Is Killen’s BBQ Really The No 2 BBQ Destination in America?

With the title of “No. 2 BBQ Destination in America”, I had high hopes for Killen’s BBQ, located in Pearland, Texas. (In case you’re wondering, it’s pronounced “pear-land” not “pearl-and”). The last time I had BBQ in Texas, I waited 3 hours for Franklin’s, which was delicious but I’m not sure I would wait that long again. When we arrived at Killen’s BBQ on a Friday afternoon, I saw a long line and immediately felt a little bit of PTSD from my Franklin’s visit. However, the line moved quickly and we were in in less than 20 minutes. OH, and you get free beer while you wait. Already off to a good start…

Killen's BBQ line

Once you enter, the restaurant operates cafeteria style, where you line up and order straight from the line. This way, it keeps things running quickly and efficiently. I’m into it.

Killen's BBQ menu

Killen's BBQ

Decisions, decisions… What to get?!

Killen's BBQ beef rib, pork ribs, sausage, pulled pork, brisket

We ended up getting a little bit of everything— a GIANT beef rib, brisket, pulled pork, sausage and pork ribs, with a side of broccoli casserole and creamed corn.

Killen's BBQ beef rib, pork ribs, sausage, pulled pork, brisket

Oh, and the bread pudding. I am happy to report back that the BBQ lived up to its name. My absolute favorites were the beef rib and the brisket. To be perfectly frank, brisket, in my opinion, is just ok. However, the brisket at Killen’s BBQ had the ideal texture and flavor. Not too salty, not too smoky. Just peppery enough. The beef rib pretty much fell off the bone… Drool. Juicy, tender, need I say more? Pork ribs were good, but slightly on the sweet side, and the pork ribs were tasty but the beef rib definitely outshone it.

KillensBBQ | Cultural Chromatics-6

Killen's BBQ mac n cheese

Of the sides, the mac n cheese was SO GOOD. It looks rather unremarkable, a no frills, plain yellow mac n cheese. But it was far from bland and packed full of cheesy goodness. I couldn’t stop eating it. The creamed corn and broccoli casserole were good, but not as good as the mac n cheese.

Killen's BBQ bread pudding

Bread pudding, also fantastic.

Killen's BBQ sauces

They also have three different signature Killen’s BBQ sauces, sweet, tangy, and coffee. My personal favorite was the tangy, which provides a sharp contrast to the heavy, fatty meat. I’ll admit that the visit was a little coma-inducing, but worth the lethargic afternoon. After chatting with local friends in Houston, it sounds like weekend waits can last up to two hours, so it’s best to plan your visit during a weekday. Get your appetite ready, grab some ice cold beer, get that Killen’s BBQ and post up in their outdoor patio for a perfect Texas meal.

Have you tried Killen’s BBQ? Share your shots on Instagram with the hashtag #culteats, would love to see what you think! 

4 Comments

  1. Killen’s is number one in my book, I agree with everything in the article, and I have eaten BBQ coast to coast including Franklins and Killen’s is the best I’ve ever had anywhere including my own.

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