“What we do is salt and pepper and…fire,” says pitmaster Aaron Franklin about the trademark Texas barbecue he sells out of his insanely popular Franklin Barbecue on the Eastside of Austin. People have waited up to four hours for his brisket, ribs and a Central-Texas play on pulled pork, which can run out at the inhumanely early hour of 10 a.m.

The parking lot has a football tailgate atmosphere, with barbecue fans bringing chairs and coolers of beer and the harder stuff to pass the time. Footballs are tossed around while people wait. “For Texas barbecue, there is no sauce,” Franklin says of the hard rule for brisket. (Though, sauce is on the table for those who are not into following rules).

In this interview conducted during the Austin Food and Wine Festival, Franklin explains more about his insane rise to fame, tips for those wanting to open their own business (“don’t overspend”) and reveals some tightly guarded expansion plans.

Franklin Barbecue 900 East 11th Austin, TX 78702