If you want to know what’s next in barbecue, there are few people who would be better to talk to than Aaron Franklin and Daniel Vaughn. Franklin is the smoke obsessive who runs one of the country’s most renowned BBQ restaurants, Franklin Barbecue in Austin. Vaughn is a crack blogger turned ‘cue critic for Texas Monthly (in other words, he has the best job in the world).
In a short sit-down for Austin’s local PBS member station, to two discuss the question, “What’s the future of barbecue?”
Both agree that a back-to-basics philosophy is gaining currency. “I think the trend is really to go back to old ways of doing things,” says Vaughn. “It’s going back to steel cookers and piles of wood.”
Following a wave of amateurs trying to get into the game without proper training or equipment, Franklin hopes that more people will begin to appreciate the craftmanship of great BBQ.
In terms of menu items, beef short ribs are popular now, but Franklin says that they don’t make sense financially for restaurants. Meanwhile, pulled pork is taking hold across the country, even at places where it wasn’t traditionally sold.