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Texas Monthly Says John Mueller's Latest Barbecue Effort Is a Return to Form

That familiar classic, peppery brisket

Black Box Barbecue’s barbecue
Black Box Barbecue’s barbecue
Black Box Barbecue/Facebook
Erin Russell is associate editor of Eater Austin, a native Austinite, and a big fan of carbs.

Texas Monthly barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn visited John Mueller’s trailer Black Box Barbecue in Georgetown, and had nothing but praise for the infamous pitmaster’s new efforts. Mueller has struggled with business ventures in the past (where the barbecue suffered as a result), so Vaughn notes that the trailer owners are Justin Bohls and Gary Brown. The two plan on eventually turning the lot into a brick and mortar. Mueller has been relegated to the status of “celebrity pitmaster,” allowing him to focus on what he does best: cooking with what Vaughn describes as “a fire big enough to abuse briskets into submission.”

Black Box Barbecue has a variety of meat on its menu, and Vaughn exalted all of it, from the simple salt-and-pepper smoked turkey to the brisket:

The black pepper in the bark bit back, and the outer edges of fat had turned pleasantly crunchy. Every bite, with a bit of fat and bark in each, became a reminder of John Mueller’s good days in Austin.

He enjoyed the sides, calling out the cheesy squash and the potato salad, which was made “unforgettable” with a touch of sauce. Given Mueller’s ups and downs, Vaughn did not necessarily rely on an optimistic future of Black Box Barbecue, but was appreciative of its current state:

We’re in the age of “craft” barbecue [...] Mueller doesn’t attempt to compete with that, and it’s not out of some nostalgia play. It’s all homemade, but he keeps it simple.

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Black Box Barbecue

East Ninth Street and South Church Street, Georgetown, Texas 78626