Meat Company in Texas
Pitmaster: John Mueller, age 44
Method: Oak; indirect-heat pit
Pro tip: John may yell at you. Don’t go on it actually.
If there’s a dark prince of Texas barbecue, it’s probably John Mueller, the famously irascible, hugely skilled, occasionally erratic master of meat which left his family members’s celebrated joint—Louie Mueller Barbecue, in Taylor—and set out on his own in 2001 with John Mueller’s B-B-Q, on Austin’s East Side. By 2003, that joint had obtained both a fanatical following and an area on our top fifty list. The briskets had been the best around, and John was famous for providing a gratis nibble equally you neared the countertop (a famous Louie Mueller touch). In 2006, a rough plot led to John’s dropping his restaurant. He disappeared for a while, and then pop back up at JMueller BBQ, a trailer eatery in Southern Austin, in 2011. The joint ended up being a partnership along with his cousin, LeAnn (which, complete disclosure, is a Texas Monthly contributing photographer). It absolutely was exemplary, and John’s funny, profane Twitter presence (he’s @ShoelessJoeJaxn) offered the spot an appealingly renegade quality. Sadly, just like it was just starting to develop a solid reputation, an important spat between the siblings caused John to decamp again. LeAnn changed the name to Los Angeles Barbecue and didn’t miss a beat. The woman brother held peaceful for a spell, only to resurface this springtime with his brand new joint. Meanwhile, LeAnn’s various other cousin, Wayne, will continue to man the pits in Taylor, while he has since 2008. This means the 3 kids of Bobby Mueller, possibly the biggest pitmaster in Texas record, now all have actually their very own joints, all within a one-hour drive. Sibling rivalry never tasted so great.
John’s joint, which debuted in February on a whole lot in East Austin, may be the most recent regarding the three. It comes with a big pit on a red flatbed trailer, a food vehicle to a single part, plus some picnic tables under a blue-and-white tent. As always, customers make like eager schoolchildren, and also as constantly, the meat is outstanding. On our final see, the beef ribs and fatty brisket tied for finest in program. The pine smoke had penetrated profoundly, providing each bite fathoms of flavor. Mueller gets a crust on his meat that is a tad bit more fragile than others, though it nonetheless looks like it had been dredged in black pepper. The lean brisket and the pork ribs were great too, so we were impressed because of the chicken neck. It offers a striking, chestnut-colored outside, gently brushed with a sweet glaze that subtly hints at a Southern allegiance. The rosy meat includes a world of complex tastes. Are you aware that sauce, a thin and almost translucent brew, with tips of tomato and a lot of black pepper and nice onion, it’s using this world. Order an extra section and eat it like soup.