The Face of BBQ: Beef Butter BBQ

The Faces of Madison 2020
Beef Butter BBQ

Customers write to owner Patrick Riha of Beef Butter BBQ and say his Texas-style brisket has changed their life. “Absolutely top of the line ’que. I grill all the time and visit a lot of places — this spot is a 12 on a 1-10 scale,” read one review.

His brisket is slowly smoked for six hours over a fire pit and large water bath, which infuses moisture and smoke into the meat. Then the meat is wrapped in special peach butcher paper and smoked another six hours to allow the fat to melt in the meat, turning it into Beef Butter. Beef Butter BBQ makes all its own sausages in-house with the famous John Lehman, formerly of Jim’s Meat Market.

A self-described foodie, Riha has learned from famous pit masters like Aaron Franklin, John Lewis, Myron Mixon and Mike Mills. He started by selling his product in the Woodman’s parking lot with his custom-built trailer.

“I wanted to know if people would appreciate authentic Texas BBQ and be willing to pay for it, because great BBQ is expensive to make,” Riha said.

He quickly found out they would, attracting more than 100,000 customers in his first year of operation. Riha attributes that to the quality, texture and taste of his product.

“Down in Texas that is not fat — that is beef butter,” he said.

3001 N. Sherman Ave., Madison, 608.640.5000

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