin-area barbecue places. But then we met blogger Jason Salas at an early stop. He raved about Louie’s so we changed our plans. Order of street corn at Louie’s. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) We’re glad we did. Louie’s, run by Luis Vasquez and his wife, Amy, might just be the best kept barbecue secret in Austin. The pork ribs were perfectly cooked with…
 - 06/10/2018
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Whitfield’s in Austin, a work in progress

Our meat spread at Whitfield’s in Austin. From left top clockwise: Jalapeño & cheese sausage, smoked half  chicken, pork ribs, beef sausage, fried potatoes, sliced brisket & pickled beats. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) As settings go, Whitfield’s, the new barbecue trailer in southern Austin, might be in the most un-photogenic place we’ve encountered during a decade on the barbecue trail. “If it’s not first, it’s close,” Posse co-founder Chris Wilkins said during our recent visit. Located near the intersection of Brodie Lane and Davis Lane, the trailer and pits sit on a large gravel parking lot. No trees. Nearby,…
 - 06/08/2018
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Lean brisket is only for ‘skinny jean man bun wearing boys’

Sliced fatty brisket at Killen’s Barbecue in Houston.  (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) As expected, our recent story about fatty brisket — when did it become hip? — generated quite a bit of discussion on various social media sites and in emails. The story said that some of us in the Posse were rethinking our preference for fatty, or moist, brisket and ordering more lean brisket. “FATTY! Leave that lean for them skinny jean man bun wearing boys,” Doug Wyman, one of many readers who disagreed with us, wrote on the Posse’s Facebook page. Sam Gwynne, author and Posse member,…
 - 05/25/2018
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Fatty brisket, when did it become hip?

A mix of lean & fatty brisket at Truth Barbecue in Brenham. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Call us unhip or uncool if you must, but the Posse is rethinking its preference for fatty brisket. Truth be told, when we seriously started hitting the barbecue trail a decade ago we didn’t appreciate the difference. We just ordered brisket and took what we got. Some of us even squirted sauce on our smoked meat. Yikes! Soon, though, we discovered what our barbecue brother Bryan Norton calls the “magic tingle,” that delicious bite of the tenderest beef, perfectly rendered fat and crusty…
 - 05/23/2018

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