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Watch: Smoking 24 Hours Worth of Meat at Franklin Barbecue

Bon Appetit editor tries his barbecue hand

Nadia Chaudhury is the editor of Eater Austin covering food and pop culture, as well as a photographer, writer, and frequent panel moderator and podcast guest.

It takes a lot of work to run Franklin Barbecue, constantly churning out perfectly moist brisket and tender ribs to eagerly waiting fans and customers, all with a pleasant vibe.

To get the full Franklin Barbecue experience, Bon Appetit deputy editor Andrew Knowlton spent 6 a.m. to 6 a.m. working the restaurant as part of the publication’s 24 hour restaurant video series. Pitmaster Aaron Franklin shared that his longest working day ran between 75 to 76 hours straight. For the first half of the day, he predicted they would deliver 800 portions of meat to about 400 people.

Among Knowlton’s many tasks of the day included: helping run through the process of smoking brisket, wrapping pork ribs, making sauce, running down the lengthy customer line taking orders, swept brisket fat off the floor, and more. He attempted to properly slice brisket under Franklin’s watchful eye (it was okay).

At the end, the editor was exhausted. While there were some mishaps (spilled brisket juice, pork butts grilled on the wrong side), Franklin said Knowlton was a hard worker and he’d probably hire him as a staffer.

Earlier this fall, Bon Appetit hosted a podcast with Franklin, where he explained why Franklin Barbecue will never expand and more.