Tales from the pits, a Texas BBQ podcast featuring trendsetters, leaders, and icons from the barbecue industry
Ep. 180 Pitts And Spitts

Ep. 180 Pitts And Spitts

July 1, 2022

In 2015 Ryan Zboril bought the well known Houston based pit builder, Pitts and Spitts, and saw an opportunity to grow the brand of this longtime trusted company. Working alongside his National Sales Director, Coy Christoffel, Ryan and the Pitts and Spitts team have stayed true to the core of the business while smartly expanding its product line to appeal to everyone from backyard novices to competition cookers and seasoned pros.

Listen to our interview with Ryan and Coy and check out Pitts and Spitts website to see a full range of their product line. Contact them to order your pit or grill and let them know you heard about it on Tales from the Pits!



Ep. 179 Our Whole Hog Education

Ep. 179 Our Whole Hog Education

June 20, 2022

As much as we love Texas barbecue, both the traditional and the modern styles, we’ve developed a strong affinity and appreciation for the different whole hog preparations in many of the southern states.

A curiosity born from a few Houston area pit masters that had done some whole hog specials over the years, in 2018 we embarked on an ambitious tour through Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia to sample and learn more about wood coal fired whole pig cookery. We returned to Texas with a new perspective on the barbecue served in those different regions.

Coincidentally it was not long after this trip that whole hog cooking began gaining traction within Texas and it is fortunately much more readily available these days in the lone star state. That said, nothing compares to experiencing the history of some of the long time establishments. We highly encourage anyone who has an appreciation for BBQ culture or who wants to perhaps cook whole hog to visit as many of these places as possible.

We’re excited to share that we’ve planned yet another trip through the south to revisit many of these places as well as try some spots we haven’t previously been to. Labor day weekend 2022 we are headed out for round two of #hogtripping and this time we’re carving out some time to experience Kentucky’s regional BBQ and visit some of our favorite bourbon distilleries!

Be sure to follow along on our social media and if you’re interested in being a sponsor for this upcoming trip’s episodes, reach out to us.


Ep. 178 Derrick Walker of Smoke-A-Holics

Ep. 178 Derrick Walker of Smoke-A-Holics

June 6, 2022

Having been involved in competition barbecue and running pop ups for decades, Derrick Walker is not new to the barbecue world. After years of working his way through the kitchen ranks at a hospital and getting a culinary degree, Derrick and his family launched their passion project, Smoke-A-Holics BBQ.

After operating a food truck for a year, the Walkers opened their brick and mortar in Fort Worth just a short distance from where Derrick grew up. The community took an immediate liking to the food and the accolades would soon follow, including making the Texas Monthly Top 50 BBQ List in 2021. With a menu that is a welcome combination of barbecue classics that also draws from Derrick’s childhood food memories and utilizes his culinary skills, Smoke-A-Holics BBQ has something on the menu to please all palates with their “Tex-Soul” barbecue.

Smoke-A-Holics BBQ
Tues: 11a-3p (Turkey Leg Tuesday)
Wed-Sat: 11a - sold out
Instagram: smokeaholicsbbq


Ep.177 Daniel Vaughn BBQ Snob

Ep.177 Daniel Vaughn BBQ Snob

May 23, 2022

Five years ago we launched Tales from the Pits to help tell the stories behind the people in barbecue. Daniel Vaughn’s writing and documenting of Texas barbecue has been one of our (and everyone else in the state’s) biggest resources in seeking out new places and visiting the classic joints.

We were excited to have Daniel join us on this episode to discuss all things barbecue past, present and future, lists, Texas Monthly, and more. A big thanks to Daniel for sitting down with us and to everyone who’s tuned in over all these years!

Thanks to Texas Monthly BBQ Club for sponsoring this episode. Get 50% off your first year subscription to the TMBBQ Club if you sign up during May for national BBQ month:  https://txmnth.ly/3FEvrJu


Ep. 176 Robert F Moss

Ep. 176 Robert F Moss

May 9, 2022

We were thrilled to have the chance to sit down with Robert F. Moss during our recent trip to South Carolina for the Charleston Wine + Food Festival. Robert is a wealth of culinary knowledge and the research he's done on barbecue history is second to none. Born and raised in South Carolina, Robert is an accomplished author who has had several books published on Barbecue, spirits, and other facets of culinary history. He's an absolute wealth of information and in this episode we discussed topics ranging from modern barbecue, historical barbecue, and Robert's daunting task of composing Southern Living's 50 Best Barbecue Places in the South list. 

Tune in to hear some great stories on barbecue history and be sure to pick up Robert's incredible books. Go to his website to sign up for his 'Cue Sheet newsletter.


Robert F. Moss

Twitter: mossr

Instagram: robertfmoss

Website: robertfmoss.com


Thank you to Charleston Wine + Food for helping to facilitate our recordings during this trip

Website: charlestonwineandfood.com


Audio support provided by Arvaughnna Audio

Website: arvaughnnaaudio.com

Ep. 175 Old School BBQ Road Trip Roundtable

Ep. 175 Old School BBQ Road Trip Roundtable

April 25, 2022

We joined up with some of our friends in barbecue for a BBQ road trip to some of our favorite old school barbecue joints. For some of us it was a revisit to these classic places and for others it was their first visit. 

We ended the day in Lockhart where we recorded this episode reflecting on our favorite bites and memorable experiences. We all agreed that while we love modern barbecue, it is great to stop in to the historic places to see where barbecue came from and get a taste of more simple flavors. Thanks to Joe and CJ from Zavala’s Barbecue, Jay Arnold from Barbecue, Bets and Beats, and Terry Osborn for joining us on the trip.


Stops along the route:

City Meat Market (Giddings)

Snow’s BBQ

Kolacny Bar-B-Q

Spoetzl Brewery

City Market (Gonzales)

City Market (Luling)

Kreuz Market

Smitty’s BBQ


Thank you to The Texas Monthly BBQ Club for sponsoring this episode. Sign up via the link in our show notes for a 25% off discount on your first year of membership and be on the lookout for new details coming from Texas Monthly on their BBQ festival which will be held in Lockhart this year! 

Sign up:  https://subscription.texasmonthly.com/pubs/TZ/TXP/TXP-bbqclub-discount.jsp?cds_page_id=265055&cds_mag_code=TXP&id=1650774107345&lsid=21132321473027775&vid=1

Ep. 174 Palmira BBQ

Ep. 174 Palmira BBQ

April 11, 2022

Hector Garate has combined the inspiration of his heritage, his upbringing, and modern techniques to create a menu at Palmira BBQ in Charleston that produces high quality items from top to bottom. Serving high quality meats and flavorful, carefully crafted sides, Palmira has burst onto the barbecue scene and quickly become one to watch.

In addition to being open seven days a week, Hector and his partner chef Graham Calabria have also launched Cienfuegos, a pit building business inspired by the direct heat cookers Hector built to cook the heritage breed hogs he serves at Palmira.

Check out Hector’s story and be sure to add a stop at Palmira BBQ to your next Charleston trip.

Palmira BBQ
Instagram: PalmiraBBQ
Located inside Port of Call Food Hall
99 S Market St
Charleston, SC

Special thanks to Charleston Wine + Food, Hed Hi Media, and Arvaughnna Audio for helping to put this episode together.

Charleston Wine + Food
Instagram: chswineandfood

Arvaughnna Audio
Instagram: Arvaughnnaaudio

Hed Hi Media
Instagram: hed_hi_media


Ep. 173 Centex Smokers

Ep. 173 Centex Smokers

March 28, 2022

Michael Johnson of Centex Smokers had welding in his blood, growing up with a father who was a professional welder. Though Michael originally resisted the idea of making it into a career, he quickly fell back on his years of training to embark on a successful career in the pipeline welding industry. 

Growing up in Luling, barbecue was always a part of Michael’s life but it wasn’t until later that he’d start down the road of pit building. Through a few lucky breaks and word of mouth about the top notch quality of his work, Michael’s pit building business grew rapidly and he now makes pits for some of the best in the industry. Tune in to hear Michael’s story and contact him via Facebook and Instagram to start your custom pit build!

Centex Smokers
Facebook: CenTexSmokers
Instagram: centex_smokers 
Sign up via our link to get 25% off the Texas Monthly BBQ Club! https://txmnth.ly/36qfadF
Ep. 172 Charleston Wine + Food 2022

Ep. 172 Charleston Wine + Food 2022

March 14, 2022

The Charleston Wine + Food festival is an amazing showcase of so many talented chefs and spirits professionals from not just South Carolina but all around the country. We were thrilled to be invited back to cover the event and made the most of our five days in the Lowcountry. 

Tune in to hear about the whole hog road trips we made in between going to festival events, including one of the best bites of whole hog we’ve ever had. We had an awesome time attending the CHSWF events, supporting local Charleston restaurants, and eating old school South Carolina BBQ.

Start planning for your CHSWF experience in 2023! Festival dates for next year are March 1-5!


Ep.171 Cole Parkman

Ep.171 Cole Parkman

February 28, 2022
Cole Parkman developed a passion for barbecue at a young age and after trying the conventional college route, ended up chasing his smoked meat dreams.
After being hired at Truth BBQ’s Houston location when it opened at 2019, Cole did everything from bussing tables to cutting meat and working pit shifts all the while learning from Leonard Botello, Corey Taylor, Reid Carson and the Truth crew. After building a solid foundation in barbecue Cole was ready for a change of scenery and set his sights on Austin. 
LeRoy & Lewis BBQ was where he had hoped to work when deciding to move to Austin and he jumped at the opportunity when it arose. Nearly two years later Cole is one of the key members of LeRoy & Lewis where he’s able to learn everything about running a business and expanding his knowledge as a cook and service professional from Sawyer Lewis, Evan LeRoy and their team. Cole and his girlfriend Kasey are working towards their ultimate goal of opening their own place but in the meantime you can catch this dedicated, talented barbecue pro on Pickle Road cooking and serving up some of the best food in Texas.
Cole Parkman 
Instagram: cole_parkman23
LeRoy & Lewis BBQ
Open Weds-Sun 11a - 9p
121 Pickle Rd. 
Austin, Texas
Instagram: leroyandlewis 
SIGN UP FOR THE TEXAS MONTHLY BBQ CLUB via our link: https://txmnth.ly/3HU72jJ
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