Why Texas BBQ Joints Are Decorated With Bumper Stickers

The next time you go to your neighborhood barbecue, look for a wall of stickers with logos from other barbecues in Texas and around the world.

At places like Brett’s BBQ Shop in Katy, the stickers are stuck at the order counter. At the CorkScrew BBQ in the spring, they cover an entire wall of cabinets in the pit room. And the new Roegels barbecue in Katy has built a dedicated mural to accommodate stickers and logos from other barbecues.

Why display the logos of other barbecue joints that could be potential competition?

It’s a reflection of the tight-knit barbecue community in Texas. Sure, there are beefs and rivalries, but when it comes to supporting and supporting each other, pitmasters are uniquely supportive compared to other industries and types of restaurants.

Pitmasters make it a point to frequent other barbecues, and they put their logo decals on the wall to show they’ve been there. In many cases, merchandise such as T-shirts and caps will be exchanged. It is not uncommon for a pitmaster to wear a cap from another barbecue, even when it is open for service.

Another Texas pitmaster tradition is to invite or host other pitmasters to come and cook at their barbecue pits. This takes the form of either a training scheme or a ‘kitchen support’ event.

Texas is undoubtedly the center of the barbecue universe, and aspiring pitmasters come from as far away as Kazakhstan and Paris to learn the art and science of Texas barbecue.

Recently, Feges BBQ in Spring Branch hosted pitmaster Aki Kinnunen who owns a Texas-style barbecue in Finland called Miller’s BBQ. Kinnunen escaped the cold winter in his home country to train and work at Feges BBQ as well as LeRoy & Lewis Barbecue in Austin.

Feges even hosted a “guest chef takeover” in which Kinnunen presented a menu that combined Texas barbecue with the culinary traditions of Finland.

Collaborations also support the community. For example, a Katy area barbecue contingent recently teamed up to support the Katy ISD Livestock Show.

“Russell [Roegels] and I was sitting at the bar in his new house and some kids came over to sell an animal,” says Jacqueline Herrera, general manager of Brett’s BBQ Shop, referring to Roegels’ new location in Katy. The students were preparing to auction off their animals at their livestock show.

Although Roegels and Herrera did not have enough money individually to purchase an animal – prices often run into the thousands of dollars – they decided to approach other businesses and pitmasters in the Katy area to collaborate on a purchase. Among others, Jim Buchanan of Dozier’s BBQ, Waseem Hilal of Chuckwagon BBQ & Burgers and Rick Muniz of Los Muertos BBQ joined to bid on an animal at the auction.

They ended up buying the reserve champion’s market lamb from a student at the local Morton Ranch High School.

Buchanan at Dozier processed the lamb, but due to their busy schedules, the team didn’t have time to cook and serve it. For now, they’re planning a party in the near future where they can get together, swap barbecue business stories (and stickers), and enjoy the company of other world-class pitmasters.

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