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A Real Texas Smokehouse in England

Introduction & method

One of my long-standing YouTube subscribers got in touch with me recently saying he'd like to send me some smoked meat samples from his local Texan smokehouse. Fair enough, I don't usually know where my subscribers are located - they're scattered all over the world, and quite a lot of them are in Texas. So it was a bit of a surprise when I checked the link he sent me to Pappy's Texas Barbeque. It's in Kendal, Cumbria.

A Real Texas Smokehouse in England Recipe


It turns out that Pappy's is run by Robin Perris, who's a third-generation pitmaster, originally from Texas. I noticed on their website that you can visit the smokehouse and collect your order, so I decided to do just that. Kendal is only about 65 miles from Leeds, and the The smokehousedrive up there passes the Yorkshire Dales, the Forest of Bowland AONB and ends up in the Lake District. It's beautiful.



At the smokehouse, work was due to start on a Tuesday evening - the big cuts such as brisket and pork shoulder need to be smoked overnight. So we planned our trip to arrive mid-afternoon on Tuesday with a quick hello once work was underway. We stayed in a B & B and were back at Pappy's early on Wednesday.

Rubbing the ribsPappy's is located in a stone building that is more than 200 years old and that was originally built as a smokehouse. It fell into disuse after WWII, but was brought back to life some years ago when Booth's built a supermarket on the adjacent site. It was occupied by a bakery, but that soon grew too big for the building and Robin stepped in to make it a smokehouse again. The conversion work took about 20 months and was carried out by Robin's husband Mike - a Lancashire lad - and Jonathan Cook, the chap who started this whole escapade off by wanting me to try some of their products. They built the pit from scratch and it's a truly impressive thing. Jonathan has installed some powerful red and blue downlighters at high level on the stone walls which really bring out the texture of the stone, and a high-quality audio system that Robin uses to play an endless stream of country music.

Cooked brisket being slicedThe heart of the smokehouse is the pit, a waist-height steel box with a stone-built firebox at one end. The pit is divided into three sections and each section has three levels of shelving in it. It can hold serious amounts of meat. Above the firebox is the 'vertical pit'. This comprises numerous pull-out shelves spaced a few inches apart - ideal for chicken portions and sausages.

Pappy's does 2-3 smokes a month so that the products are always fresh. The quantities of meat they get through are pretty impressive - the biggest smoke they've done at once used 1.3 tonnes of meat!

When we arrived on Wednesday morning, Robin was taking the brisket and pork shoulder out of the pit. She was preparing ribs - spreading them with French's mustard and a generous sprinkling of secret spice mix. After they'd been put in the pit, it was time to spritz up the chicken portions that were already in the vertical pit by squirting them with apple juice and cider.

Happy peopleNext, Texas Hot Link sausages. Robin has these made up by a local butcher - she supplies the seasoning mix, there's some local pale ale involved too, and he pumps out sausage by the mile. Robin cuts them to length and smokes them in the vertical pit.

When the pork has cooled down somewhat, the whole team (there were two assistants that day) sets to ripping the pork apart - not a hard job because the meat is so tender, but time-consuming because there's so much of it.

And finally, what we'd all been waiting for, a taste test! And wow, it's everything you could want from a Texas barbeque. You can order online at and if you like, you can arrange to pick it up from the smokehouse yourself.


The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of A Real Texas Smokehouse in England on YouTube.

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Ingredients & Info


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