Chef Aaron Franklin (Franklin Barbecue, Austin) Biography (Texas)

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Discover the culinary genius of Chef Aaron Franklin, renowned pitmaster and co-owner of Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Texas. Delve into his fascinating journey from humble beginnings to becoming a barbecue legend. Uncover his secrets to mouthwatering smoked meats, tantalizing flavors, and award-winning recipes. Explore the passion, skill, and dedication behind Franklin’s Texas-style BBQ that has captivated food lovers worldwide. Experience the essence of true Texas barbecue through the captivating story of Chef Aaron Franklin.


Aaron Franklin, the renowned pitmaster and owner of Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Texas, has taken the world of barbecue by storm. His dedication to the craft, attention to detail, and mouthwatering smoked meats have earned him a place among the culinary elite. This biography delves into the life and journey of Aaron Franklin, from his humble beginnings to becoming an icon of Texas barbecue.

Chapter 1: Early Years and Passion for Barbecue

Aaron Franklin was born on December 17, 1977, in Bryan, Texas. Growing up in a household where barbecue was a way of life, Aaron developed an early appreciation for the art of smoking meats. His parents, Bobby and Brenda Franklin, owned a small barbecue joint, and it was there that Aaron’s love for barbecue began to take shape. As a child, he would spend hours observing his father tend to the pits, learning the secrets of fire, smoke, and the perfect blend of spices.

Chapter 2: Pursuing the Art of Barbecue

In his teenage years, Aaron Franklin started experimenting with his own barbecue techniques. He built his first pit using discarded metal and began honing his skills, testing different smoking techniques, and perfecting his rubs and sauces. Despite his passion for barbecue, Aaron’s initial career path led him to work in the IT industry. However, his heart was always in the pits.

Chapter 3: The Birth of Franklin Barbecue

In 2009, Aaron Franklin took a leap of faith and opened his own barbecue joint, Franklin Barbecue, in Austin, Texas. Located in a small trailer, the restaurant quickly gained a reputation for serving some of the best barbecue in the state. Aaron’s commitment to using high-quality ingredients, his meticulous attention to detail, and his unwavering pursuit of perfection set Franklin Barbecue apart from the rest.

Chapter 4: The Art and Science of Smoking Meats

At Franklin Barbecue, Aaron Franklin revolutionized the way barbecue is prepared and cooked. He introduced a scientific approach to smoking meats, paying attention to factors such as temperature, airflow, and wood selection. His offset smokers, custom-built by hand, became a hallmark of his cooking process. Aaron’s dedication to the craft led him to study and understand the science behind smoking, further refining his techniques.

Chapter 5: Recognition and Accolades

The exceptional quality of Franklin Barbecue did not go unnoticed. In 2011, Bon Appétit magazine named it the best barbecue in America, a title that solidified Aaron Franklin’s reputation as a pitmaster extraordinaire. The accolades continued to pour in, with Franklin Barbecue receiving numerous awards and recognition from prestigious institutions and culinary experts.

Chapter 6: A Cookbook and Television Appearances

In 2015, Aaron Franklin released his first cookbook, “Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto.” The book, co-written with Jordan Mackay, became an instant bestseller, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at Aaron’s techniques, recipes, and secrets to achieving barbecue perfection. Furthermore, Aaron’s talent and charisma led to appearances on popular television shows like “MasterChef” and “BBQ Pitmasters,” further cementing his status as a barbecue luminary.

Chapter 7: Expanding the Franklin Empire

With the overwhelming success of Franklin Barbecue, Aaron Franklin embarked on new ventures. In 2017, he opened Loro, a smokehouse and Asian-inspired bar in Austin, in collaboration with chef Tyson Cole. The establishment received rave reviews for its fusion of traditional Texas barbecue and Asian flavors. Aaron’s creativity and willingness to push the boundaries of barbecue led to the restaurant’s immense popularity.


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