Tales from the pits, a Texas BBQ podcast featuring trendsetters, leaders, and icons from the barbecue industry
Ep. 136 - Texas BBQ: A look back and a look forward

Ep. 136 - Texas BBQ: A look back and a look forward

February 10, 2020

Texas BBQ has seen massive growth in the last 10 years and many of us have been lucky to witness it firsthand. The epicenter has shifted and morphed from Central Texas; top tier BBQ is available in every major city and most towns. With the popularity, the supply and demand economics of the growing world of BBQ have altered the price of a BBQ meal from a modest blue collar staple to a luxury - but is this a bad thing?

BBQ has also embraced more cultural influences of Texas, growing beyond the original German, Czech, and African-American backgrounds to encompass Mexican and Asian flavors.

Andrew and Bryan discuss these changes, reflect on the pricing shift, and talk about a few of the more recent openings and closings.

Ep, 135 - Bare Barbecue

Ep, 135 - Bare Barbecue

January 20, 2020

When Justin Earley and Steven Bailey began fine tuning their barbecue skills they did what many in the current generation of pitmasters did, they turned to books and videos. While knowledge requires both learning and practice, the wealth of information available today provides a great starting point.

Their chimichurri, made by Justin's mother, helped them land a spot in Texas Monthly's Best Texas BBQ Bites of 2019 and Daniel Vaughn wrote a positive review of their menu in January of 2020. Their customer base continues to grow and is starting to bring traffic from outside of the small town of Cleburne, a little over 30 minutes south of Fort Worth. 

We sampled a large part of the menu, and enjoyed it all. The Brisket and ribs were top tier. The chicken was moist with a nicely done skin, but was even better when dipped in some of their white sauce which had a hint of horseradish and citrus. As noted, the chimichurri was tasty and unique. It was thicker than standard and more like a cross between a salsa verde and chimichurri. The sausage was also a Bare Barbecue innovation with muenster cheese and a delight to eat. The pork steak was one of the reasons they were put on our visit list and we were rewarded with a great steak, normally cooked over direct heat on a Chudbox built by Bradley Robinson. Tortillas freshly made from Steven's stepmother wrapped up the meats nicely.

Bare Barbecue is open every other Saturday and we highly recommend a visit. Keep your eyes on this team as they continue to grow



Open Every Other Saturday 11am to sell out

904 W Chambers St. Cleburne, TX

Catch them online at

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/barebbq/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/barebbq

Instagram: www.instagram.com/barebarbecue


Ep. 134 - Q&A

Ep. 134 - Q&A

January 13, 2020

We answer listener submitted questions to kick off 2020

  • Our prediction of BBQ trends for the year
  • Tips on cooking pork steaks
  • BBQ Pit recommendations
  • And more!


Mentioned in this episode:

Butcher saw - Weston 47-1601 Butcher and Bone Saw with 16 Inch Stainless Steel Blade (47-1601), 16 Inch, Stainless Steel


Cut Resistant Gloves - Premium Cut Resistant Gloves - Food Grade - Level 5 Protection, High Performance Kitchen Work Safety Cutting Gloves for Food Prep, Oyster Shucking, Fish Fillet, Meat Cutting and Wood Carving, 1 Pair



Ep. 133 - 2019 year in review

Ep. 133 - 2019 year in review

December 30, 2019

2019 was another whirlwind adventure for your hosts and we had an amazing time interviewing, eating, and cooking BBQ. In this episode we recap our year including some of our favorite bites and even our worst ones too. We hope 2020 will be as fun, rewarding, and challenging as 2019 was.

Some of the events we had the pleasure to attend:

  • Charleston Wine+Food
  • Sausage Wars
  • Red Dirt BBQ and Music Festival
  • Windy City Smokeout
  • Smoked Dallas
  • The Butcher's Ball
  • Houston Vs Austin HOU BBQ Throwdown

We describe our best and worst bites of the year, including an explicit description of a very bad visit

and an announcement of another big cross country road trip we are planning for 2020

Ep. 132 - JNL Barbecue - Ben and Sarah Lambert

Ep. 132 - JNL Barbecue - Ben and Sarah Lambert

December 16, 2019

Ben Lambert started cooking meat over fire at an early age, hunting and cooking animals with his dad. After a varied career that included everything from working as a tattoo artist to a slaughterhouse job to being a meat cutter at an old school joint, Ben eventually made his way to Austin where he’d meet his wife Sarah. 

It was in Austin that his professional cooking career began to take shape. Ben worked at a well regarded place for its time, Blue Ox BBQ, and when a job opened up at Franklin Barbecue, he made the leap over there. For the next five years Ben honed his craft in the Franklin pit room with dreams of eventually opening his own place.

In mid-2019 the time had finally come for the Lamberts to  launch their own business, JNL Barbecue. JNL is now serving at Buzz Mill in East Austin in their new service trailer with the meats smoked on a thousand gallon Mill Scale pit. Open weekends for now, Ben and Sarah are expanding their menu and hours as they get their operations streamlined. Armed with an undeniable dedication to the craft and a wealth of cooking knowledge, expect big things from JNL Barbecue.


Catch JNL Barbecue on Instagram:



And Facebook:



Ep. 131 - Shane Stiles and Lance Kirkpatrick of Stiles Switch

Ep. 131 - Shane Stiles and Lance Kirkpatrick of Stiles Switch

December 9, 2019

Shane Stiles' dream to open a quality barbecue restaurant came to fruition in 2011 when the craft barbecue scene was just emerging. Franklin Barbecue's brick and mortar had recently opened and the sides at the vast majority of BBQ restaurants were an afterthought.

Shane reached out to Lance Kirkpatrick, a veteran pitmaster whose recent foray into fine dining had faltered, and the stage was set for Stiles Switch BBQ and Brew.

Two years after open Stiles Switch landed a spot in the TMBBQ top 50, but they would continue to innovate. Stile's wife, Catherine, launched a successful Bloody Mary mix that infused their barbecue sauce. They launched the 12 days of smoked meat; a daily special each of 12 days in December. A second restaurant concept called The Switch held its grand opening in 2018, stretching the boundaries of a barbecue restaurant while still being rooted in the classic Texas proteins.

Over the years Shane and Lance have built an all star team of pitmasters and continue to refine their processes. Chris McGhee had a custom sausage smoker built for The Switch's Dripping Springs location, which also featured four Moberg 1,000 gallon pits in their pitroom.

Keep up with Stiles Switch at www.stilesswitchbbq.com

Open Tue-Thur 11am-9PM
Fri-Sat 11am-10pm
Sun 11am-9pm

Twitter: https://twitter.com/StilesSwitchBBQ
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stilesswitchbbq/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StilesSwitchBBQ/

and The Switch in Dripping Springs at https://www.theswitchdripping.com/

Open Tue-Thur 11am-8:30pm
Fri-Sat 11am-9:30pm
Sun 10:30am-8:30pm Sunday Brunch 10:30am-3pm

Twitter: https://twitter.com/theswitchbbq
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theswitchdripping/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheSwitchDripping/

Don't forget to check out BBQ Wife at http://www.barbecuewife.com/

Ep. 130 - Bryan Bingham

Ep. 130 - Bryan Bingham

November 25, 2019

Bryan Bingham turned his passion for barbecue into a job at a historic and highly touted restaurant in Longview, Texas. Bryan began working at Bodacious Bar-B-Q on Mobberly Avenue in the summer of 2017 and by fall of 2019 he was running the entire restaurant with a very small staff.

Bryan and Bodacious on Mobberly blend traditional barbecue with inventive, modern specials as well as anyone in the state, and it's easy to see why people travel far and wide to visit them. Bodacious has a long legacy started 50 years ago by late BBQ legend Roland Lindsey, and their tradition continues today thanks to people like Bryan Bingham.
Open Tuesday - Saturday 11am - Sell Out
Ep. 129 - The Continuing Evolution of BBQ

Ep. 129 - The Continuing Evolution of BBQ

November 11, 2019

The legacy of BBQ is anchored in tradition and multi-generational families, passing methods down from a time when smoking meats with wood was a necessity rather than a luxury. 

However in the last 10 years more has changed than likely at any time in history.

It started with higher quality meat sourcing, not just in the grade of meat but including hormone free meat, small farms, and select breeds. In the east and south, some BBQ pit masters are raising their own heritage breed hogs. BBQ restaurant owners are paying more attention to humanely raised and harvested animals.

Sides were elevated, hand crafted desserts added, and even boutique coffee all to bring a richer experience to the BBQ world.

Listen in as we discuss the changes and argue over the nuances within "craft BBQ"


- logo created by DesignEvo free logo designer www.designevo.com/logo-maker


Ep. 128 - Texas Pickle Company

Ep. 128 - Texas Pickle Company

November 4, 2019

Pickles and barbecue have become a strong tradition. Pickling was invented for the same reason meats were salted and smoked; preservation. The acidic pickle also helps digestion of fatty meats.

Most barbecue joints will offer free pickles along with bread and onions as standard condiments but these are off the shelf products, made with artificial dyes and other suspect ingredients. Even though free condiments can cost a BBQ joint thousands of dollars, more and more are moving to a gourmet or in-house made pickle. As craft BBQ elevated the sourcing, quality, and cooking methods of the meats the next area of improvement were the sides and even the free condiments. Some of the best BBQ these days comes complete from end-to-end with high quality sides, in-house or sourced pickles, and even fresh baked bread.

Tom and Jessica Weldin moved to Texas in 2013 and began their journey into pickle making, launching the Texas Pickle Company. Starting simple and small, business has grown as their pickles have continued to sell well and are now available at many Central Market and Total Wine locations as well as select BBQ restaurants.

Catch them online at:





Ep. 127 - Tejas Burger Joint

Ep. 127 - Tejas Burger Joint

October 29, 2019

Tejas Burger Joint

A side project on a slow day was the genesis for what would become a standalone business. The second step was a glance at a store window while sitting at a stop light. 

Listen in as Scott Moore discusses their signature burgers, launching a new business, and the details of what it takes to make a dream into a reality.

This is the Wendy's Training Video, the music starts at 4:00

Tejas Burger Joint

Address: 214 W Main St, Tomball, TX 77375

Monday       Closed
Tuesday      11AM–8PM
Wednesday 11AM–8PM
Thursday    11AM–8PM
Friday        11AM–9PM
Saturday    11AM–9PM
Sunday      11AM–3PM

This is the Wendy's Training Video, the music starts at 4:00