Texas Monthly Announces Final Pitmaster Lineup for 13th Annual BBQ Fest

Smoky Joe's will be at Texas Monthly's BBQ Fest.
Smoky Joe's will be at Texas Monthly's BBQ Fest. Alison McLean
Texas Monthly will host its 13th annual BBQ Fest in Lockhart on Nov. 5 and 6. Most of the spots from their Top 50 Texas BBQ Joints list will be at the small-town smoke fest.

Lockhart is a meaningful location as it's the official the Barbecue Capital of Texas per a resolution passed by the Texas Senate in 2003. This town of 14,000 (on a busy Saturday) is nestled in Central Texas, about 35 miles south of Austin, in an area where German settlers have for generations stuck to slow and low smoking methods in unfussy settings. According to a city website, 5,000 people visit Lockhart each week just for the barbecue restaurants. In the past decade, the style of barbecue championed here has attained a rock star status similar to neon and spandex in the '80s.

The TM BBQ Fest will showcase 44 of Texas Monthly's very own Top 50 Texas BBQ Joints list, including the reigning champ from North Texas, Goldee's Barbecue. Other North Texas attendees include Cattleack, Slow Bone, Smokey's Joe's BBQ, Dayne's Craft Barbecue, Hurtado, Hutchins, Panther City and Zavala's.

As for Lockhart locals, three iconic joints will be there including The Original Black's Barbecue, Chisholm Trail BBQ and Smitty's Market.

The two-day event includes a BBQ World's Fair in downtown Lockhart from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5. Along with barbecue, of course, there will be live music, cooking demonstrations, a marketplace and plenty to drink. This event is free and open to the public.

Then, Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. is the annual Top 50 Picnic in Lockhart City Park. Tickets are $108 right now (price goes up over time) and include food from 30 barbecue joints all on the top 50 list.

If you're interested in volunteering, you can do that. What better place to be a good person? Sign up by Oct. 15.

So, bring you walking shoes and pants with the loose elastic and grab a room in one of the adorable Central Texas towns to really soak up the weekend. We hear Smithville is nice.  
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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.

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