Smoke, Salt, and Pepper

Dear John Mueller

I hear this all the time: “Hey man, we’re having some people over for a BBQ. We’ll have burgers and hot dogs but feel free to bring whatever else you want to toss on the grill.”


That is not BBQ. You are not having a BBQ. Sure, you are cooking meat outdoors. But where I come from, BBQ is something that takes hours to smoke. BBQ is the art of turning a tough, often less desirable section of a cow or pig into something magical. And none do it better than you sir.

To go further with this artist analogy, lets compare you with Vincent Van Gogh. Your brisket would be “Sunflowers”: A straightforward, standard still-life that is totally your own take on a classic.


Your pulled pork would be “Wheat Fields”: heavy on texture but light on subject matter and not without an ominous feel.

Pulled Pork

As most artists, you are remembered for your masterpiece. The beef rib is Starry Night; a celestial abstract conception of time and place. A deeply expressive work that embodies your essence as a pure Pit Master.

Beef Rib

As is often the case,  the artist is not without their struggles. I’ve read about your love/hate relationship with BBQ. I was so bummed when your place on South 1st closed down and feared we’d lost you for good that time. Luckily, circumstance will not stop the artist from creating. They find a way to pursue their craft, their passion.

I look forward to my next trip to John Mueller Meat Co. Until then, Pecan Lodge will suffice (maybe even rival…).

PS: EVERYONE says your name wrong. It’s pronounce “MEL-er” right?

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One thought on “Smoke, Salt, and Pepper

  1. John Mueller is the King of Tx BBQ.

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