North of Dallas, but still in the metroplex , lies McKinney. Named for Collin McKinney, one of the drafters/signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence, McKinney is also home to one of the top 50 BBQ joints in Texas, and thus the world. Hutchins BBQ is a great barbecue joint with a “happy ending” story of overcoming difficulties. They first opened in 1978 as “Roy’s Smokehouse” in Frisco and have been at their current location on Tennessee Street since 1991. However, in 2012 they had a pit room fire that shut down their operation while they rebuilt. Fortunately for all of us who enjoy smoked meats, they were back up and running not too long afterwards. And to this day, Hutchins is open every day of the week for lunch and dinner.
When I visited, I of course went with the “Texas Trinity” of brisket, pork ribs and sausage, with sides of potato salad and kernel corn. I am very happy to report that it was all very tasty and worthy of their “Top 50” rating. The brisket was moist, with a good amount of well-rendered fat and a very dark, crusty bark. The smoky flavor was just right, with a great-looking smoke ring, having spent a ridiculous number of hours in one of their offset pits. The St. Louis cut pork ribs had a great smoky flavor, and the exterior had a mouth-pleasing chewy dry-rubbed texture. The meat pulled away from the bone nicely without falling apart. For the sausage I chose what the menu calls Fire Crackers – small sausages that had an excellent heat, from what I believe are habañero peppers. Quite a nice kick and some great flavor. The potato salad and corn were pretty standard BBQ fare, but a good complement to the meats. And though I certainly didn’t need dessert, I was pleasantly surprised to find that they offer a really nice banana pudding (heavy on the vanilla wafers – just how I like it), apple cobbler and soft-serve ice cream – all free of charge for their dine-in customers. Of course I couldn’t pass up the banana pudding – it was outstanding.
If you find yourself anywhere near McKinney any day of the week, stop by Hutchins BBQ. I am certain you will not be disappointed. They do Texas barbecue right.