Pit Master Bar-B-Que – The Woodlands/Spring

Before the COVID-19 pandemic closed restaurants across the nation to dine-in, my barbecue buddy, Craig, and I, made a trip up I-45 to The Woodlands to try out a long-established barbecue joint called Pit Master BarB-Que. They’ve been around a very long time. And there’s a reason. They deliver very good quality barbecue day in and day out, and have for years. They are a little different than a typical craft BBQ joint — instead of ordering by the pound at a counter, they actually have menus and waitresses/waiters. And the service they provide is very good. The decor is, not-surprisingly, very western. It is a comfortable place with a good feel about it.

Now to the food. I had to try a Texas Trinity three-meat plate of fatty brisket, pork ribs and their hot link (I was very happy to see a sign that said their sausage is made by Slovacek’s in Snook, TX – that is good stuff). The brisket had a great dark and crusty bark. The fat was well rendered and it had a good smoky flavor. This is not craft barbecue, just to be clear. But it is very good. They likely don’t use USDA prime grade certified Angus briskets. And I didn’t see the pit, but I expect it is likely a gas-fired cabinet pit from Ole Hickory or J&R. But it was good nonetheless. The only thing I could find fault with was that they put sauce right on top of the brisket. I always prefer my sauce on the side. I believe that good barbecue should not need sauce (though a good sauce can enhance good smoked meat). That said, the sauce didn’t hurt the meat, and the meat was tasty. The pork ribs were St Louis cut, and they were great. As I took a bite, the meat pulled away nicely from the bone without just falling off. The flavor of the pork was the primary taste, not an overpowering rub, which was great. And the hot link was excellent, with a good grind and excellent flavor. For sides I got their potato salad and coleslaw. The potato salad was nice and creamy, with a good balance of mayo and mustard, and the dill added a nice extra pop. The coleslaw was very good as well. At Pit-Master they add a slice of toasted bread to the plate, and that was very good. And their housemade barbecue sauce was on the sweet side, but complemented the meat well.

All in all, these guys deliver solid barbecue. I’d go back to Pit Master BBQ again and again if I lived nearby. They have been around for a long time, so they well how to consistently produce a very good-tasting product.

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