Man it has been a while since I got to try a new BBQ joint. So when I saw that my buddy, Brandon, pitmaster and owner of MoCo Barbecue Company, was doing a pop-up at Klein Memorial Stadium (just a couple miles from my house) I absolutely jumped at the opportunity to get over there and try some of his craft barbecue. I’ve known Brandon for a number of years now – I got to know him as he worked as pitmaster at one of the top barbecue joints in Texas. And I have seen the passion and attention to detail that he puts into everything he does. So when he went out on his own and started MoCo Barbecue about a year ago, I knew I needed to give his food a go. His company name is derived from where Brandon and his wife and business partner, Marie, have chosen to raise their family – in Montgomery County, Texas. What a cool thing, right? Now, I love all the different styles of Texas barbecue. But if I had to choose, I would have to say my favorite is Central Texas style – with nothing but salt and pepper for seasoning and post oak smoke in an offset steel pit. And that is exactly what Brandon does. He has a beautiful Moberg offset pit that he has (temporarily at least) named “Beaver” (yes, every self-respecting barbecue pit needs to have a name). At the pop-up I was glad he had a few different meats available. Since it was mostly a fundraiser for the Klein Cain HS football team, it was not a typical pop-up. But being the awesome guy that Brandon is, he hooked me up. I had him load me up with both moist and lean brisket, turkey and jalapeño cheddar sausage. And lemme tell you – this stuff was amazing!!
- Brisket – I was so glad I got both lean and moist. Both were exceptionally delicious. The bark was outstanding – dark and gnarly, just what I would hope for. The fat was expertly-rendered. And the smoky flavor was perfect – not overly smoky, but smoky enough. The lean brisket was plenty moist. And the moist brisket was just glistening with all that beautifully-rendered fat. This stuff was like being in heaven — heaven in Texas that is.
- Smoked turkey – The turkey, oh the turkey. Amazing!! While he was slicing it, Brandon handed a little extra piece he had trimmed off the turkey. I popped it in my mouth and almost cried. It was that good. Some pitmasters will use a mayonnaise slather on their turkey breast to help maintain moisture while it smokes. But not Brandon. He just uses salt and pepper – and yet it still turns out so moist. To me that is a clear sign of a great pitmaster who really knows his craft.
- Jalapeño cheddar sausage – The outstanding sausage that MoCo offers right now comes from Ruffino Meats out of Bryan, Texas. And it is a really good sausage. It’s obvious that Brandon is an expert at smoking sausage just right to get a great smoky flavor and a good snap on the casing. That said, I’m really excited for when Brandon will be able to begin making his own sausage. He is a verified/certified sausage wizard. So when he starts making his own sausage, look out world. It is gonna be incredible!
- Sauces & condiments – MoCo offers two different sauces right now. Their standard barbecue sauce is a really nice Texas-style sauce with just a bit of heat to it. It’s not too sweet – and pairs really well with all the meats I tried. They also offer what Brandon calls a “Texas-style” comeback sauce. It is reminiscent of the original Mississippi comeback sauce, but Brandon has kicked it up a couple notches with some real Texas heat. And I love it! It went great with all of the meats as well. And not to be forgotten, MoCo also does their own housemade pickles, which are an outstanding counterpoint to all the unctuous meats.
The teamwork and attention to detail that Brandon and Marie put into everything they do at MoCo Barbecue really shines through. If you get a chance to try their brand of Central Texas-style barbecue, jump at it. I’m looking forward to enjoying their food again and again, especially as they settle in as an anchor brick-and mortar restaurant at an upcoming food truck park near The Woodlands. Those will be extra exciting times for them. In the meantime, keep looking for their pop-ups in The Woodlands, Conroe, Spring and Klein areas. I promise that you will not be disappointed in their food or their friendliness. They are the best kind of people with absolutely outstanding food.