Twin smokers keep their fires burning all night

Photo by Tyler Meuter

Twin Smokers BBQ juxtaposes Texas and southeastern styles of smoking meat. Various meats are smoked overnight for up to 15 hours for optimal tenderness.

The restaurant houses two wood-fire smokers, affectionately named Elizabeth and Matthew, which cook exclusively beef and exclusively pig and chicken, respectively. Elizabeth burns hickory and white oak, local to Georgia, to give the leaner meats a uniquely southeastern flair. On the other hand, Matthew is home to post oak and mesquite, shipped from Texas once every six months, giving the beef a “home-on-the-range” Texas feel.

The smells emanating from both of the smokers are different enough to confirm that different types of wood are used in each one, with the granularity of the ash in the pits behind the smokers as another indication.

“That’s all that ever goes in there, and never the twain shall meet,” said Matt Hill, general manager of the restaurant. “Not a lot of folks are going through the trouble of finding post oak and mesquite or bringing it back to Georgia. That’s something that we do that’s different.”

In addition to ribs, sausage, chicken and pulled pork, Twin Smokers features beef brisket, instantly making Texan patrons feel at home. The chicken and ribs, in particular, are succulent and tender. Side dishes include coleslaw, pinto beans, chili and a twist on mac ‘n cheese. Additionally, there is a central bar where the staff serves whiskey, bourbon, beer and cocktails.

“We like to think that barbecue is so regional that we should represent each region appropriately,” Hill said. “We don’t necessarily have one thing we’re known for; we have cooking processes and standards we’re known for. You can come in for the chicken, … beef, … pork, and, rest assured, I put my name behind every one of those products … . If you like barbecue, pretty much guarantee there’s something here that’s going to resonate with you.”

To emphasize this, in addition to the twin smokers, the restaurant makes its own regional variant sauces; these include South and North Carolina, Texas, Memphis and Kansas City sauces, respecting what each brings to the dinner table — or perhaps the bar countertop. The trinity of sauces, though, are “Southern,” “Spiced and Sweet” and “Spicy.”

Pulled pork almost requires some sauce to be fully enjoyed, but the other meats are able to stand sauce-less. Nevertheless, drenching the meat with the appropriate (or one’s favorite) sauce along with the smoky post oak/mesquite or white oak/hickory only enhances the meat’s own flavor.

What many Georgians may not be used to, however, is that the restaurant may run out of food — in fact, it aims to. Ribs take five hours to cook, and pork and brisket take upwards of 12 hours to cook, so however much is prepared for that day is the supply. However, as the staff had to break the news to restaurant goers later in the evening, they gave some of those patrons free desserts and coupons for next time. Given this, afternoon outings are recommended since the meat will be in nearly full supply.

In addition to only serving fresh meat, Twin Smokers aims higher. The restaurant sources locally when possible, and the food is processed in facilities design by Temple Grandin, Ph.D., who is a consultant for animal welfare in the livestock industry.

Twin Smokers BBQ is an inviting spot for feel-good barbecue with a unique taste. Each smoker is worth and try, and the desserts are nothing to scoff at.