We had a chance to check in and check out Hutchins BBQ located in McKinney, Texas recently with some pretty positive results. In this world where BBQ can be an easy sell if you happen to have a smoker and a stacks of meat, perhaps with a kitschy name or theme. Where the big chains fail is on delivery of the goods, and it is unfortunate that many follow their happily played tune.But we know better than all of this.
Hutchins is the real deal BBQ in a land of mediocre. They actually use prime meats, which almost seems like a wasted effort. If you slow cook even the worst cut of beef it will eventually relent to an edible plateau, but why risk it? This effort shines through not only with the brisket, which comes out of a day long bath of post oak and pecan wood smoke with a rich and juicy superior meatiness, but also with their baby back ribs.
Rarely will you ever find a slab of turkey that has been long smoked still relenting, still juicy, even into the late hours of operation. Hutchins pulls off the bird with equal success as their other meats. Not to be forgotten are the hand-made sausages which are freshly ground and stuffed each day. The jalapeno sausage has this marvelous near loose grind that is packed with flavors and induced with smoke for a perfect bite. Praise these Smoke Kings and their Wiccan ways, for it is nothing short of magic what plays behind the service counter where the host of smokers reside, pumping out some of the best BBQ found in North Texas. These are heavy competitors in a world where but a few are able to figure out the formula for perfection.
Initially, Roy Hutchins worked for a longtime McKinney institution, King’s Barbecue. Later, combining that experience with many subsequent years in the food industry, he decided to focus his knowledge and expertise upon crafting the best barbecue possible. Known as “Roy’s Smokehouse” back in 1978, Hutchins BBQ was originally a small place connected to owner Roy’s home, but after rapid demand he moved the restaurant to its current McKinney location off Tennessee Street in 1991. Roy retired fifteen years later, leaving the business to his son Tim and General Manager Dustin Blackwell. Working together as co-owners since 2005, Dustin heads day-to-day operations as the face of the business and Tim leads the kitchen as Pitmaster.
Tragically, a fire in June 2012 shut down Hutchins BBQ for six months. Rising from the ashes with more motivation than ever, Tim and Dustin rapidly increased the quality of their ingredients, changed up a few recipes and demanded the highest grade of brisket from their suppliers. Accolades started rolling in, and Hutchins BBQ was named on the Texas Monthly “50 Best BBQ Joints in Texas” list. Seeing the care his father put into his work, Tim delivers that same care alongside his partner Dustin.
Smoked meats are not the only dishes curated by Hutchins. We found the catfish (dare we say it) swimmingly delicious, light and kissed with perfection. Sides are not an after thought, and are served buffet-style. Guests may load up on these starchy bits of deliciousness without fear of much guilt. Same for the freebie desserts, including a fine example of banana pudding and cobblers.
Dallas, do yourself a favor and make the drive to McKinney. Drop the xenophobic routine and enjoy some damned good bbq. No sauce needed.