History of Hutchins BBQ

One of the pleasures of dining out is getting off the beaten path, away from chain establishments and fast food. Perhaps most fun of all is discovering hometown restaurants where dishes are cooked with care and a pleasurable experience by the diner is genuinely sought by the owner and staff.

This description fits Hutchins Barbecue to a tee. Opened in Princeton in 1978 by McKinney native Roy Hutchins, the restaurant — buoyed by a reputation for excellence — outgrew its original site, and since 1990 has called the intersection of Hwy. 380 (University Drive) and Tennessee Street home. If you’ve never experienced Hutchins’ outstanding variety of barbecue and attentive, friendly service, you’re in for a treat… And if you’ve been there before, you already know the definition of fine hometown dining!

As a youth, Hutchins worked for a longtime McKinney institution, King’s Barbecue. Later, combining that experience with many subsequent years in the food industry, he decided to focus his knowledge and expertise upon crafting the best barbecue possible. Hutchins’ product succeeded greatly and his children, seeing the care their father put into his work, followed him into the business. Today, son Tim is GM and owner of Hutchins Barbecue, and the very first thing you’ll notice is that same care.

Unlike many restaurants that cook with gas and pre-made cuts, Hutchins insists upon using fine pecan wood to cook and flavor the meat, with fresh cuts coming from the pit throughout the day. The food is prepared over what can literally be called an eternal flame, because getting optimum flavor requires an around-the-clock maintenance of burning coals.

The other key to outstanding barbecue is, of course, the sauce. “When I began, I experimented until I found the best combination of seasonings,” Roy explains. “A good sauce needs to be sweet, bitter, and hot, all at the same time. It needs to hit your taste buds and explode!” At Hutchins there’s always a healthy supply of sweet and spicy sauce — and both should be tried and savored.

If you’ve never experienced true, straight-from-the-heart barbecue, it’s tempting to joke that this Hutchins Barbecue may have existed all these years right under your nose… But it’s even better to say that the moment you walk through its door, your nose will experience something unforgettable. And this is no exaggeration: your taste-buds will thank you, too.

McKinney Magazine – Christopher Foster