Not your average smoker

Not your average smoker
Matthew Patton stands beside the Texas-style smoker he made from scratch

Local man builds Texan smoker from scratch


By William Crooks

Local Journalism Initiative


Matthew Patton, a resident of Lennoxville, has successfully built a massive 500-gallon barbecue offset tank smoker, a type uncommon in the area and originating from Texas. This smoker, which he named “the Franklin” after influential American pitmaster Aaron Franklin, was the result of many weeks of work and customization. Although Patton does not run a restaurant or sell his food publicly, he is celebrated in the community for his scrumptious cooking, having mastered everything from briskets to whole hogs and smoking over 500 racks of ribs.

Patton’s passion for cooking began at age five, and he has honed his skills over the years, paying close attention to dietary preferences and restrictions while cooking for his family. His cooking stands out because he only uses fire as a heat source, requiring a high level of attention and care, leading to a unique bond with the element.

In addition to smoking meat, Patton is meticulous in the preparation process, which can span months. This includes selecting the perfect meat cuts, brining or injecting them, grinding his own spice mix, and preparing sauces. He also ages meats, sometimes up to 17 days, and butchers his own pigs, turkeys, and chickens for a farm-to-table experience. His respect for the animals he raises for food is evident, as he ensures they are raised with care and gratitude.

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