Marshall Cooper

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chicken-cook

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
Truth-Barbecue-brisket

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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A day in the life: How John Lewis makes damn good BBQ

The pit fires burn at Lewis Barbecue in Charleston, South Carolina. (Photo ©Darren Carroll) Barbecue maestro John Lewis manages a staff of 60 at his restaurant — Lewis Barbecue — in Charleston, S.C. “Yeh, it’s a big place,” he said recently. “We’re open 11 hours a day. Sometimes it’s crisis central. Most of the time it’s just management.” In the world of smoked meat, the term “legend” sometimes gets tossed around too easily. John Lewis, though, legitimately deserves the tag. In Austin, he assisted Aaron Franklin back in Franklin Barbecue’s embryonic trailer days. And Lewis later helped make la Barbecue…
 - 05/01/2018
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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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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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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
Jambo-smoker

Tips for choosing a backyard smoker

Marshall Cooper fires up his two main backyard pits, a Jambo J-3, front, and a custom oversize Pitts & Spits smoker. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) You have visited plenty of stops on the Texas BBQ trail and know what good barbecue is. You’ve experimented on the grill in the backyard, but need to buy the proper equipment to take the next step of becoming a serious backyard smoker and pit master. Here are a few simple tips and options to help you make the right choice of backyard smoker. Determine how many people you want to cook for at…
 - 11/30/2017
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Recipe: How to cook brisket burnt ends. . .’five pounds of absolute heaven’

Brisket burnt ends cook on the smoker, held together by steel shish kabob rods. (Photo ©Marshall Cooper) The first time I ever had brisket burnt ends was in 1967 at a barbecue shack on Maury Street located in the 5th ward of Houston, Texas. They cost $1 for a small brown paper sack full. They were really damn good and that’s when I fell in love with them. They were real, authentic, not sauced, you know cut straight off the ends, aka bark, of a brisket that had been cooked low and slow in a stick burner. Sonny Bryan would give…
 - 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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