Barbecue is woven into the life of Taylor Texas. With Davis Grocery and Taylor Cafe putting out some of the best smoked meat in the Great State, and Taylor native John Mueller ruling the roost in nearby East Austin, Taylor’s barbecue bonafides are fully in order.

Controversy has also come to the party, now in its 36th year. For the first time, the Taylor Chamber of Commerce has assumed the duties of hosting the event after the Jaycees bowed out.

Murmurings from Williamson County include a host of gossipy reasons, but we’ll leave that to the wags until we can get some hard and fast information.

The Taylor International International Barbecue Cook-off got its start way back in 1978. Over the years, national and international media outlets have descended on the Blackland prairie to cover the event. We would not be surprised to see a repeat visit from the New York Times this weekend.

Somewhere Bob Roberts is smiling upon the affair. The legendary man of Texas barbecue was instrumental in getting the competition off the ground in the 70s. He shepherded the event til his passing in 2000.

Roberts speaking on the magic of smoked meat: “I wish I knew. It’s the combination of a lot of things — cooking time, seasoning, sauce, and even atmosphere has a lot to do with it.”

The atmosphere of Murphy Park on the north side of Taylor will be filled with hardwood smoke fires this weekend. The Taylor International is one of our favorite events of the year. The good Williamson county folks who crowd into the affair could not be nicer, and the teams competing are always happy to make sure you get plenty samples as you wander through the tree shaded corridors of the party.

Event: 36th Taylor International International Barbecue Cook

Date: August 16th and 17th

Place: Murphy Park (Taylor Texas)

We like to roll in on Saturday around noon. Turn in time for meats is at 11:45 am, by noon the cook teams are starting to relax a little after a hard nights work. The teams are not allowed to sell food but generally are more than happy to share.

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