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Today we continue the countdown of the Most Influential People in BBQ with the 14th most influential person in BBQ. Coming in as the 14th Most Influential Person in BBQ is pitmaster and owner of Franklin Barbecue in Austin, TX, Aaron Franklin. 

Aaron Frnaklin

Aaron Franklin is in a league all by himself when it comes to accolades being showered upon a BBQ restaurant. You name the publication, from Bon Apetit to Texas Monthly to Food & Wine to the New York Times) and Franklin’s Franklin Barbecue has probably been heralded as one of the top BBQ joints in America, if not the top BBQ joint in America. If you want to talk about influence over eating, Franklin has so much influence over the taste buds of his customers that they will wait in line for hours in hopes that they arrived early enough to reach the meat counter before the SOLD OUT sign goes up on the door. Perhaps the most remarkable part of this success story is that Franklin opened his restaurant in 2009 and obtained his status as one of BBQ’s few celebrity chefs in only a few years.


Franklin gained even more notoriety on Destination America’s hit TV show BBQ Pitmasters, where he joined Myron Mixon and Tuffy Stone as a judge. Franklin opted to retire as a full-time judge on BBQ Pitmasters in 2013 to focus more on his restaurant and other projects. We can’t wait to see what Franklin’s next project will be, but we’re certain he will continue to influence the world of BBQ restaurants like no one else to the point where they have been elevated to and compared to fine dinning establishments.  

On December 19th we’ll unveil the 13th most influential person in BBQ. We’ll unveil a new member of our Most Influential Person in BBQ List each day through the end of the year and we’ll crown The Most Influential Person in BBQ on Tuesday, December 31st.

To date we’ve previously unveiled the 15th through the 25th Most Influential People in BBQ.

15th – Chris Lilly, Big Bob Gibson BBQ

16th – Sterling Ball, Big Poppa Smokers

17th – Rod Gray, Pellet Envy & Eat Barbecue

18th – Brad Orrison, The Shed

19th – Johnny Trigg, Smokin’ Triggers

20th – Danielle Dimovski, BBQ Crawl & Diva Q

21st – Bill Arnold, Blues Hog Barbecue Company

22nd – Competition BBQ Judge

23rd – Melissa Cookston, Memphis Barbecue Co. & Yazoo’s Delta Q

24th – Adam Perry Lang, Daisy May’s BBQ, Barbecoa & Cookbook Author

25th – Ronnie Cates, Smoke on the Water Productions

Will you make the list? Will someone you find deserving fall short of the top 25? Will you disagree with someone listed in the top 25? Check the Pork Barrel BBQ Blog daily now through December 31 and contribute to the discussion by adding comments to each days post!

Who is the most Influential Person in BBQ? Find out on December 31, 2013 when we reveal the Most Influential Person in BBQ.