As a large projection of Super Bowl LIII blared nearby, Dayne Weaver kept his customers fed with piles of superlative meats last Sunday at Panther Island Brewing. For the last six months, Weaver and his fiance Ashley have been working a brewery-centric circuit, serving Central Texas barbecue and creative sides at Martin House Brewing, Panther Island Brewing, and Lola’s Trailer Park. Weaver spent the six months before that honing his barbecue acumen through events at his home.
Weaver is part of a new crop of Fort Worth pitmasters who are eschewing commercial chain ambitions while focusing on authentic regional variants of Texas ’cue. Dayne’s Barbecue sources beef from 44 Farms in Cameron, TX. The farm has something of a cult following and raises antibiotic- and hormone-free Black Angus. Weaver sang their praises. Every step of the smoking and seasoning process is intended to enhance and not detract from that beefy goodness. Mild post oak is his wood of choice.
“We use offset cookers that get good airflow,” he said. “Mesquite can get bitter. If you don’t have the right kind of smoker, the smoke creates creosote, a black film. The smoker that we have has a huge exhaust that creates a vacuum. You can get the true taste of the beef.”
The rub, he said, is a mix of salt and pepper.
The brisket I tried that day was beautifully marbled and soft. Once you get to the ends, the peppery bark becomes noticeable but not overpowering. The turkey looked like it had just left a Russian bathhouse and was sweating with juicy goodness. The single rib on my plate had enough meat to keep me greedily gnawing for five minutes while the pork belly was rich and not overly fatty. Soft elbow macaroni with truffle oil and bits of bacon and street corn (replete with crumbled spicy Cheetos and a pinch of cilantro) rounded out my dinner.
Weaver pays attention to color and presentation. In the age of Instagram, many of his customers first experience Dayne’s Barbecue through photos. The Fort Worth barbecue community, he said, has been incredibly welcoming. Fort Worthians are spoiled with great barbecue chains. Weaver aims to offer something a little different, though. The labor that goes into sweating over his meats (not literally) helps Weaver ensure that Fort Worth is known for quality as well as quantity when it comes to smoked meats. Follow Dayne and his crew @daynetxbbq on Instagram to see where the journey leads.
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On Tap in Fort Worth:
Beer My Valentine Party at Martin House
Need Valentine’s Day plans?? Let’s drink beer together. Join us Thursday, Feb 14th for the 3rd Annual Beer My Valentine event at Martin House. This event has always been a blast for couples and singles alike. Visit the event page here.