The only thing we’ve got on our mind when in Texas is Texas BBQ.
We had some amazing opportunities with our BBQ idols at the 2016 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and World’s Championship Bar-B-Que event. Champions in each barbecue category win a belt buckle and it’s a true status symbol in the BBQ arena. We spent quality time with The Professor, Tuffy Stone, ate epic barbecue at Corkscrew BBQ, caught up with BBQ Pro Ronnie Killen, and checked out Doug Scheiding’s competition meats. The barbecue world has a wonderful community and the food is out of this world.
Tuffy Stone -- Culinary Chef, Restaurateur, 12-year veteran BBQ Competitor, & literal BBQ Pit Master bestowed a few of his top secret, never-before-shared BBQ methods to Chef Marco as he received a VIP, backstage experience with The Professor in Houston. If we may say—Tuffy’s a big deal and we couldn’t be more humbled that he shared with us. We spent a few hours with him on Champion Row where he perfects his competition entries down to the very last detail with meticulous attention - he has truly honed his craft. We especially like that his BBQ is a family affair and Tuffy’s dad goes to every competition as his sous chef.
Tuffy’s culinary background shines as he selects the perfect poultry by touching & feeling the birds until he narrows it down to the 2 best. We can’t tell you what his secret is, but a day with the Legend was one for the books. Thank you, Tuffy!
Doug Scheiding of Rogue Cookers was 2 rows down and we caught up with him as he prepped his competition brisket. Doug takes his trusty Traegers to every barbecue competition that he cooks in - they’re his most prized BBQ possessions and the only manufactured grill on Champion Row, what an amazing honor.
Doug rocks his Grand Champion belt buckle from The Jack for his Traegered chicken at the 2015 World’s Championship Bar-B-Que tournament. This year he cooked up killer BBQ on Champion Row where he advanced to the finals in the rib category. He was so floored that his ribs were honored in the top 8 out of 200 entries. Congrats Doug!
Corkscrew BBQ in Houston has basass barbecue. The owner and Pit Master Will Buckman has been the sole Pit Master for 3 years and keeps his BBQ secrets close to the vest. He’s mentoring a new addition to his team and invited Chef Marco into the kitchen to chew the fat.
While in Houston, Corkscrew BBQ hosted the Behind the Pit pop-up BBQ event, which sold out in mere minutes. Once a month, the editor of Texas Monthly Barbecue, Daniel Vaughn selects a different restaurant to host the pop-up dinner and sponsors help provide provisions for the party. Tickets are limited and we were lucky enough to get a seat. The evening has guest speakers like barbecue experts that talk about cooking secrets and smokin’ BBQ. The restaurant that hosts creates a special menu for the prestigious traveling event and Corkscrew prepared a delicious beef belly. We feasted with Yeti, the Owner of Green Olive Media, Elizabeth Moore, Tuffy Stone, 44 Farms, and Cam of Bam Bam’s BBQ.
(left to right: Cam of Bam Bam’s BBQ, Will Buckman of Corkscrew BBQ, Tuffy Stone, BBQ Champion, and Jason Schimmels of Director of Sales, 44 Farms, and Daniel Vaughn, editor of Texas Monthly Barbecue).
After all these BBQ adventures, we were invited by the amazing 44 Farms family to check out their cattle farm just outside of Houston where they raise only black angus. For the Spring Bowl Auction animals are auctioned off and some angus can go for up to $200,000. 44 farms is a fantastic company, very well known in Texas, and rolled out the hospitality for the Traeger team.
Ronnie Killen is a world renowned chef and is known for his time at Ritz Carleton. He quit that gig to head to Texas and opened ‘Killen’s BBQ’ where they have a 3 hour line out the door every day. Sunday’s they serve buttermilk fried chicken. Luckily, we didn’t have to wait in the 100+ person line. He took us back, showed us the shop, and really rolled out the red carpet. Ronnie expressed that he would like to get back on BBQ circuit, his ingenuity and creativity can’t be harnessed and we wish him luck in all his ventures.
The next time you’re in Texas, don’t miss out on hitting up every BBQ restaurant you can get your mitts on, includding Killen's BBQ, savory and delicious barbecue is found in the heart of Texas.