BBQ State of Mind

47 EpisodesProduced by Houston Chronicle

NEW EPISODE: At 37, Luling City Market barbecue is still going strong and Chris, Alison and Greg are back with more smoked meat goodness from one of the longest-running smoked meat operations in Houston.

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Ep44: At 37, Luling City Market barbecue still going strong

November 30th, 2018


Chris, Alison and Greg are back, and ventured one (big) block away from the office to interview David and Kurt Craig at one of the longest-running smoked meat operations in Houston. Part saloon and part barbecue joint, …

THIRDS: The conversation with Wayne Mueller of Louie Mueller Barbecue continues. (Part 2 of 2, first posted Aug. 8, 2017) — Chris, Alison and Greg will be back next week.

November 21st, 2018


Owner-pitmaster Wayne Mueller continues his conversation with Chris, Alison and Greg, delving into the history of Louie Mueller Barbecue and Texas …

ANOTHER SECOND HELPING: The hosts are still away so here's another episode from the archive — Ep11: Wayne Mueller of Louie Mueller Barbecue (Part 1 of 2)

November 17th, 2018


Originally posted Aug. 4, 2017 — Texas barbecue royalty and third-generation owner-pitmaster Wayne Mueller joins Chris, Alison and Greg in the studio. A fount of knowledge about Texas barbecue and its history, Wayne …

SECOND HELPING: While hosts vacation, we’re serving up this popular BBQ State of Mind episode— Breakfast at Killen's, from June 2017

November 7th, 2018


The Chronicle crew hit the road last year to chat with chef/pitmaster Ronnie Killen. From the dining room at his acclaimed Killen's Barbecue in Pearland, he shares his thoughts about Texas Monthly's best barbecue joints …

Ep43: Tin Roof BBQ’s low and slow rise

November 2nd, 2018


For nearly 18 years, Tin Roof BBQ has been a stronghold for barbecue in north Houston. Owner/pitmaster Ronnie Webber, a 31-year Houston Police …

Ep42: How Willow’s Texas BBQ quickly became a Houston barbecue cult favorite

October 19th, 2018


Willow Villarreal had many friends in both his professional (working for Fox Sports) and personal life (as a promoter and booker of punk and heavy metal music). But he found a new community – just as caring, equally …

Ep41: Chewing the fat with Russell Roegels

October 10th, 2018


The veteran owner/pitmaster at Roegels Barbecue Co. discusses the trials and tribulations of his barbecue career with Chris, Alison and Greg.

Ep40: Texas Monthly barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn’s smoked meat life — and why he’s visiting Houston so often

October 3rd, 2018


Vaughn, one of the most prominent barbecue voices in America, discusses the problem with plant-based “meat,” Houston’s Top 100 Restaurants list and other Texas barbecue matters with Chris, Greg and Alison.

Ep39: Good times with Billy Durney and Pat Martin

September 29th, 2018


The Brooklyn barbecue king and Tennessee whole hog master, in Houston for the star-studded Southern Smoke fundraiser, have stories for Chris and Greg.

Ep38: Diving into the 2018 Texas barbecue festival circuit

September 20th, 2018


It’s the most wonderful time of the year: barbecue festival season! Chris (who organizes a festival himself)and Greg discuss upcoming events with …

Ep37: Eaker Barbecue food truck hits the road in Houston

August 16th, 2018


Lance and Boo Eaker worked in IT consulting and fashion design respectively, but now they’re trying to make a go of it in the barbecue world. They …

Ep36: How Houston’s Pit Room quickly became one of Texas’ best barbecue joints

August 2nd, 2018


In two short years, The Pit Room in Houston has become one of Texas’ top barbecue joints. Owner Michael Sambrooks tells Chris and Greg how he did it.

Ep35: Inside the Houston Rodeo’s World’s Championship Bar-B-Que competition

July 16th, 2018


Committee chairman David Stone and division chairman Jimmy Shuford join Chris, Alison and Greg to shed light on what makes one of the country’s biggest barbecue cook-offs tick. They also share details about what will …

Ep34: Selling legit barbecue in an Old Sixth Ward neighborhood shop

June 19th, 2018


Chris and Greg travel to Henderson & Kane, a general store in Houston’s most historic neighborhood, to visit with owners John and Veronica Avila. The Avilas are known for the craft barbecue they serve at a food hall …

Ep33: Houston-barbecue classic Ray’s BBQ Shack writes a new chapter

May 29th, 2018


Ray Busch and Herb Taylor, owners of the old-school Third Ward barbecue joint, share their story – and their new seafood sausage – with Chris, Alison …

Ep32: Making the barbecue festival sausage

May 1st, 2018


What goes into producing a barbecue event that 2,300 smoked-meat lovers attend? Chris, and his Houston Barbecue Festival co-founder Michael Fulmer, …

Ep31: CorkScrew BBQ: A marriage made in smoked-meat heaven

April 10th, 2018


CorkScrew owners Will and Nichole Buckman tell Chris and Greg how they took their business in Spring from cult trailer truck to brick-and-mortar in …

Ep30: Barbecue at the ballpark

March 22nd, 2018


How does the barbecue operation work at Minute Maid Park, home of the World Series-winning Houston Astros? Chris, Alison and Greg sit down with the crew of Jackson Street BBQ to find out what it takes to bring one of …

Ep29: Greg Gatlin talks jet set barbecue

March 9th, 2018


Gatlin’s BBQ in Houston puts its name on airport dining as IAH opens Q, a first-of-its-kind barbecue restaurant in Terminal E. World-class barbecue takes flight at George Bush International Airport. Gatlin talks about Q …

Ep28: Jess Timmons of Caboose BBQ

February 19th, 2018


The co-owner of Caboose BBQ in Alvin, Texas, discusses the role of women in barbecue with Chris and Greg. Timmons is a former pitmaster who has spent …

Ep27: Buck’s Barbecue and Hurricane Harvey

February 7th, 2018


Hurricane Harvey hit on the exact day Jim Buchanan was set to start serving his barbecue to customers at Lucky’s Pub in the Heights. Lucky’s wound up taking on 15 feet of water, and Jim had to recalibrate. Chris and …

Ep26: Scott Moore of Tejas Chocolate & Barbecue in Tomball

January 26th, 2018


Chris, Alison and Greg hit the road to visit with the co-owner of the highly regarded business that’s an unlikely merger of chocolate shop and …

Ep25: Promising new barbecue players

January 12th, 2018


Chris, Alison and Greg continue their conversation about their year in barbecue, exploring up-and-coming pitmasters and restaurants in Austin and Houston – and the burgeoning “underground” scene in Los Angeles.

Ep24: 2017, the year of Houston barbecue

December 28th, 2017


It’s been a blockbuster year for Texas barbecue, and Houston is staking its claim as a smoked-meat mecca. Alison, Chris and Greg discuss the highs and lows.

Ep23: Pellet smokers are becoming a barbecue game changer

December 5th, 2017


Ryan Zboril of Pitts & Spitts, one of Texas’ leading makers of custom smokers and grills, schools Chris and Greg on pellet smokers. Pitts & …

Ep22: Cooking barbecue through a hurricane, with Grant Pinkerton

November 21st, 2017


Chris and Greg visit with the young owner of Pinkerton’s Barbecue, a Texas Monthly Top 50 barbecue joint. Pinkerton, who cut his teeth as a weekend cook-off warrior (including smoking meats in his parents’ driveway), …

Ep21: How Pappas is rethinking barbecue

November 10th, 2017


Chris, Alison and Greg talk about the influence of the Pappas restaurants in Houston, especially the brand that started it all: Pappas Bar-B-Q. Pappas chef Michael Verlardi and beverage concept director join them in the …

Ep20: Beers with Aaron Franklin and Rodney Scott

October 25th, 2017


One smokes the best Central Texas-style brisket on Planet Earth. The other is the country's foremost practitioner of whole hog barbecue. Both deal …

Ep19: Chris Shepherd, Aaron Franklin and Rodney Scott cooking for Harvey relief 

October 22nd, 2017

Before Southern Smoke in Houston, which gathers some of America’s best chefs and pitmasters, event founder/James Beard Award winner Shepherd sits down at his Underbelly restaurant with the Chronicle crew and his …

Ep18: How one of Houston’s iconic barbecue brands got its start and launched a restaurant empire

October 14th, 2017


Jim Goode was an avid backyard barbecue enthusiast before he got the chance in 1977 to be an honest-to-goodness pitmaster when he purchased the former Red Barn on Kirby. From those humble beginnings he fashioned a …

Ep17: Making the leap from cook-off competitor to barbecue restaurant owner

October 6th, 2017


Wesley Jurena, who worked the barbecue competition circuit before opening his Pappa Charlies Barbeque near downtown Houston, joins Chris, Greg and Alison in the studio. He also discusses his plans to relocate his …

EP16: The life and times of Felix Powell

September 26th, 2017

One of the last of Houston’s old-school barbecue barons, Felix Powell talks about the Southeast Texas-style barbecue he smokes at Powell Bar-B-Q in …

Ep15: Breakfast tacos and barbecue at Beaver’s

September 22nd, 2017


Live from Beaver’s on Westheimer, which since it opened earlier this year has been making waves in Houston’s craft barbecue scene. Chef/pitmaster Arash Kharat joins Greg and Alison to chat about his background, barbecue …

Ep14: Barbecue during Hurricane Harvey

September 15th, 2017


Chris, Alison and Greg discuss how the Houston barbecue community helped feed the city in the aftermath of the storm. Ara Malekian of Harlem Road Texas BBQ in Richmond, who smoked meats for first responders and others, …

Ep13: Barbecue festival season gears up with smokin’ hot events

August 18th, 2017


Barbecue fans have plenty to be happy about as barbecue festival season heats up. Starting in September Texas’ best ’cue festivals kick off with some …

Ep12: Wayne Mueller of Louie Mueller Barbecue (Part 2 of 2)

August 8th, 2017


Owner-pitmaster Wayne Mueller continues his conversation with Chris, Alison and Greg, delving into the history of Louie Mueller Barbecue and Texas …

Ep11: Wayne Mueller of Louie Mueller Barbecue (Part 1 of 2)

August 4th, 2017


Texas barbecue royalty and third-generation owner-pitmaster Wayne Mueller joins Chris, Alison and Greg in the studio. A fount of knowledge about Texas barbecue and its history, Wayne talks about improvements he’s making …

Ep10: The history of Houston barbecue

July 26th, 2017


With decades of experience between them, Alison, Chris and Greg trace the roots of the city’s barbecue scene, remembering their first encounters and some of the late, great local joints that whet their smoky tastebuds.

Ep09: Bless their East Coast barbecue hearts

July 20th, 2017


Austin American-Statesman restaurant critic Matthew Odam calls in to chat with Chris and Alison. They discuss his recent skirmish with a Washington Post food writer who claims that a D.C. barbecue joint has better …

Ep08: It's Lee Ellis' world, we just eat in it

July 13th, 2017

Restaurateur Lee Ellis, owner of Cherry Pie Hospitality, is entering the busy Houston barbecue scene with a new business, Ellis Brothers Barbecue. Operating first as a pop-up at his Lee's Fried Chicken & Donuts …

Ep07: The Whole Hog

July 7th, 2017


Chef/pitmaster Patrick Feges, previously of Southern Goods and Killen’s Barbecue, and his wife, classically trained chef and sommelier Erin Feges, join Chris and Greg in the studio to talk about their plans to open a …

EP06: Instagram-famous BBQ sandwiches: Too big to bite?

June 29th, 2017


Alison, Chris and Greg discuss their favorite barbecue sandwiches in Houston, from classic chopped beef varieties to newfangled, macho monstrosities.


Ep05: Donkey & Goat (Sparkling Chardonnay) pairs perfectly with BBQ

June 23rd, 2017


Chef Adam Dorris joins Chris, Alison and Greg in the studio. Over brisket sandwiches (and wine) from his Presidio restaurant, Adam shares how he …

Ep04: Breakfast at Killen's

June 14th, 2017


The Chronicle crew hits the road to chat with chef/pitmaster Ronnie Killen. From the dining room at his acclaimed Killen’s Barbecue in Pearland, he shares his thoughts about Texas Monthly’s best barbecue joints list …

Ep03: A weekend at Barbecue Summer Camp

June 7th, 2017


Fresh off a weekend at Texas A&M University participating in Foodways Texas’ sold-out Barbecue Summer Camp, Greg fills Alison and Chris in on …

Ep02: Long lines are half the fun, right?

June 5th, 2017



Waiting in a long line for great barbecue – nuisance, or part of the fun? Are pitmasters rock stars? Why is being active on social media so crucial to a barbecue joint’s business? Chris, Alison and Greg delve into the …

Ep01: Chewing on the annual '50 Best BBQ Joints' list

June 5th, 2017


Everyone seems to have an opinion about Texas Monthly’s 2017 list of “The Top 50 Barbecue Joints in Texas,” and members of the Houston Chronicle food team are no different. In their first podcast, Chris, Alison and Greg …

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