Thousands Enjoyed Smoked Meat From the Tame to the Exotic at the 4th Annual Houston Barbecue Festival

An aerial view of the 4th Annual Houston Barbecue Festival
An aerial view of the 4th Annual Houston Barbecue Festival
Photo by Phaedra Cook

More than 2,000 attendees enjoyed everything from brisket to whole smoked alligator at the Fourth Annual Houston Barbecue Festival on Sunday.

It takes dozens of volunteers and many hours of preparation to put on the festival. Twenty-seven barbecue vendors participated this year. Some crews arrive at the Green Lot of NRG Park the night before to stoke the pits, enjoying some quiet moments of camaraderie the night before. Even those who don’t, often go without a night of sleep to prepare the smoky meats attendees crave. Trent Brooks of Brooks Place Barbecue said he’d been awake since 1 a.m. the night before but was in good spirits nonetheless.

Volunteers at the Houston Barbecue Festival welcomed guests as they arrived
Volunteers at the Houston Barbecue Festival welcomed guests as they arrived
Photo by Phaedra Cook

That seems to be the case for all the pitmasters: tired but happy to be there. Wayne Mueller of Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor had one of the longest drives to the festival. He made his food at the restaurant, then transported it in special cabinets to retain heat and keep everything fresh.

It was Grant Pinkerton of the Pinkerton’s Barbecue who awed the crowd with his whole smoked alligator. Attendees proved not shy, as the meat from the scaly, swamp-loving creature disappeared quickly.

Chances are this guy wouldn't hesitate to eat us, so it's best to eat him first. Pinkerton's Barbecue prepared the gator.
Chances are this guy wouldn't hesitate to eat us, so it's best to eat him first. Pinkerton's Barbecue prepared the gator.
Photo by Phaedra Cook

Although winds kicked up dangerously high the night before as rain passed through the Houston area, the day of the festival turned out blessedly temperate. Morning clouds kept things nice and cool the first few hours before giving way to a day of sunshine.

Use Current Location

Related Location

miles
NRG Park

1 Reliant Parkway
Houston, TX 77054

832-667-1727


Sponsor Content

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >