Franklin Barbecue

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Franklin Barbecue
Franklin Barbecue Austin About to Open
Customers waiting in line outside Franklin Barbecue in 2019
Restaurant information
Established2009; 12 years ago (2009)
Owner(s)Aaron and Stacy Franklin
Food typeBarbecue
Dress codeCasual
Street address900 E 11th St.
Postal/ZIP Code78702
Coordinates30°16′12″N 97°43′53″W / 30.270079°N 97.731312°W / 30.270079; -97.731312Coordinates: 30°16′12″N 97°43′53″W / 30.270079°N 97.731312°W / 30.270079; -97.731312

Franklin Barbecue is a barbecue restaurant located in Austin, Texas, founded in 2009 by Aaron Franklin. The restaurant has attracted a national following.[1][2][3][4][5]


In 2009, Aaron Franklin launched the restaurant in a trailer.[6][7] The restaurant has sold out of brisket every day since its establishment.[8][9] Franklin Barbecue moved to a brick and mortar location in 2011. The building was painted in the same color scheme as the original trailer Franklin started in.[10] The restaurant appeared on Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations in September 2012.[11] In July 2014, President Barack Obama visited the restaurant and bought lunch for those in line behind him.[12] The restaurant is prominently featured in a scene from the 2014 Jon Favreau film Chef, with speaking cameos by owner Aaron Franklin and general manager Benji Jacob.[13]

Fire and reopening[edit]

In the early morning of August 26, 2017, a fire broke out in the smoke house section of the Austin eatery, heavily damaging portions of the outer building. The main restaurant area only suffered smoke damage.[14] The restaurant would close for three months before returning as a smaller operation in November 2017. By March of 2018, the smokehouse had been redesigned and rebuilt.[15]


Franklin Barbecue has been credited with leading the new-traditionalist barbecue movement.[16] Their menu consists of pulled pork, pork ribs, sausages, turkey and brisket. For his Texas style brisket, Franklin uses post oak wood and Meyer Angus beef which is seasoned with salt and pepper.[17]

In 2019, Franklin opened a taco truck at the same location. Their tacos are customizable with their meats along with several non-meat options.[18]

Awards and honors[edit]

In Bon Appetit's July 2011 issue, editor Andrew Knowlton called Franklin Barbecue "the best BBQ in the country."[19][20] In May 2015, Franklin Barbecue owner Aaron Franklin was awarded a James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Southwest.[21] He is the first chef who specializes in barbecue to be nominated, or receive, the award.[22][23] In 2013, Franklin Barbecue was ranked first in Texas Monthly's "The 50 Best BBQ Joints"[24] and was featured on the list again in 2017.[25]

Notable patrons[edit]

Franklin Barbecue has attracted a number of famous visitors that includes President Barack Obama,[26] David Chang,[27] Anthony Bourdain,[28] Gordon Ramsay[29] and Jimmy Kimmel.[30]

BBQ with Franklin[edit]

In 2013, Austin PBS station KLRU worked with Aaron Franklin to produce a web series, BBQ with Franklin, on barbecue.[31] This show appears on the Create TV network which is part of the PBS family.

Web Episodes[edit]

Aaron Franklin
Episode Date Title Length Description
1 June 5, 2013 The Brisket 09:19 Aaron discusses what to look for when choosing a brisket, how to trim it and his method of seasoning.
2 June 5, 2013 Ribs - Part 1 10:04 Aaron discusses pork spare ribs, how to trim and season them.
3 June 5, 2013 Ribs - Part 2 06:58 After seasoning the ribs, Aaron walks viewers through cooking them via an offset smoker.
4 July 31, 2013 The Smoker 06:12 Aaron walks viewers through modifying and season a common style offset smoker, available at everyday home improvement and sporting good stores.
5 July 31, 2013 The Payoff 13:00 Aaron discusses when and why to wrap a brisket, what to look for during the cooking process, and how to tell when the brisket is done. Finally, Aaron walks viewers through properly slicing and serving of brisket.
6 July 31, 2013 The Cook 07:05 Aaron talks about fire management, wood selection, and how to achieve optimum cooking temperatures during the lengthy cook.
7 Aug 14, 2013 The Wood 04:55 Aaron describes characteristics and wood strategies for your optimal smoke
8 Aug 29, 2013 Thanksgiving Part 1 07:59 Learn how to brine and smoke a turkey with Aaron Franklin.
9 Nov 21, 2013 Thanksgiving Part 2 11:33 Stacy Franklin shares recipes that go perfectly with a smoked turkey such as smoked garlic mashed potatoes and a grilled green bean shishito pepper side dish. Aaron explains how to tell when the turkey is getting done and what to do in the last hour of smoking.
10 Nov 21, 2013 Thanksgiving Part 3 5:00 Special - How to tell when your turkey is finished plus make a beautiful gravy with smoked butter
11 Nov 21, 2013 Pulled Pork 10:30 Aaron shares the secrets of TEXAS-style pulled pork - what to look for in the cut of meat, how to season and how to cook

TV Episodes[edit]


Episode Date Title Length Description
1 May 21, 2015 Brisket 26:40 Learn how the brisket became a popular centerpiece of Central Texas BBQ. Hear from legends of Texas BBQ and be guided through a step-by-step brisket cook experiment using three different methods.
2 May 28, 2015 Sausage 24:56 Sausage, often a BBQ afterthought, is now finding reason to take center plate. Aaron makes sausage from scratch and visits some folks who are pushing the boundaries of artisan sausage-making.
3 June 4, 2015 Whole Hog 24:56 Learn the steps that go into a whole hog cook from beginning to end. Aaron walks us through the process of building a cinder block pit, learns about pig breeds and throws a party in his backyard.
4 June 11, 2015 The Pits 24:15 Aaron takes a deep-dive into the realm of BBQ pits, as personal as they are functional. Explore different types of smokers from those at the roots of Texas BBQ to the kinds bought in stores. Aaron builds a smoker out of a 250-gallon propane tank.
5 June 18, 2015 Fire & Smoke 24:13 When you're cooking with fire, you'd better have good wood. Aaron covers the major types of wood used in Texas BBQ, gives some tips on building a fire, and shows a twist on using smoke for more than cooking meat.
6 June 25, 2015 Poultry & Sauce 24:56 Aaron takes us to a Texas BBQ joint where they cook their chicken in a unique way and then teaches us how to make sauce from scratch. Meanwhile, John Markus takes us on a whirlwind tour of the regional sauces of America.
7 July 2, 2015 Direct Heat & Mesquite 24:57 Aaron gets a lesson in cooking "cowboy style", in a way that combines traditional BBQ skills with the grill. Then go behind the scenes at a big city BBQ joint in Dallas and learn their unique take on Texas traditions.
8 July 9, 2015 Competition 24:18 Aaron travels to a BBQ cook-off competition in Kansas with his father-in-law, going way outside his comfort zone.
9 July 16, 2015 Pickin' Beef 24:21 Aaron tours Texas to research and then cook some beef ribs. After a butchering and anatomy class in College Station, Texas, he receives some tips from a legendary Central Texas BBQ family.
10 July 23, 2015 Leftovers 24:15 Aaron sends out a little leftover brisket to some chefs around Austin to see how they are inspired by brisket. We end with a taste test that turns into a party.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "What To Expect at Franklin Barbecue in Austin (Besides The Finest Barbecue in All The Land)". September 11, 2012. Retrieved February 11, 2015.
  2. ^ "A Day in the Life of Franklin Barbecue's Aaron Franklin, a BBQ genius". June 14, 2011. Retrieved February 11, 2015.
  3. ^ "BBQ With Franklin". Retrieved February 11, 2015.
  4. ^ "Franklin BBQ serves 'Crazy' good brisket". November 11, 2014. Retrieved February 11, 2015.
  5. ^ "Austin, the Best New Barbecue Destination". November 14, 2014. Retrieved February 11, 2015.
  6. ^ "The 50 Best BBQ Joints". Retrieved February 11, 2015.
  7. ^ "Barbecue's New Battle Breaks Out in Austin". June 18, 2011. Retrieved February 11, 2015.
  8. ^ "Franklin BBQ, By the Numbers". Retrieved February 11, 2015.
  9. ^ "The Best American Travel Destinations for Meat Lovers". Retrieved February 11, 2015.
  10. ^ Wells, Pete (2017-03-14). "A MacGyver of Slow-Cooked Meats at Franklin Barbecue". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-04-25.
  11. ^ "Austin's Franklin Barbecue". Retrieved February 11, 2015.
  12. ^ "Obama Cuts In Line At Franklin Barbecue, Makes Up For It By Paying It Forward". July 11, 2014. Retrieved February 11, 2015.
  13. ^ "Chef Filming at Franklin BBQ, Headed to Guero's Next". Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  14. ^ Odam, Matthew (26 August 2017). "Fire damages Franklin Barbecue smokehouse". Austin American Statesman. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  15. ^ Quinton, Luke (2018-05-02). "Inside Franklin Barbecue's Rise From the Ashes". Eater. Retrieved 2021-04-24.
  16. ^ Wells, Pete (2017-03-14). "A MacGyver of Slow-Cooked Meats at Franklin Barbecue". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-04-25.
  17. ^ Knowlton, Andrew. "A Day in the Life of Franklin Barbecue's Aaron Franklin, a BBQ genius". Bon Appétit. Retrieved 2021-04-25.
  18. ^ Chaudhury, Nadia (2019-12-05). "Franklin Barbecue's Breakfast Taco and Coffee Truck Is Kind Of Open". Eater Austin. Retrieved 2021-04-25.
  19. ^ Forbes, Paula (2011-06-15). "Bon Appetit Declares Franklin the Best Barbecue in America". Eater Austin. Retrieved 2021-04-24.
  20. ^ Knowlton, Andrew. "A Day in the Life of Franklin Barbecue's Aaron Franklin, a BBQ genius". Bon Appétit. Retrieved 2021-04-24.
  21. ^ "Aaron Franklin Wins James Beard Award". May 4, 2015. Retrieved May 6, 2015.
  22. ^ "A JAMES BEARD FOR BARBECUE". May 5, 2015. Retrieved May 6, 2015.
  23. ^ "A Barbecue Man in a Quiche Town". February 24, 2015. Retrieved May 6, 2015.
  24. ^ "The 50 Best BBQ Joints . . . in the World!". Texas Monthly. Retrieved 2021-04-24.
  25. ^ "The List: The Top 50 Barbecue Joints in Texas". Texas Monthly. 2017-05-22. Retrieved 2021-04-24.
  26. ^ Grenoble, Ryan (2014-07-11). "Obama Cuts In Line, Pays It Forward". HuffPost. Retrieved 2021-04-24.
  27. ^ Odam, Matthew. "David Chang says Aaron Franklin is best in the world (at more than barbecue)". Austin 360. Retrieved 2021-04-24.
  28. ^ Goldfarb, As told to Aaron (2018-06-13). "How Anthony Bourdain Sparked America's Obsession with Texas BBQ". Esquire. Retrieved 2021-04-24.
  29. ^ Psencik, Katey. "Gordon Ramsey cut in line at Franklin Barbecue, gave away his leftovers". Austin 360. Retrieved 2021-04-24.
  30. ^ "Jimmy Kimmel in Austin". Texas Monthly. 2014-02-10. Retrieved 2021-04-24.
  31. ^ "BBQ With Franklin". 2015. Retrieved May 11, 2015.
  32. ^ "KLRU Schedule - BBQ with Franklin". 2015. Retrieved June 7, 2015.

External links[edit]