A master of Central Texas barbecue, John Lewis brings a new style of BBQ — and lots of adoring fans — to Charleston at Lewis Barbecue.
The pitmaster’s fame can be attributed is simply the result of his pure dedication to barbecue.
Lewis welds his own custom-designed smokers. Regularly waking up at 4 a.m. to begin the day, he takes his meat seriously. BBQ fans around the world crowded around his pits for years.
Fans wait patiently in long lines to taste his expertly smoked meats. Lewis smokes pork spareribs, beef ribs, “Texas hot guts” sausage, oxtail, and his legendary beef brisket.
John Lewis History
To begin, Lewis grew up in El Paso, TX. He moved to Austin at 18 to start his culinary work in pastry, believe it or not. Sometime later, Lewis’ parents gave him a smoker, and he began trying his hand in Austin’s longstanding tradition of the backyard BBQ.
During this time, a passion was born and Lewis became creative with both his smokers and his meats. He began taking liberties with the design and construction to find the best process and the best results.
Moving to Denver, Lewis continued to sharpen his skills by joining the competition BBQ circuit. In 2010, Lewis returned to Austin to work with his friend Aaron Franklin who was working to open the now-famous Franklin Barbecue.
During his collaboration with Franklin, Lewis developed the flavor profile that helped put Austin BBQ on the map.
In 2012, Lewis and LeAnn Mueller opened the much-beloved La Barbecue in Austin. Lewis quickly became the rising star of Austin’s BBQ scene.
In a few short months, La Barbecue worked its way onto Texas Monthly’s “Top 50 List” and earned the distinction as the “Best BBQ in Austin” by the Austin American Statesman.
In March 2015, Lewis packed up his smokers and moved to Charleston to introduce the Holy City to the great world of Texas BBQ. He and his “barbecrew” opened Lewis Barbecue in June 2016.
Meet Pitmaster John Lewis on CBS’s The Dish:
Read our Lewis Barbecue posts:
What’s on the Menu?
Note: Menu prices and options subject to change over time. Contact the restaurant for the most up-to-date information.
Want to cook Like John Lewis?
Yes, Lewis Barbecue offers catering. “Imagine our smoked meats and sides served up with a smile at your next event,” they write. To learn more, simply reach out to them here: [email protected]
Lewis regularly offers plates or sandwiches with meats like brisket, pulled pork, turkey, Texas “Hot Guts” sausage, and pork spare ribs. Sides include potato salad, coleslaw, Cowboy pinto beans, corn pudding, collards, mac & cheese, and fries. Desserts, sauces, and “fixin’s” are also on the menu. Drinks of all sorts are offered. Find the Lewis Barbecue menu here.
Yes, indeed. You can buy the following items from their online store:
1) Smoked meats, including brisket, turkey breast, pork ribs, beef ribs, pulled pork, and sausage. Lewis also offers meat combo packs.
2) Sauces, including their Tangy, Original Red, and Hatch Green Chile sauces. You can even buy all three in a combo pack.
3) Clothing, “cool stuff,” including various T-shirts, hats, mugs, koozies, and pins.
4) Gift cards are also available.
John Lewis has shared his recipes with several publications, many of which can be found with a simple search. Several of those were gathered and included in our SC BBQ cookbook.
At Lewis Barbecue, you’ll find plenty of outside seating. As for animals, Lewis is certainly pet-friendly. You will regularly see dogs with those in the outdoor seating area. Similar to dogs, other animals are likely welcome as long as they are well-behaved and don’t interfere with the enjoyment of other guests.
Charleston, SC 29403