In this conversation, Dave Chang focuses on how Franklin has become a shokunin, or master craftsman, for barbecue. In addition to the usual barbecue talk, Chang also asks Franklin a lot of questions about the hospitality that Franklin shows everyone that comes to Franklin Barbecue and how hard it was for him to step away from being in the restaurant almost 22 hours day.
In 2009, when Aaron Franklin and his wife, Stacy, opened up a barbecue trailer on the side of a highway in Austin, Texas, they had no idea it would snowball into one of the most popular barbecue restaurants in the nation. But Franklin Barbecue wouldn’t have become what it is without Aaron’s unwavering commitment to hard work and dedication. A decade removed from the Austin institution’s humble beginnings, Dave speaks with the world-class pitmaster from the Uber Eats House during SXSW about transfusing love and care into cooking, making an intentional effort to maintain work-life balance, and growing the restaurant through failure.
The two co-founders of The Smokesheet, BBQ Tourist and NYC BBQ, joined the Man Meat BBQ podcast to discuss their origin story with barbecue and also assemble their perfect plate of barbecue out of their favorite barbecue bites from across the US.
There is a little bit of cussing at the top, so be warned. Also be warned that the host Mike could have used a cough button. Still, a pretty good conversation between three barbecue enthusiasts.
The Tales from the Pits crew and The Smoking Ho recap their epic #HogTripping roadtrip from Texas through the Carolinas and back that took place earlier this month. I even get a brief mention at around the 49:45 mark, from when I was able to briefly meet up with them at Lewis Barbecue the Saturday of Labor Day.
Robert Moss is in the middle of compiling and ranking a list of his Top 50 Southern BBQ Joints for Southern Living magazine and in the first half of this podcast episode, he gets tips from Washington Post food writer on a couple of questions he is working through: 1) How do you handle a situation like Scott’s Bar-B-Que in Hemingway and Rodney Scott’s BBQ in Charleston? and 2) Do you judge a restaurant based on the whole experience, just the meats, or everything on the plate? And what about dessert?
Moss also tells Tim and co-host Hanna Raskin why he is ranking the top 10 restaurants in this year’s version of the list.
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Fresh off his James Beard Award win, Rodney Scott was in town earlier this month for the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party and stopped by Eater’s NY office for a quick chat about barbecue and a potential expansion to NYC.
…the only reason he hasn’t opened up in NYC already is that he hasn’t found the right building yet. “The space is very important as well as the people around it,” he says. “You want the residents and the neighbors to be comfortable with what you’re bringing.”
There isn’t much barbecue-specific discussion on this interview with Adam Perry Lang since its more focused on dry-aged beef and the recent opening of his new steakhouse/smokehouse/brasserie APL in Los Angeles, but its still good nonetheless. APL does have a walk-up window with housemade hot dogs and beef rib tacos.
The Ringer’s Joe House talks to bona fide BBQ expert Adam Perry Lang about opening his new steakhouse in Los Angeles, forging his own knives, his state-of-the-art dry-age room, what makes a dry-aging process unique, some grilling tips, and more (3:50). Then House links up with Juliet Litman for a classic ‘House of Carbs’ Food News (51:30).
Not the best quality audio connection from DiBernardo in Charleston, but an interesting conversation about how he got started in cooking and why he maybe, just maybe, is partially responsible for the barbecue boom in Charleston.
For this week’s episode of Beards, Booze, and Bacon: The Manual Podcast, the round-table (Editor-in-Chief Cator Sparks, Associate Editor Chase McPeak, and host Greg Nibler) welcomes chef/pitmaster and Anthony DiBernardo of Charleston, South Carolina’s acclaimed restaurant, Swig and Swine — which boasts 60 different bourbons, 14 beers on draft, 11 different side dishes, and, of course, barbecue.
The Manual’s Beards, Booze, and Bacon podcast discusses barbecue restaurants, sauces, and whiskey and wine pairings with barbecue in a recent episode from Janary. While none of the four guys on the podcast would be considered an expert when it comes to barbecue, they do speak about it enthusiastically (even if mostly in generalities). It’s a short, easy listen at 25 minutes so worth checking out if you are looking for barbecue content in your podcast feed.
Finally, the conversation turns toward what the panel was all waiting for: booze pairings. Slaughter suggests (and the guys all agreed) the best booze pairing for barbecue is a definitely a whisk(e)y with a smokey, peaty flavor. Scotch is possibly the most appropriate since it calls back to the smokiness of the meat. The group also touches on wine pairings, emphasizing that a bolder, heavier, red wine is best, such as a Zinfandel or a Napa Cabernet.
Why Franklin will never open a second barbecue restaurant:
“There aren’t enough cows,” Franklin says. It takes 53 cows per day to keep up with current operations, and these are a special kind of cow. “I even struggle now to get enough [brisket],” he adds. The market is so small that when fast-food chain Arby’s hopped on the brisket trend, it drove up the cost of brisket for Franklin by $2. “We don’t use commodity brisket at all,” he explains. “But once the commodity supply runs out, then people start trying to upgrade, and that’s where we got into trouble.”
Additionally, this podcast was the first I had heard about the way that Franklin is branching out – and that’s in the custom-built barbecue pits for the backyard barbecue enthusiast. He has hired 2 fulltime welders in Austin (and may be hiring up to 2 more as of the time this podcast was recorded) who are helping to fabricate the pits made of high quality steel and weighing in the range of about 600 pounds. Right now you can sign up for the newsletter at franklinbbqpits.com and they will go on sale next Spring/Summer.