The Story Of Franklin Bbq

In the world of barbecue, there are a few names that rise above the rest. One of those names, without a doubt, is Franklin Barbecue. Nestled in the heart of downtown Austin, Texas, Franklin BBQ is a culinary landmark that doesn’t just serve food, but a smoking-hot testament to the enduring appeal of classic American barbecue.

The Genesis of Franklin BBQ

Opened by Aaron Franklin in 2009, Franklin BBQ started as a small trailer on a corner lot. After a few false starts and some humble beginnings, Franklin developed a dedicated following who were eager to taste the phenomenal meat that was rumored to be worth the long wait lines. The rumors were soon proven true, and the buzz about Franklin Barbecue spread like the Texas wildfire.Franklin’s passion for barbecue is seemingly in his blood. His father, a barbecue fanatic, ran a restaurant in Texas named Ben’s Bar-Be-Cue; a young Aaron Franklin could often be found immersing himself in the smoky and savory world of this culinary tradition. Eventually, this childhood fascination for everything BBQ matured into a profession that now positions him as one of the most respected figures in the field.

The Franklin BBQ Experience

While most restaurants pride themselves on their dinner service, Franklin BBQ is a lunch-only operation. The restaurant opens at 11 a.m., but if you don’t arrive early, you’ll find yourself at the end of a considerable queue. Despite the typical Texas heat, barbecue fanatics start lining up as early as 5 a.m. to get a ticket and secure their spot for lunch. Once inside, the ambiance is relaxed and casual; it’s not about flairs, but about the food freaks who appreciate the simple yet infinitely complex art of smoking meat. There’s a sense of communal bonding here, with strangers sharing tables and connecting over their shared love for meat prepared in the most down-to-earth manner.

The Star : The Texas-Style Barbecue

The main star at Franklin BBQ is, of course, the barbecue. The meat’s quality is unparalleled, each piece is treated with a unique blend of culinary techniques and flavor profiles. The beef brisket, a Central Texas favorite, is Franklin’s best-seller and is cooked to perfection.All meats are smoked using oak wood; the brisket, for example, is smoked for a whopping 12-18 hours until it obtains that trademark tenderness and deeply smoky flavor. But here’s where the weber comes into play. Unlike many other establishments who use electric smokers, Franklin BBQ makes use of a Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker – a traditional charcoal smoker. This imparts a uniquely robust and authentic flavor to the meat that sets it apart.

A Testament to its Greatness

To ascertain the heights that Franklin BBQ has reached, one needs to skim across the many accolades it has garnered over the years. The establishment frequently finds mention in ‘Best BBQ’ lists and has been awarded the “Best Barbecue in Texas” by Texas Monthly and “Best BBQ in America” by Bon AppĂ©tit magazine. Aaron Franklin himself is a hugely respected figure in the culinary world, with many touting him as the “barbecue king”. In 2015, he even won the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Southwest, a first for a pitmaster.


Franklin BBQ stands tall as an embodiment of the taste of Texas and an unyielding testament to the painstaking art of smoking meat. It is more than just a restaurant – it is an experience, a culture, and a love letter to barbecue. Suffice to say, a visit to Franklin BBQ is nothing short of a pilgrimage for any fervent BBQ enthusiast.

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