8 BBQ Pitmasters You Should Be Following
The past decade has seen a barbecue revolution unparalleled by anything except the backyard grilling boom that immediately followed WWII — and today we find ourselves in a sauce-drenched golden age of smoked meats. There's no shortage of BBQ joints popping up across the country, but there's a select handful that deserve special attention. And since you can't eat barbecue every day (That's what our doctors insist anyway) we've done the next best thing and scoured the states looking for the most succulent Instagram feeds to follow.
Widely considered to be one of the greatest chefs of Argentine cuisine in the world, Francis Mallman is a master of Patagonian barbecue. He began his career serving tourists on a boat, and went on to open his first restaurant at just twenty years old (Ed. note: Yup, right around the time most of us were still burning Ramen in our dorm room). In 1983, while working as a schoolteacher by day, he decided to open a new restaurant in Palermo, Italy. More than thirty years later, Mallman now runs several restaurants in Argentina and just opened his first in the United States – Los Fuegos in Miami, Florida. Since we're not all lucky enough to try meat prepared by Mallman, you can get your fix by checking out his episode of Chef's Table on Netflix, and drooling over his recipes on your phone.
Sean Brock is a Virginia-boy through and through. While some pitmasters insist on keeping things plain and simple, Brock is perhaps best known for his Doomsday-esque stockpile of ingredients and spices stashed in his pantry. All of these tastes and flavors combine to create some of the most succulent barbecue around. Brock is currently the executive chef at Husk (which has quickly become a staple of South Carolina) and is a part owner of McCrady's.
The former co-owner of Noma (a Michelin-star restaurant in the Christianshavn neighborhood of Copenhagen which was once called "the best restaurant in the world") Redzepi has become famous for the meat miracles he is able to create in the kitchen. If you're looking to fill your feed with slabs of beef that would make even the most hardened vegetarian weak in the knees, Redzepi is your man.
The author of "A Meat Smoking Manifesto" Aaron Franklin is a legend in the barbecue circuit. His Austin-based restaurant Franklin Barbecue started as a small roadside trailer he opened with his wife Stacy, and has since grown to become one of the most critically-acclaimed barbecue spots in the country, and has been awarded Texas Monthly's highly coveted "Best Barbecue Joint in Texas" ranking.
We would be remiss to talk the country's best barbecue and not mention John Lewis. The resident pitmaster at Lewis Barbecue in Charleston, Lewis welded custom-built smokers because nothing he could find was able to meet his exacting specifications. Give him a follow and start lusting over all the generously cut-to-order meals he's serving up in the Palmetto state.
LeAnn is the grandchild of legendary pitmaster Louie Mueller, and the owner of La Barbecue. When she's not running one of Texas's most successful barbecue joints, La Barbecue's leader spends the rest of her time behind the lens, working as a professional photographer (Bonus: you can follow her less barbecue-specific account right here.)
Not your typical pitmaster — Larry McGuire is the genius behind, as he describes it "Fancy, slow-smoked barbecue." In just six years, McGuire has opened six restaurants and is showing no signs of slowing down. Follow along for a glimpse into the ever expanding empire of McGuire Moorman Hospitality.
Robert Austin Cho
Robert Austin Cho is dominating the BBQ scene in New Jersey. The pitmaster at Kimchi Smoke, Cho serves up dishes that pack an unexpected kick and flip traditional barbecue recipes on their head (a recent one involved brisket, a glazed donut, and red, white, and blue sprinkles) Always innovating, there's never a dull moment with chef Cho.
Did we commit barbecue blasphemy? Is there anyone we've left out? Let us know in the comments below.