Killen’s Barbecue

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Let the Texas BBQ Posse eat cake, mom says, and we do

Customers line up on a Saturday morning at Truth Barbeque in Brenham, the Posse’s first stop of the trip. (Photo ©Michael Ainsworth/Texas BBQ Posse) At the first stop of the day on a barbecue tour, we almost never order dessert. Plenty of opportunity later for sweets, if we’re still hungry. And so it was at Truth Barbeque in Brenham on a recent Saturday morning. After tasting the joint’s beef rib, brisket, pork ribs, turkey and sausage, we confirmed that Truth deserved every bit of its recent Texas Monthly ranking among the Top 10 places in the state. “I can’t think we’re…
 - 06/26/2017
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Texas Monthly’s BBQ rankings, fair or not?

Are Texas Monthly’s barbecue rankings fair? Can you compare a joint open just one day a week to places open six and seven? And a related, but more complicated fairness question: With so much of Texas Monthly’s overall business plan — events, tours, dinners, merchandise — now tied to barbecue, can the magazine look beyond its self interest when it comes to smoked meat? After gurgling below the surface since the release of the latest Top 50 list last month, these issues erupted into full view this week when Ronnie Killen went public to the Houston media. He later elaborated…
 - 06/23/2017
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Ronnie Killen says he’s selling brisket for no profit

Snake River Gold brisket at Killen’s Barbecue in Houston, which goes for $30 a pound. Seeking to improve quality, barbecue maestro Ronnie Killen recently changed brisket suppliers and is now paying so much for raw brisket that he doesn’t make any money on the final, smoked product. “If it means selling brisket for no profit, then that’s what it means,” Killen said on the Houston Chronicle’s BBQ State of Mind podcast Wednesday. “I don’t care.” Killen operates the popular Killen’s Barbecue in suburban Houston. He said on the podcast that he now pays $9.35 a pound for brisket supplied by…
 - 06/15/2017
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Snow’s BBQ, well deserved No. 1 for Texas Monthly

Early Saturday morning light hits the smoker area as pitmaster Tootsie Tomanetz works at Snow’s BBQ in Lexington. So we missed — widely — when we predicted last month that Killen’s Barbecue in suburban Houston would be No. 1 on Texas Monthly’s list of the Top 50 joints in Texas. But we applaud — loudly — the magazine’s decision this week to put Snow’s BBQ on top. In all the years the Posse has been touring, breakfast at the Lexington place on a Saturday morning remains our favorite trip. “It’s the ultimate Texas BBQ experience: great food, great people and the…
 - 05/22/2017
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Killen’s will be #1 on Texas Monthly’s Top 50 BBQ list, the Posse predicts

Diners wait for Killen’s BBQ to open on a Saturday morning in Pearland, a suburb of Houston. Be bold. That advice from an old boss recently ran through my head here at Posse HQ as we contemplated stepping off the barbecue cliff. We took the step. Yes, we are predicting that Killen’s Barbecue in suburban Houston will be No. 1 on Texas Monthly’s highly anticipated list of the Top 50 BBQ joints in Texas, displacing the legendary Franklin Barbecue in Austin. It shouldn’t take long to know whether that call is indeed bold or just plain boneheaded. The list will…
 - 04/19/2017
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A return visit confirms, Killen’s BBQ is one of the best in Texas

Phil’s lunch of brisket, ribs, turkey & Sausage at Killen’s Barbecue in Pearland. (Photo ©Phil Lamb) Posse member Phil Lamb checks in this week with a dispatch from Houston: The passage of time plays funny tricks on the BBQ mind. For example, I often wonder whether a particular joint serving above-average ‘cue will hold up over time. This is especially true of out-of-town spots we don’t regularly visit. Similarly, I occasionally wonder whether a joint we once ranked as “outstanding” was really all that special. It’s as if doubt starts to creep in after a few months go by. Did…
 - 05/23/2016
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More evidence that Lockhart has lost its barbecue magic

Smitty’s Market oak wood pile & the Caldwell County courthouse. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) On our way back to Dallas from our recent Houston-area barbecue tour, all 6 Posse members on the trip listed their top 5 joints in the state, in no particular order. Specific criteria probably varied from person to person, but these would be places we’d drive across the state to eat at or recommend to good friends that they do the same. Since then, we’ve been asked to run each person’s top 5. Those lists are below. Three joints mentioned by each of us: Killen’s…
 - 02/01/2015
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Greater Houston, we have barbecue redemption

The four meat plate with a link of boudin brought a smile to Posse faces at Ray’s Real Pit BBQ Shack in Houston. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) In a previous post, careful readers might wonder about the heading over the itinerary of our weekend trip: “Houston Redemption BBQ Tour” What’s that all about? Flash back to the Posse’s first Gulf Coast tour two years ago. It was disappointing. The only good barbecue we found was in Galveston, 50 miles away. “Houston, we have a barbecue problem” was the headline on that chapter of our BBQ Chronicles. Some of our…
 - 09/29/2014
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High on smoke and creamed corn, BBQ eureka at Killen’s BBQ

Pork ribs, brisket, potato salad & creamed corn at Killen’s BBQ in Pearland. (Photo by Daniel Goncalves/fotobia.com) Just a week after the Posse’s barbecue tour of Houston-area joints, Posse member Daniel Goncalves and his wife, Magda, made a return visit, including a trip to Killen’s Barbecue in Pearland, which might just be the best barbecue joint in the state. Daniel says he had a couple of new barbecue revelations while high on smoke and creamed corn. Here is his report: My wife and I decided at the last minute to spend the 4th of July weekend in Houston. The previous…
 - 07/14/2014
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From the NFL to Ray’s BBQ Shack in Houston, meet Herb Taylor, pit master in training

Herb Taylor, co-owner of Ray’s Real BBQ Shack in Houston. (Photo ©Daniel Goncalves/fotobia.com) At TCU in Fort Worth, offensive tackle Herb Taylor started every game during his four-year college football career. He was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2007 and spent time with four other NFL teams over six years. Herb Taylor as a Kansas City Chief. Now out of football, Taylor is a co-owner and self described “pit master in training” at Ray’s Real Pit BBQ Shack in Houston. The other co-owners are Ray Busch and Maxine Davis, Taylor’s mother, who were’t there when we stopped. Taylor…
 - 07/07/2014
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Take a number — A different approach to BBQ lines

Posse members Jim Rossman & Gary Jacobson head up the line at Killen’s BBQ. (Photo ©Daniel Goncalves/fotobia.com) In our recent travels to Houston, part of the scheduling involved knowing that two joints – Killen’s and CorkScrew – were places that would require a wait in a pretty lengthy line. We hit CorkScrew BBQ in  Friday for lunch and did the same Saturday at Killen’s. Each place opens at 11am. I volunteered to be the line sitter each morning, arriving at 8:30 a.m. each day to secure the first spot in line. Note to our fellow line-waiters – I was alone…
 - 07/01/2014
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Killen’s in Pearland might just be the best BBQ joint in Texas

Customers wait for the 11am opening of Killen’s BBQ in Pearland on Saturday morning. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Even before we had finished eating at Killen’s Barbecue in Pearland on Saturday, the great debate began. “When you factor everything in, this is the best barbecue place in Texas,” declared Posse co-founder Chris Wilkins. We ate brisket, pork ribs, pork belly, beef ribs, turkey and sausage. Everything was excellent — moist, flavorful and nicely cooked. On a scouting mission in May, Posse member Jim Rossman called the food at Killen’s, which opened in a permanent location early this year, “spectacular.”…
 - 06/29/2014
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Killens’ BBQ in Pearland is going to crash everyone’s top 10 list.

Killen’s BBQ in Pearland. (All photos by Jim Rossman) I had lunch at Killen’s BBQ in Pearland today and the meats were spectacular. I have no doubt Killen’s is the best BBQ in Pearland, and likely the best BBQ in the Houston-area. The Posse will double-check my thoughts as we head down to Houston for a BBQ tour at the end of June and Killen’s is a highly-anticipated stop. I figured Mother’s Day would be a light day at a BBQ joint, but then I remembered this is Texas. Killen’s opens at 11 a.m., and at 10:05 a.m. I was…
 - 05/12/2014
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Houston-area barbecue fans finally get hip and learn how to form a line at Killen’s Pop-Up BBQ in Pearland

Long line at Killen’s BBQ in Pearland last Saturday. (Photo by Bryan Norton/bbqtreasurehunt.com) “Magic tingle.” That’s how Bryan Norton, a blogger who rides a motorcycle to many of the barbecue joints he visits, describes the experience of tasting perfect brisket. “It’s that magic combination of pepper, salt, perfectly rendered fat, and of course brisket that literally travels through your body,” he explained recently on the Posse’s Facebook page. “I’ve seen it make people giggle, laugh, roll their eyes back in their head, high-five and sometimes all of those at once,” Norton wrote. The Posse can’t argue. That may be the…
 - 07/07/2013

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