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Texas Monthly BBQ Festival brought Texas’ best pitmasters to Austin for one big BBQ party


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Want more pics? Here’s a photo essay:

A sold-out crowd of several thousand gathered by the shores of Lady Bird Lake in Austin last Sunday for Texas Monthly’s annual TMBBQ Festival, a celebration of all things BBQ. Twenty-three of the states top 50 BBQ joints were on hand, serving plates of their ribs, brisket, sausages, even smoked lamb chops. Aaron Franklin was there. So were Justin and Diane Fourton (Pecan Lodge), the team from McKinney’s Hutchins Barbecue, the crew of Fort Worth’s Cousins BBQ, and Jill and Jeff Bergus of Lockhart Smokehouse in Dallas, plus Texas Monthly‘s Daniel Vaughn, Pat Sharpe, Mike Levy and Brian Sweeney. Other deliciously notable: Austin’s Stiles Switch BBQ and Houston’s Killen’s Barbecue,

Justin Fourton told me he smoked 36 briskets — a couple hundred pounds of meat — to carve at the party. This year marked Pecan Lodge’s fourth appearance at the annual TMBBQ Festival.

“No matter how often people in this state eat barbecue, they never seem to grow tired of it,” said Sharpe, Texas Monthly’s food and dining editor (and an EscapeHatch friend).

Halfway through the Festival, about a hundred people stood in line to sample Franklin’s brisket, which was being carved by Aaron Franklin himself.  Lines for Snow’s and La Barbecue, two other Texas favorites, were significantly shorter.

Honestly, this is the best BBQ event of the year–every year. Make plans to be there in 2016;it’s totally worth the drive.

photos: Michael Hiller

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