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Texas barbecue pitmaster John Mueller dies at age 52

John Mueller got his start in the barbecue business working at his father's barbecue restaurant in Taylor.

AUSTIN, Texas — John Mueller, a legendary name in the Texas barbecue industry, has passed away at the age of 52.

According to a report from KVUE's news partners at the Austin American-Statesman, Mueller died this week at his home in Frisco. His family has not shared his cause of death.

The Statesman reports that Mueller grew up working for his father, Bobby Mueller, at the family restaurant in Taylor, Texas. His sister, La Barbecue owner LeAnn Mueller, said he began bussing tables at the age of 8 and learned to slice and smoke meat with his father.

The report states Mueller opened his first Austin restaurant, John Mueller Barbecue, on Manor Road in 2001. He built a name for himself on brisket and ribs.

Franklin Barbecue owner Aaron Franklin also reportedly worked for Mueller in 2006. The Statesman reports he would help cut onions and other prep work, saying Mueller had a talent that could not be taught.

“He spent all those years hanging out in Taylor learning from his dad. The guy really just had such a natural gift for cooking barbecue,” Franklin said in the Statesman's report. “I’d be surprised if there was anyone else in the world who has cooked more briskets than that guy.”

To read the full report, click here.

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