The BBQ Whisperers

During our BBQ crawl in Austin a couple of weeks ago, we came across a couple of individuals who I would categorize as BBQ whisperers. They were passionate about BBQ and both of them took time to speak to us about their product and methods of cooking and gave us some pointers about opening a Texas BBQ place of our own. They also visited the dining rooms in their restaurants to speak to their customers and find out how they were liking what they were eating.

Franklin Barbecue

Franklin-signThe first BBQ expert we came across in our research was Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue.

Franklin

He started his establishment five years ago in a travel trailer turned BBQ stand and focused on producing the best BBQ brisket possible. In 2011 he and his wife moved their operation to a brick and mortar location and have built their BBQ empire into what is considered the best barbecue in the country. They have a cult following and every day have a line of eager customers around the block who wait in line up to five hours to get a taste of Franklin brisket. After my husband and I waited for 3 1/2 hours to eat, Aaron graciously showed us around his smokehouse, introduced us to his Pitmaster and enthusiastically encouraged us to pursue our dream of opening up a Texas BBQ restaurant.

smokers

From what I have gathered in my additional research, Aaron Franklin is an expert at using Social Media to grow his business and keep his cult following growing. He said that he currently cooks 85 briskets a day and is adding another custom built smoker to bring that quantity up to 100 briskets. Every day Franklin Barbecue opens at 11:00 am and by 1:30 is sold out of brisket.

Louie Mueller Barbecue

LM-sign

The next most inspiring BBQ master we met in Taylor Texas, was Wayne Mueller. He is one of the Grandsons of Louie Mueller and the most ebullient BBQ master I have ever met.

Louie Mueller

His establishment is where all the great Pitmasters including Aaron Franklin have been trained and after meeting with him and talking with him about barbecue, I can understand why. Louie Mueller is the only Barbecue restaurant included in our research that has won a James Beard award which is proudly hung on a wall by the ordering counter.

James-Beard

While we were eating, Wayne came over to our table and answered all of our questions about his cooking methods and talked to us about learning how to cook brisket. He said that he thinks of each brisket as one of his children and understands that each one has different needs. So he cooks each one according to what that need is. It was entrancing to hear him speak so passionately about barbecue. We were so inspired by Wayne Mueller, our restaurant manager came up with the idea of asking Mr. Mueller if he could intern at his establishment for a month to learn about cooking barbecue. I’ll keep you informed about how that goes.

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