Chasing BBQ - BBQ Headquarters

Mike's Road Journal

Follow Savory Spice Co-Founder Mike Johnston as he embarks on his 'Chasing BBQ' road trip of a lifetime. During his journey, he learns about the rich traditions, regional flavors and pit master secrets of some of the greatest BBQ joints in America. However, the most fascinating and fun part of his trip is the people he meets and relationships he builds along the way!

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A Road Trip of a Lifetime...

Barbecuing is the ultimate “spice” form of cooking. Yeah, I said it! Sure, some will argue that Indian cooking (with a long history of amazing curries using a multitude of spices) is, others would lean toward Thai, and many would land on the side of Mexico with their complex, spice-rich mole sauces. They would all have valid points and strong arguments that on a different day I might have to side with. But not today. Today I’m a proud American, touting one of our cooking styles...
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A Road Trip of a Lifetime...

Chasing BBQ: Texas Road Trip

When you're heading out on the road trip of a lifetime, you've got to start big. That's why we're kicking off our Chasing BBQ journey in Texas where everything really is bigger - including the number of barbecue options along the way. I made over 30 stops in the Lone Star state! Want to learn more about these joints that are dishing up some of the country's best 'cue? Check out the complete list of Texas stops below, then click through to read my Road Journal entries and ...
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Chasing BBQ: Texas Road Trip

Pody’s BBQ: Pecos, TX

Meet Israel Campos (pictured below), the owner and pit master behind Pody's BBQ. He scared me pretty good when he pulled up behind my trailer and exited with his law enforcement badge on and gun on his side! He said I was parked illegally. I explained what I was doing and then he let me on to who he was. Couldn't have had a better first stop experience! As a bonus, I found out that he already uses our black pepper for all of his BBQ! I particularly liked the ribs, brisket and green pe...
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Pody’s BBQ: Pecos, TX

Smoke Shack: San Antonio, TX

Chris Conger, who owns Smoke Shack with his wife Kate Conger, was great to hang with and talk BBQ! This business started as a food truck before moving to their current permanent location. He may operate his business in San Antonio, Texas, but Chris is well traveled. His modern approach to BBQ is very well rounded, while still paying homage to Texas BBQ first, but with definite Carolina and Kansas City influences too. I really enjoyed the fatty brisket, chicken, ribs, and the sauces here inclu...
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Smoke Shack: San Antonio, TX

Two Bros. BBQ: San Antonio, TX

Javier Rodriguez, pitmaster at Two Bro's BBQ Market in San Antonio, spent a ton of his time with me talking Central Texas BBQ. What a great guy! As the name says, two brothers, Jason and Jake Dady, opened this joint in 2008. At this joint, they're all about smoking low and slow in their custom made pits. I enjoyed everything I tried here but the highlights were the brisket, pork loin, ribs and their baked beans which have peaches in them...yum! Great 'cue and a great experience a...
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Two Bros. BBQ: San Antonio, TX

The Granary: San Antonio, TX

A big thank you to Tim Rattray of The Granary 'Cue & Brew for spending a little of his time talking BBQ with me. This guy is the "new" real deal. What I mean is, he's fearless and making what I think is exciting and brilliant barbecue! It's not often when you talk with a barbecue guy that you're talking about fines herbes, vadouvan curry, and miso. Don't get me wrong, he's doing slightly more traditional barbecue at lunch (there's no vadouvan in his bbq ...
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The Granary: San Antonio, TX

Hays Co: San Marcos, TX

So I didn't eat at my scheduled 5th stop, but I know it was replaced wisely for me! Stop 5-B, I'll call it, that Big Ern took me to was Hays Co. Bar-B-Que and Catering. Meet Jesse, the GM, and Aaron, the son of owners Michael and Asenette Hernandez and one of the youngest pitmasters in Texas! These guys are doing some seriously good barbecue. When they told me they had donuts on the pit I was picturing something a little different (such a rook!), but these ring-shaped house made sausa...
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Hays Co: San Marcos, TX

Black’s BBQ: Lockhart, TX

Black's BBQ's Lockhart location is the oldest BBQ business that is still run by the original family that started it and at the original location. It opened in 1932 and 4 generations of the Black family have run this business ever since. Clint Nevill, part of the Black family, gave me a great tour of the back of the house. As for the 'cue, I stuck with beef here and enjoyed the beef rib...ginormous! I also tried some old fashioned banana pudding, If I keep doing that for breakfast, I...
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Black’s BBQ: Lockhart, TX

City Market: Luling, TX

BONUS STOP! I heard about City Market BBQ in Luling, TX, but didn't think I would have enough time to stop by on this trip. Lucky for you (and me), it was close and I drove down. Boy am I glad that I did. I got there during their very busy lunch rush, so I wasn't able to get a tour but Alex (who was working in their pit room) was generous in letting me take some pics of the pits and him. Just look at those sausage links smoking away (photo below)! Sausage is steadily rising on my pers...
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City Market: Luling, TX

Smitty's Market: Lockhart, TX

Nina Schmidt Sells started Smitty's Market in the space that housed the business her father, Smitty, started in 1948. That original business, Kreutz Market (which is our next stop), is now in a new location and is owned by Nina's brother Rick. Nina and her son, James, took some time to give me a tour, talk barbecue tell me more about the history of the place. Oh, and I also ate some 'cue including their ribs and sausage smoked with seasoned oak. #chasingbbq
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Smitty's Market: Lockhart, TX
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