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Killens-Barbecue

Reservations for BBQ dinner, yes, at Killen’s Barbecue

The line forms for dinner outside of Killen’s Barbecue in Pearland. (Photo ©Daniel Goncalves/fotobia.com) Killen’s Barbecue in Pearland will soon begin accepting reservations for its dinner service, owner Ronnie Killen said. This is a major break from common practice at Texas’ best barbecue joints. None of them take reservations and many of them stop serving when they sell out of meat, often long before dinner time. Diners will be seated at tables and then order from waiters, Killen said. Steaks, including chicken-fried ribeyes, and other fare will also be available. The Posse talked to Killen, who also operates several other…
 - 04/21/2018
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CorkScrew BBQ, on the mainline for smoked meat and trains

As a train passes and the horn blows, one brother covers his ears while the other stays glued to his tablet in the patio area of CorkScrew BBQ in Spring. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) If you like eating barbecue and watching trains there may not be a better spot in Texas to do both at the same time than CorkScrew BBQ in Spring. Located a short distance from Union Pacific’s Lloyd Yard, where freight trains are assembled, the tracks split within view of CorkScrew’s outdoor eating area. One set of tracks heads north and another turns west, running just…
 - 04/17/2018
Weber-Grilling

Bill Gillespie reveals the secret of butter in BBQ in his new book

For me, the Bible of backyard barbecue books remains Weber’s Big Book of Grilling, published in 2001. My battered copy is littered with yellow, blue and pink sticky notes marking dishes I’ve cooked over the years. In a quick search of my home library, I found a half-dozen Weber-related books. No surprise. I’ve been a devoted Weber Kettle user for nearly half a century. More recently, I’ve become a fan of the Weber Smokey Mountain. The latest addition to my book collection is The Secrets to Great Charcoal Grilling on the Weber by competition champ Bill Gillespie, published this month.…
 - 04/13/2018
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A ‘quantum shift’ in the BBQ universe, all because of Texas

A couple who bailed on the long line at Franklin Barbecue checks out the menu at Micklethwait Craft Meats in Austin. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) It was 10:40 on a recent Sunday morning, 20 minutes before Micklethwait Craft Meats opened for business. There was no line, just five people sitting at tables in front of the little yellow trailer. Across the street, a couple walked toward us from the direction of Franklin Barbecue, a few blocks away near downtown Austin. “Did you just come from Franklin?” I asked when they arrived. “Yes,” they answered. “It didn’t look like that…
 - 04/10/2018
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No free burnt ends and other BBQ wisdom from Grant Pinkerton

The Posse’s Gary Jacobson talks business with Pinkerton’s Barbecue owner Grant Pinkerton in the bar at his north Houston restaurant. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) The Posse always enjoys going to Pinkerton’s Texas Pit Barbecue in Houston. The food is great. So is the bar. And the conversations can be stimulating. For a young dude, owner-pit master Grant Pinkerton is full of wisdom, barbecue and beyond. That’s gotta be one of the factors that attracted the attention of Forbes magazine, which last November included Pinkerton on its prestigious 30-under-30 list of “youthful visionaries” who are changing their industries. Forbes calls…
 - 04/03/2018
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Recipe: The secret to great BBQ Chicken — brining!

The whole bird with rub applied from Bryan Gooding’s award-winning recipe for brining and smoking BBQ.  chicken.  (Photo ©Bryan Gooding) Brining and smoking BBQ chicken recipe Our brining and smoking BBQ chicken recipe earned the Posse its first category win at the Blues, Bandits festival in Oak Cliff, Tx. The key to any good chicken — from fried to smoked– is brining. We all have endured a tough, stringy, dry piece of chicken and making it juicy is an easy fix. Ingredients for Bryan Gooding’s BBQ chicken recipe. (Photo ©Bryan Gooding) Just take a little extra time to brine. Ingredients:…
 - 03/28/2018
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Tejas Chocolate Craftory gets raves from the Posse

Lunch plate of brisket, pork ribs, turkey, brisket burnt ends & three sides at Tejas Chocolate Craftory in Tomball. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) At the Tejas Chocolate Craftory, a sign touting the French onion brisket soup was right in front of me at the order counter. That dish was also the first thing on the menu that caught my eye during a recent visit of the Posse to the Tomball joint, ranked one of the best in Texas. “Gotta order that,” I told my Posse mates earlier, as we reviewed all the offerings. But despite my resolve — and…
 - 03/24/2018
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Product review: Booze Dogs liquor infused bratwurst

Booze Dogs are bratwurst infused with bourbon, rum or gin. (Courtesy photo) To answer the big question first, yes, Booze Dogs — Man’s Best Brat — are infused with real booze. Bourbon, gin and rum. “The alcohol cooks off,” says Joe McGowen, who spent seven years developing the specialty bratwursts before getting USDA approval and beginning sales last summer. McGowen calls the alcohol level in his brats “perfect proof,” meaning anyone of any age can eat them. “No one’s going to get drunk or get a buzz,” he said. McGowen said interest in his brats is growing, but he’s still…
 - 03/22/2018
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Side dishes are better than ever at Texas BBQ joints

Sides like these from Micklethwait Craft Meats, top & middle bottom photos, and Tejas Chocolate Craftory are changing the Texas BBQ scene. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) In the early years of the Posse, we didn’t care much for barbecue side dishes. You know, the standard potato salad, coleslaw and beans that often accompany smoked meat. We even had a no-side-dish rule, meaning we almost never ordered anything but meat. When you hit a half-dozen or more joints on a weekend tour, you want to reserve all your eating space for brisket, ribs and sausage. To us then, side dishes…
 - 03/19/2018
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A year later, 2M Smokehouse hasn’t lost a step . . .It still might be the best BBQ joint in Texas

Our lunch of ribs, brisket, turkey & sausage with sides at 2M Smokehouse in San Antonio. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) When we first visited 2M Smokehouse in San Antonio last year, we wondered if the joint was turning out the best barbecue in Texas. After a recent visit, our view hasn’t changed. “I’ll flat out say it,” Posse co-founder Chris Wilkins said after our lunch of brisket, pork ribs, turkey and Serrano pepper/Oaxaca cheese sausage, “I think the food here is better than Snow’s.” Snow’s, of course, is the legendary joint in Lexington that was ranked No. 1 last…
 - 03/15/2018
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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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Hot Luck 2018: Bigger, but will ‘still feel incredibly small’

The Hot Luck Austin sign shines at Franklin Barbecue at the 2017 festival. (Photo ©Gary Jacobson/Texas BBQ Posse) Hot Luck, a food and music festival in Austin, is preparing for its second run in May. And in the festival business, as James Moody, one of Hot Luck’s founders, was saying, you’re supposed to lose money year one, break even year two and make money year three. Moody and Aaron Franklin, another founder, say Hot Luck broke even — broadly speaking — last year, its first. “So, you’re ahead of the game?” I asked Moody at a recent party for the…
 - 02/27/2018
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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
brisket-cook

Shigging: New thoughts on an old BBQ topic

The Posse is always shigging. Nothing sinister, mind you, as some define the term: “stealing” barbecue secrets. We’re always looking for techniques that will make us better cooks and that we can share with readers. “To become great at anything you learn by trying, by failing and from observing those who are greater than you,” Posse member Daniel Goncalves says. We first wrote about shigging in 2011, a few months after Posse member Marshall Cooper noticed that Aaron Franklin — then operating a small trailer joint in Austin — wrapped his briskets in butcher paper for part of the cook.…
 - 02/15/2018
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An “a-ha” moment for the Austin Posse — Driving to Snow’s BBQ is faster than waiting at Franklin

Customers stand in line at 8am on a Saturday at Snow’s BBQ In Lexington. (Photo ©Gary Jacobson/Texas BBQ Posse) Eureka experiences are not uncommon in barbecue. Usually they have something to do with the food. My most recent BBQ “a-ha,” though, had nothing to do with great brisket or ribs and everything to do with time. Waiting time. Living in Austin, I just discovered, it’s actually faster to eat at Snow’s BBQ in Lexington than Franklin Barbecue in Austin, even though it involves a 100-mile roundtrip drive. My home is about three miles from Franklin and 50 miles from Snow’s,…
 - 02/07/2018
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After the fire, kids write letters of encouragement to Franklin Barbecue

Letters from Micah Barcalow’s fourth-grade class hang on the wall at Franklin Barbecue. (Photo ©Gary Jacobson/Texas BBQ Posse) Micah Barcalow teaches fourth-graders in Fort Wayne, Ind. He has never eaten at Franklin Barbecue, 1,200 miles away in Austin, Tex. But he did read Aaron Franklin’s book, Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto. Barcalow says the book and its lessons — for barbecue and life — changed him, making him more willing to try new things and learn from doing. An excellent lesson for fourth-graders, too. That’s why Barcalow has inspirational quotes from the book — “Words of Wisdom from Aaron Franklin,”…
 - 02/02/2018
Pat Gee's Barbecue-01

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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Long BBQ line good, says Posse newcomer

Franklin Barbecue owner Aaron Franklin gives Gary Jacobson a tour of his new smokehouse, which is still under renovation following their fire in August. (Photo ©Daniel Gonclaves/fotobia.com) In addition to great food, one of the best parts of a barbecue tour is the wisdom it can generate. “The line is a good thing,” Dan Maguire said, sounding like a Socrates of Smoked Meat rather than a Posse newcomer. “It lets the food settle before we eat again.” It was about 1:30 or so on a recent Saturday afternoon and we had just arrived at la Barbecue in Austin. The BBQ…
 - 01/24/2018
Franklin Barbecue

Don’t discount Amazon BBQ factor for HQ2

Customers stand in line at the world-famous Franklin Barbecue in Austin. (Photo ©Tom Fox( Yes, public transportation and a solid workforce are important, but don’t overlook the Amazon BBQ factor as the online shopping giant decides where to put its much heralded, and much sought after, second headquarters, HQ2. After reviewing the list of 20 finalists that Amazon recently released, the Posse thinks world class barbecue might just give an edge to Austin. A total of nearly 240 communities made bids to Amazon, based in Seattle. There is obviously great barbecue in the city of Austin, including Franklin Barbecue. But…
 - 01/19/2018
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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