Holy smokes!

6 Houston pitmasters fire up Austin for Texas Monthly BBQ Fest

6 Houston pitmasters fire up Austin for Texas Monthly BBQ Fest

The Texas Monthly BBQ Fest features 31 of the state's best pitmasters. Photo courtesy of Texas Monthly

Sampling the best barbecue in Texas can involve traveling hundreds of miles and enduring a year of meat sweats, but there is an easier way. Each year, Texas Monthly gathers the best pitmasters in the state for its annual BBQ Fest weekend in Austin.

The 2019 edition is blazing back into Austin November 2-3. As usual, the festival is a celebration of the magazine’s quadrennial Top 50 Barbecue Joints in Texas list from barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn.

The weekend kicks off at 11 am on November 2 with the third annual 'Cue Course at Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew. For $95, guests will receive hands-on instruction from the Texas A&M University Animal Science Department, a private pit tour, and a barbecue lunch.

Later that night, James Beard Award-winning pitmaster Aaron Franklin will host Franklin & Friends at Franklin Barbecue beginning at 6 pm. Barbecue fans will be able to sample smoked meats from the restaurants highlighted in Vaughn’s Top 25 New Barbecue Joints in Texas list, including LeRoy & Lewis Barbecue, Brotherton’s Black Iron BBQ, Convenience West, and Charlie’s Bar-B-Que. Tickets for that event are also $95.

The grand tasting returns to the Long Center for the Performing Arts on November 3 from 1-4 pm. Thirty-one of the state’s top barbecue spots will be dishing out ribs, sausage, and brisket while The Suffers and Al Dressen provide the tunes.

General admission is $80. The $165 VIP tickets include early admission, a pair of complimentary drink tickets, an annual subscription to Texas Monthly, and a special gift.

The full TMBBQ Fest lineup is as follows:

  • 2M Smokehouse (San Antonio)
  • Baker Boys BBQ (Gonzalez)

  • BBQ on the Brazos (Cresson)

  • Blood Bros. BBQ (Bellaire)

  • Cattleack Barbeque (Dallas)

  • Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que (Austin)

  • Evie Mae’s Pit Barbecue (Wolfforth)

  • The Granary Cue & Brew (San Antonio)

  • Guess Family Barbecue (Waco)

  • Hays Co. Bar-B-Que (San Marcos)

  • Heim Barbecue (Fort Worth)

  • Hutchins BBQ (Frisco/McKinney)

  • Joseph’s Riverport B-B-Q (Jefferson)

  • Killen’s Barbecue (Pearland)

  • la Barbecue (Austin)

  • Lockhart Smokehouse (Dallas)

  • Louie Mueller Barbecue (Taylor)

  • Micklethwait Craft Meats (Austin)

  • Miller’s Smokehouse (Belton)

  • Pinkerton’s Barbecue (Houston)

  • PODY’S BBQ (Pecos)

  • Roegels Barbecue Co. (Houston)

  • Smolik’s Smokehouse (Mathis)

  • Snow’s BBQ (Lexington)

  • Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew (Austin)

  • Stillwater Barbeque (Abilene)

  • Tejas Chocolate Craftory (Tomball)

  • Terry Black’s Barbecue (Austin)

  • Truth BBQ (Brenham)

  • Tyler’s Barbeque (Amarillo)

  • Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ (Austin)