Sunday, March 8, 2015

Texas Q Presents "The Q Joint" - New Caney, TX

There's a new Q Joint in town.

Opening weekend for The Q Joint in New Caney was a success, despite the soggy conditions for day 2 on Sunday. All meats sold out on Saturday, their opening day, in just 3 hours, with reports of a long line and many happy customers.

Opening day at Texas Q

The Q Joint is the new retail venture of Texas Q Competition BBQ & Catering, a competitive BBQ team and catering operation from the Kingwood area. Sloan Rinaldi, owner and pitmaster, is a 4th generation BBQ cooker, and is no stranger to the BBQ way of life. Her grandfather founded Fowler's in Crockett, TX. 

Sloan got her start in competition BBQ about two years ago, with 2014 being her first full year of competing. She got the attention of many on the circuit early, placing 3rd in ribs in her first competition event last May. She's also been catering for public and private events, where Texas Q built a reputation for the quality product they were providing to people that don't normally get a chance to taste competition BBQ. She has a passion for pit-smoked meats and great sauce, and the natural next step was to make competition-quality BBQ available to the public with The Q Joint. Their homemade sauce, which Sloan is very proud of, is available online and at their new location. It's a sweet sauce, with a nice kick of spice at the finish. "Sweet with some heat," she says.

Brisket point, chopped beef and sausage from The Q Joint

Brisket close-up

Sloan says "I don't want to overpower the flavor of the meats with hickory or mesquite." Texas Q is after a finished product with a "subtle, sweet smoke". She uses a combination of dry pecan and dry apple wood, with wet cherry to fuel their custom reverse-flow, trailer-mounted pit, manufactured by East Texas Smoker Company in Tyler, TX. Their rig is outfitted with everything they need for catering or competing.

Texas Q's reverse flow pit from East Texas Smoker Company

Sliced brisket point and sausage from The Q Joint

On this visit I was able to sample brisket point, chopped brisket and sausage. The brisket was tender and moist, with good smoke penetration and a thin bark that held a hint of sweetness from the rub. "Low 'n slow with a lil' twang" her business card reads. I missed out on ribs and pulled pork for the day, giving me an excuse for a follow-up visit soon. The Q Joint is open 11 am until sold out, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. There isn't much for seating; just a couple of picnic tables, so it really is a 'to-go' operation for now.

I asked Sloan what her plans are once the competition circuit starts up this year, sensing her passion for competing. "We're thinking about that right now, looking at options." They would obviously need another pit to be open at the retail location on the same weekend as a cookoff event, and a crew to manage both. Sloan has attended competition training in Memphis, and Texas Q competes at TGCBCA competitive events. Right now, the focus is bringing their competition-quality barbecue to the public at The Q Joint, something only the judges typically get to to taste.

Nice slice from the point

The Q Joint is located next to the bakery establishment Keeli's Cupcakes on Loop 494 just north of Porter, TX, run by Sloan's friend Keeli Wheeler. The Q Joint and Keeli's share the same walk-up window for placing orders. Don't miss these cupcakes! Fresh ingredients with flavor combinations that make a perfect way to finish off that order of brisket or ribs.

Sweet treats from Keeli's Cupcakes next door!

Day 1 - Sold out!

With the quality of the BBQ product Sloan and her team is turning out at The Q Joint, I doubt this will be the last time we see this 'Sold Out' sign next to the smokehouse. 

Until next time.

- Scott

The Q Joint, and Texas Q Competition BBQ & Catering, 21928 Loop 494 at Community Dr.,
New Caney, TX 77357, (832) 731-7075.

59N Eastex Freeway to FM 1314 - Porter exit, right on FM 1314, left on Loop 494, travel 1.9 miles north and Texas Q is on your left.
Hours: Friday through Sunday, 11:00 am until sold out. 

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