Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que

810 San Antonio
Mason, TX

Phone: 325-347-6897
Hours: Open Mon-€“Fri 9-€“5:30, Sat & Sun 9-€“6.

TMBBQ Rating: 2.5


April 24, 2012

This is the original. Started by George Cooper in 1953, but sold to Duard Dockal (who still runs it) in 1983. This is where the family traditions of cooking directly over mesquite coals and ordering straight from the pit were born. It was one of my favorites of mine and Sam’s inaugural BBQ tour back in 2006, but it disappointed a few years later. This visit would sadly be more like the second than the first.

On this day you could see the dried out edges of meat when the pit lid was raised. A thick beef rib was still chewy despite the prolonged warming time, but the hefty cut still had some juice left. Brisket was over-tender and a bit spongy while goat ribs provided the most disappointingly bone-dry meat. With all the sub-par meat here, the goat sausage was a revelation. A mix of pork and goat, these links also get a good dose of spices for a bold flavor that’s not too heavy on the salt and a great snappy casing. Even with the numerous disappointments heaped on the butcher paper, I would return if just for the goat sausage.

(This review originally appeared on Full Custom Gospel BBQ.)



    Anonymous says:

    Totally agree with your takes on that Joke in Junction and the Mess in Mason Coopers. Walked into Coopers Junction to find ALL the meats stacked together under a heat lamp and all looked dry as a bone. Asked the old man if they ahd any “fresh” BBQ and he pointed at the stack and said, “Right there”. I turned and headed toward the door and ate some pretty avg. BBQ at Lums down the street. Went to Mason next morning and ordered a half chicken and some brisket and both were horrible as well as overpriced and no free beans here. Cooprs Llano is solid and has really good chicken and goat but when they raised the price to $21.99/lb I stopped ordering that, Free beans are some of the bst anywhere. Coopers New Braunfels is by far the most “customer friendly” as the manager comped my entire $50 tab just because the meat cutter accidently charged me for goat when I had two big chops. This place is close to Llano in overall meat quality and similar pricing. Worth going to if closer than Llano. Never been to the one in FW.

    That’s a lot of Coopers… Most of the BBQ we have here in north Florida is oversimplified. The largest chain is Sonny’s which is ok, but lacks good smoke flavor most of the time.

    Anonymous says:

    Been going to Iraan once a month on a construction job and have stopped the last two times at Cooper’s in Junction. Asked for “moist” brisket and that’s what I got along with jalapeño sausage. Both were good, nothing to write home about. The sides were so so and puny sized servings. Potato salad was obviously “manufactured” and beans not very well spiced. All in all this BBQ is extremely overpriced considering the portion sizes. Next month I’m trying Lam’s. If that doesn’t work then maybe the remodeling work on the McDonald’s across from Cooper’s will be complete!!

    Anonymous says:

    I just visited Cooper’s BBQ for the first time (New Braunfels). I really don’t appreciate the way the whole place is set up period. You’re walking up towards the entrance, you smell the bbq, it smells great, then you enter, and the first thing on the left, is the pit with all of the meat, it looks great, and you would think that you can afford to try a variety of meat or something, but THINK AGAIN! Plan to get ONE BEEF RIB FOR EIGHT HARD-EARNED DOLLARS – OR – THE PORK CHOP AND BAKED POTATO FOR TEN DOLLARS, AND NOTHING ELSE! ITS TOO EXPENSIVE. Everything else is too expensive. The ribeye is 23 dollars. If you get what appears to be a normal portion of beef ribs, about 3 ribs, you had better expect to pay at least 17 dollars! 3 beef ribs for about 17 dollars. Next, you enter the next room where all of the sides are arranged, all packaged up and ready, and not worth paying the extra price, DON’T GET THE SIDES. They have a huge pot of beans that are out of this world, and they are FREE! Yes, all u can eat out of this world beans. Therefore, you really don’t need to waste your money on sides, right? Get your beverage, pay for it all and sit down and eat all u can eat out of this world beans. The bbq sauce is gross; its watery, tastes like vinegar, nothing like Rudy’s at all. By the way, the beef rib will have enough fat on it to make you cough up phlegm for the rest of the night. If you want to pay a high price for a sample of good bbq, then maybe it’s right for you, but if you want to maintain your savings account, then I would suggest not stopping at Cooper’s to find out why the parking lot is often empty, but they still manage to stay open. On a scale of one to five, Cooper’s BBQ gets a one star-rating from me, based on value. That’s one star.

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