There is always a sea of never-ending brisket, pulled pork, and sausage at the Texas Monthly Barbecue Festival, and this year's sixth fete wasn’t an exception. 24 pitmasters from across the Lone Star State brought along their smokers to Austin to cook barbecue for the massive crowd. If you missed out on the meaty fun, read on, pretend you were there, and relive those meat comas.
— Meat sweets were a trend, from newcomer to the fest Freedmen’s and its brisket cookie baked with a candied burnt end and Miller’s Smokehouse’s not-so-basic pumpkin spice sausage with powdered sugar.
— Seen on the scene: Texas governor Greg Abbott (he didn’t seem to miss barbecue sauce), musician Robert Earl Keen, and Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush.
— The line for Franklin Barbecue was, of course, very long, but not as long as a busy day at the East 11th Street spot. When Aaron Franklin wasn’t serving, he was out in front of the table, talking and taking photos with people.
— John Lewis came back from Charleston to join his La Barbecue family and fellow pitmasters Francisco Saucedo, and Esaul Ramos during the festival. He served a spicy and sweet green chile barbecue sauce alongside brisket, pulled pork, and sausage.
— Most of the time, utensils weren’t provided. Several people carried around their own trays so it was easier to collect barbecue.
— Eater witnessed a woman dropping pieces of brisket into an oversized ziplock bag that was dripping with juices. Once the bag was full of mingling brisket pieces, she then placed that bag into a paper bag for leftovers.