John Mueller was named one of the most influential pitmasters in American by Fox News. celebrates the alchemy and craft of barbecue with a list of about a dozen folks who have helped elevate barbecue to its vaunted place in the American culinary landscape. Two Austinites made the list, as well as several other Texans (both living and dead). At the top of the list is Aaron Franklin, the only pitmaster to win a Best Chef award from the James Beard Foundation.

Further down the list at #9 is Taylor native John Mueller of John Mueller Meat Co. in East Austin and a former employer of Franklin. Mueller is joined on the list by his brother, Wayne of Louie Mueller Barbecue (where John got his start working) and his father, Bobby, and grandfather, Louie, who come in collectively at #4.

Others Texans include Frederick Fountaine (#5), the late pitmaster at Louie Mueller in Taylor, though the Fox News list seems to imply he is still living; Tootsie Tomanetz (#10) of Snow’s BBQ in Lexington; and Texas Monthly barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn (#11).

Head over to Fox News for the full list and explanations.

For my 2013 list of best barbecue in Austin, head to

For my 2012 profile of John Mueller, click here.