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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…
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Make time this Saturday or next to visit Zavala’s Barbecue in Grand Prairie

Our lunch at Zavala’s Barbecue in Grand Prairie, this is what Texican BBQ perfection looks like. (Photo ©David Woo/Texas BBQ Posse) Barbecue lovers: You have two more Saturdays to head to Grand Prairie for some of the best food, served by some of friendliest people, the Texas BBQ Posse has come across in some time. After that, you’ll have to wait a few months to see why Posse co-founder Chris Wilkins declared, after his first visit to Zavala’s Barbecue, “A star is born.” (That was back in May, so, no, Chris wasn’t pilfering from the sensational new movie starring Bradley…
 - 10/10/2018
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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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Smoking beef short ribs and tri-tip steak on a perfect Sunday

Beef short ribs hot off the smoker. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) A recent Sunday in DFW offered the combination of perfect weather, the start of the NFL season and an interesting package of meats from Texas Beefhouse. So, what a better way to spend the day than smoking beef short ribs and tri-tip steak? After another hot Texas summer, a cold front brought a cloudy 70-degree day to Posse member Darrell Byers’ backyard test kitchen. Darrell grabbed the flatscreen TV from his catering rig and set it up on the patio. With the addition of a couple of cold…
 - 09/25/2018
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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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Recipe: Smoked Pastrami with Smashed Baby Reds from HangryQ.com

HangryQ.com brings you another great recipe, smoked pastrami and baby red potatoes. (Photos ©Jason Shane/HangryQ.com) Here’s another great recipe and video from the good folks at HangryQ.com. This week’s recipe features smoked pastrami and baby red potatoes, a perfect combo for an upcoming football Sunday. The HangryQ team posts a new recipe and video every week, with some creative ideas for your backyard smoker or grill. You can follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Enjoy!  
 - 09/07/2018
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Checking in with Smoke Sessions Barbecue in Royse City

Customers order lunch on a Saturday morning at Smoke Sessions Barbecue in Royse City, east of Dallas. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) The Posse first visited Smoke Sessions Barbecue about a year ago, when Jim Rossman saw a Facebook post about a new trailer operation located in a feed store parking lot between Rockwall and Royse City, east of Dallas. Jim was impressed with the overall offerings, calling the brisket “superb” and the beef sausage “outstanding,” in his story introducing readers to DFW’s newest barbecue joint. One year later, Jim and Posse member Mike Stone joined me for a return…
 - 09/05/2018
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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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8 must-have BBQ grilling tools for you

By Tom Masters/Guest contributor Grilling is not just tossing some burgers on a grill and letting them cook. Grilling is a form of art. It’s a culinary skill that is not taken lightly by the thousands of self-proclaimed grill chefs around the world and it is something that many must work hard at for many years to perfect. It takes skill to keep a steak nice and juicy and filled with flavor or to smoke a salmon or cook veggies until they’re at the perfect texture as well as bursting with that flavor only a grill can provide. Yes, grilling…
 - 08/16/2018
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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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Recipe: Smoked Chicken Salad from HangryQ.com

HangryQ.com brings you their smoked chicken salad recipe, a great dining idea for a hot summer day. (Photos ©Jason Shane/HangryQ.com) Here’s another great recipe and video for smoked chicken salad from the pitmasters at HangryQ.com. What could be better on a hot summer day than a smoked chicken sandwich on fresh bread, perhaps served with a cold beverage of your choice?! The HangryQ team posts a new recipe and video every week, with some of the most creative ideas you’ll ever see for your backyard smoker or grill. You can follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Enjoy!  
 - 07/27/2018
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Here’s a great DFW barbecue destination – Flores in Whitney

Customers visit as they wait to order at Flores Barbecue. (Photo @Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) The Posse recently loaded up the truck and headed south from Dallas to Flores Barbecue, located in Whitney. Flores had been on our radar since making Texas Monthly’s Top 50 BBQ list in 2017, a big accomplishment for a trailer operation that started in the small town with a population of 2,090 in October 2016. We were not disappointed. Flores is definitely a top tier joint that’s easily accessible for anyone driving on Interstate 35 through Hillsboro. Just exit on Hwy. 22 and head west,…
 - 07/25/2018
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Big prize money on the line at Bedford Blues & BBQ Festival

Members of the Otaku Smoke & Brew cook team pull samples from a whole hog at the 2017 Bedford Blues & BBQ Festival. (Photo ©City of Bedford) We were recently contacted by Marlea Maschmeyer on behalf of the 2018 Bedford Blues & BBQ Festival, one of the biggest barbecue and music celebrations in the state. Their motto is “Come for the barbecue and stay for the blues!” Blues guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd. (Photo ©Rafael Rezende) She asked if we could help spread the word on the three-day event combining the Lone Star State’s love of music and grilling with performers and…
 - 07/19/2018
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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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Recipe: Fire Roasted Hot Sauce from HangryQ.com

Just in time for July 4th, here’s a fun recipe for fire roasted hot sauce. (Photos ©Jason Shane/HangryQ.com) Here’s a great recipe and video for fire roasted hot sauce from our friends at HangryQ.com. The Posse has started to see salsa offered at more BBQ joints, like our recent visits to Zavala’s Barbecue in Grand Prairie and Louie’s in Austin. There’s nothing like chopped brisket or barbacoa on a fresh tortilla with a splash of hot sauce on top. The HangryQ team posts a new recipe and video every week, with some of the most creative ideas you’ll ever see…
 - 06/29/2018
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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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