One of the most underrated spots in Dallas for barbecue is at the Katy Trail Ice House. They are quite literally going through hundreds of pounds of turkey, ribs, brisket and sausages each week with Eduardo Flores sitting as pitmaster each weekend. That’s right, the barbecue was originally set up to ease the mad rush of food orders on the weekends, but with Flores at the smoker the ‘cue has taken off on its own and is always a sellout by early Sunday afternoon.
“We smoke the brisket for about 18 hours, we do the ribs for 12 hours, turkey 12 hours, and we do sausages and chicken as well,” said Flores during a recent interview.
Flores is self-taught, as many great barbecue masters are. “I have always been in the front of the house, but at the same time I was always peaking in the kitchen. I would go home and try different things. I was a weekend warrior, you know, firing up my little Brinkman.”
Then Katy Trail front man Jimmy Fell gave Flores a ring. They had worked together and Fell needed help. Flores was happy to comply. Flores went through a period of trial and error, but soon gathered consistency, which is so important in the smoke business.
The original smoker was a behemoth. It was 13 feet long and sat on a 19 foot trailer. It had a 5 foot firebox and 4 chambers of pure smokiness. The current smoker is 11 feet long and has a permanent home in a small shack that fell built for Flores just to the side of the Ice House.
“We are actually getting another smoker because we have outgrown this one. We just ordered a custom smoker from David Klose, a premier pit-maker out of Houston,” continued Flores. “We are spending some big bucks on that one. It weighs in at 7,000 pounds and is pure steel. David said you can take a 20 pound sledge hammer and beat it all day long and it will not do anything to it.”
The smoker will also be 11 feet long but have four shelves, so a much larger capacity overall.
On a decent weekend Flores goes through about 40 briskets, 40 slabs of ribs, 8 whole turkeys, and 50 pounds of custom made sausage. Don’t forget there is a new Ice House Outpost in Plano which does roughly the same volume, all smoked from the Uptown location by Flores. He is one busy man, to be sure.
And then there is the new food truck. Although permitted to sell anywhere you see trucks in Dallas, the Katy Trail Ice House truck is currently being used as a catering vehicle. They can bring their barbecue just about anywhere. And they have been doing just that.
Flores is feeling confident about his brisket is readying himself to compete. You can try his soon-to-be award winning barbecue each Friday through Sunday. Best get there early on Sunday, which is when he usually runs out until the new smoker arrives in about 5 weeks.