Tales from the pits, a Texas BBQ podcast featuring trendsetters, leaders, and icons from the barbecue industry
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"


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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



Ep. 126 - Butter’s BBQ

Ep. 126 - Butter’s BBQ

October 21, 2019

Andrew Soto quietly launched his BBQ joint two years ago but the secret is out - he and family are cranking out great BBQ in the small town of Mathis, Texas.

If an article by Daniel Vaughn and making the Texas Monthly Top 25 new BBQ joints wasn't enough to put him on our must-visit list, our buddy Abe Delgado of the I Crush BBQ Show told us to quit procrastinating and make the trip.

After a recent visit we sat down with Andrew to discuss his journey to the top 25, his struggles along the way, and his family that is involved in the operations.


Address: 104 TX-359, Mathis, TX 78368
Sunday 9:30-6 or sell out
Monday-Thursday 11-6 or sell out

Ep. 125 - The Growing South Texas BBQ Scene

Ep. 125 - The Growing South Texas BBQ Scene

October 14, 2019

We take a long overdue road trip to the southern tip of Texas, where barbacoa is king but Central Texas BBQ has continued to take a foothold.

We hit up Butter's, Teddy's, and 1848 BBQ. We even got to take a firsthand gander at the SpaceX Starship prototype. While we did not get to revisit Smoking Oak or stop by Smokin' Moon, we did get to revisit Vera's Backyard Bar-B-Que which still cooks whole cow heads in an literal pit in the ground and is one of our must-experience stops for those who want to sample all kinds of Texas barbecue.

We also get into some good conversation about the candidates for the 2021 Top 50 where there will be an abundance of top quality joints to choose from.


Ep. 124 - Teddy’s Barbecue

Ep. 124 - Teddy’s Barbecue

October 7, 2019

Joel And Jesse Garcia grew in a barbecue cooking family, and Joel gravitated towards the world of craft barbecue as an adult working in Austin. Joel worked for several acclaimed BBQ joints in Austin while Jesse went to culinary school and began working in fine dining.

When Joel and his wife decided to move back to the Rio Grande Valley area so that their son could grow up closer to family, the reality of Joel and Jesse opening their own place started to become more of a reality. After helping lead another restaurant in the valley to major accolades, the Garcias were ready to open their own place.

Teddy’s Barbecue opened in September 2019 serving traditional central Texas barbecue with some personal touches like their housemade chile pequín sausage. They’re off to a strong start at Teddy’s and are a great addition to the growing South Texas barbecue scene.

Teddy's Barbecue

2807 N Texas Blvd
Weslaco, Texas
(956) 532-6124

Thurs-Sunday 11am - sold out

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

Twitter https://twitter.com/teddysbarbecue

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/teddysbarbecue/


Ep, 123 - BBQ Openings and Closings

Ep, 123 - BBQ Openings and Closings

September 23, 2019

Some recent openings, closings, and moves have occurred in the Texas BBQ world and we catch you up with a number of them. Also tune in for an announcement from Jim Lero of Lillian's BBQ.

We had a great time with the crew from Zavala's BBQ at the Smoked Dallas fest and would like to thank them again for allowing us to lend a hand.

We would like to recognize Tin Roof BBQ for bringing their dual Oyler rig out to Beaumont to help the Giving Bak Foundation, helping to feed first responders and people affected by flooding from tropical storm Imelda.

Hit us up on your favorite social media outlet and make sure to support great BBQ joints, pit builders, and photographers.

Ep. 122 - Backline Smokers

Ep. 122 - Backline Smokers

September 16, 2019

Ryan Newland's path to pit building started with fabrication. Building unique set designs for Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and Pink his innovative work set the stage for custom one-off pits that he would build after moving to Texas.

Probably currently most well known for the hog cookers at Banger's in Austin, he collaborated with Sunny Moberg to build a wild motorized pit for Smoke Draw BBQ that you have to see and his pits are beginning to show up at many well known barbecue joints. From the Santa Maria style live fire grill for Treaty Oak to dual 500's and more, if you can dream it Backline Smokers can build it.


Phone:  (818) 481-4157

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/backlinefab/