Boatman’s BBQ

8700 US-377
Tolar, TX 76476

Phone: (254) 835-4244
Hours: M-Thur 11-8:30, F-Sat 11-9
Twitter: @boatmansbbq

Opened 2015
Pitmaster Darrell Boatman
Method Oak in an offset smoker

TMBBQ Rating: 3.25


Comments from our joint finder app.
Had a lean sliced lots of smoke moist and tender like it will be back for a full lunch @ Boatman’s BBQ, 2016-10-25 18:06:10
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October 17, 2016

When I left Boatman’s BBQ a year ago, I wasn’t sure it would last this long. And that’s wasn’t an indictment on the barbecue. It’s just that getting a steady stream of business into this small joint in the middle of the tiny town of Tolar is a challenge, as if cooking barbecue for a living is enough of one on its own. But the Boatman family has hung in there, and the barbecue has gotten a lot better too.

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Last year, a platter of their barbecue was uniformly wet and overcooked. Ribs slid off the bone, brisket slices collapsed under their own weight, and the pulled pork could have been squeezed like a sponge. Darrell Boatman admits he has learned a lot since then with the help of his son, Darrell Jr. (or “D,” for short), who helps run the oak-fueled smoker they purchased when they first opened in 2015.

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Darrell Sr., Candy, and Darrell Jr.

Boatman said brisket is his most popular item, and he smokes four a day. They’re heavily seasoned, and cooked to just beyond tender. Boatman says he starts with Prime briskets, so I expected the lean slices to be juicer than they were. The fat cap was exemplary and it had a great smoky bark, but the salt was heavy-handed.

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The same rub is used on all the meats, and is applied more judiciously on the tender pork ribs. They spend too much time in foil to keep their bark, but the pork ribs had great flavor. The turkey wasn’t quite ready at lunch time, so I was stuck with bland sausage that had a bologna-like texture.

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The pulled pork was the best that I had tried at Boatman’s. There was a pleasant smokiness, and it was moist enough that it didn’t need the sauce. Leftover pork seasons the pinto beans, which are made fresh by Darrell’s wife, Candy. She makes all the sides and desserts from scratch, including the impressive jalapeño potato salad, which has nice mix of sweetness and heat from the pickled jalapeños. She also makes a unique peach cobbler. It’s layered like a cobbler, but the dough is light and airy like a cake instead of the dense layers you might expect. It was a nice twist on a classic Texas barbecue dessert.

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The Boatmans didn’t come into the barbecue business with much smoked meat experience. They ran a  burger shop in Granbury before deciding to move to Tolar. They’ve been learning barbecue on the job and are determined to keep improving. Boatman’s BBQ made a big leap from a year ago, and I have no reason to believe it won’t keep getting better.


1 Comment

    Debra Ice says:

    I eat at Boatman’s BBQ regularly, It is the best I have ever had and I recommend them to all my friends and anyone I hear asking where to find good BBQ

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