Texas Chow, LLC was founded in 2012, but the story of the Paddack family’s love of barbecue begins in or around 1975. My Dad, Phillip Paddack, absolutely loved cooking. He and my mom Sarah enjoyed competing and luckily they did this together. When I was growing up, I remember lots of barbecue cook offs and bass fishing tournaments.
My Dad built his first “stick burner” in the mid 1970’s, and entered one of the first barbecue competitions in North Texas…the North Texas State Fair. In between cook offs, we cooked briskets to sell…we cooked a LOT of briskets. My dad built another pit identical to the one pictured below, only with doors on the opposite side, so we could park them both next to each other, and cook 28-30 at a time.
Sometime in the mid 80’s, my Dad decided to build another pit…a rotisserie. He did a lot of research, making multiple trips to a library in Dallas, which I later learned was a patent library. He and a close friend built a darn close replica of a Southern Pride 700 BBL, but it was bigger in most every direction. This pit was a beast. It worked great for the most part, but it had its design flaws. The best part was the consistency and the capacity. That pit stayed around until the mid 1990’s when grew tired of cooking so much, and needed to quit doing so much lifting. He sold it to a guy working hurricane relief catering in Southern Louisiana.
Fast forward to 2007…
I decided I had time to cook, and wanted to try to grow my own customer base. Back to the basics with the original stick burners! I quickly remembered WHY he had built that first rotisserie. 14 at a time wasn’t cutting it. So, I started shopping. It took two years until I found my first commercial pit. It was a Southern Pride SPK-500-Mobile. I cooked as many as I could afford at a time, and the customers told me right quick “I can tell its not the same as your Dad’s.” That was PAINFUL. I tried, and tested, and tried some more, and my biggest critic and my biggest fan, my Dad, tried some terrible stuff. He would sit and shake his head and giggle.
After that Christmas, I had a breakthrough moment. I went to my Dad’s with two samples of fresh brisket, about 20 minutes after he poured his first cup of coffee. I believe his first words were “I DON’T WANT THAT SHIT, IT’S TOO EARLY…”, but he tried both of them. And, I’d finally gotten it right, and he couldn’t tell which one was off his old pit and which one was off the Southern Pride.
Summer of 2011, I needed some help.
In August of 2011, a Southern Pride 1400 came along, and we picked it up worth the money. I had pinched a nerve in my neck, and I couldn’t lift like I needed to. I recruited a friend of mine (Ben Schoenthal) to help me out, mainly as we were getting the tamale production (that’s a whole ‘nother story) off the ground. Business was really good, and we were cooking like 4 nights a week starting November 1st, after our full time jobs. While a lot of our friends were going to comps, we stayed home and cooked and packaged. Texas Chow, LLC was born in January 2012.
Out of necessity…
We sold that 1400 right after the first of the year to a man near Fair Park in Dallas. I am sure he’s still cooking on it. After that, I wanted to try to grow the equipment side of the business. I could keep some commercial pits in stock, and always have something huge to cook on. My Dad beat it into me early on that if I ever wanted to have anything, I needed to reinvest into what I was interested in. Luckily, that stuck. We turned around 10 pits in 2012, and somewhere near that in 2013. My wife and I moved to San Antonio in January 2014 to follow up on a dream, but sadly I lost my best friend, my Dad, on Valentine’s Day of 2015. My Dad taught me a lot more than I ever realized until I moved back home to Krum this summer. My wife and I have taken several months with my Mom to figure out how to proceed with our affairs. One thing is for certain, barbecue is always going to be a part of me, of us. The embers of Texas Chow are starting to smolder.