Gazing back over our site analytics for 2012, one thing quickly stands out: nobody moves the needle like firebrand pit boss John Mueller. The old barbecue cook from Taylor, Texas was the subject of the hottest story we penned this year (and we wrote over 700 articles in 2012)

In a media world where the word “pitmaster” is routinely ascribed to anyone who’s ever put a hamburger patty on a Weber grill-Mueller noisily put out barbecue that had local scribe Mike Sutter of Fedman Walking saying “Put the fatty brisket in the next Voyager space probe to show how the Earthlings do brisket in Texas, with the fat in a pearled state of suspension between liquid and solid, held together by a crusted layer of salt and black pepper that crunches like hard beef candy.” That’s some tight writing folks.

But no meat the man cooked created an explosion equal to his challenge of Aaron Franklin.

Marshall Cooper of Texas Barbecue Posse broke the news and sent Austin’s media into paroxysms.

We dubbed the potential cook-off “Lion vs Cub”

Our imagining of the Circuit of the Americas as a potential venue for the face-off was shot down when Mueller was ousted from the barbecue trailer that bore his name in a family squabble over finances.

We had prayed for an Autumn day at the racetrack with 80k fellow Texans gathered as one massive barbecue nation family. We imagined Walter Jetton gazing down from on high, sagely nodding his approval as he and LBJ fed another oak log on the great barbecue pit in the sky.

The hottest piece we wrote all year long right this way http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/2012/3/9/John-Mueller-Throws-Down-The-GauntletChallenges-Aaron-Franklin-To-Battle-For-Barbecue-Supremacy

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