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Michael Johnson Jr. and Michael Johnson Sr. of Cen-Tex Smokers in Luling.Michael Johnson Jr. makes his living by harnessing fire. He welds barbecue pits for his company, Cen-Tex Smokers, with his father, Mike, in their shop outside the Central Texas town of Luling. It’s dangerous work dealing with cutting torches, massive pieces of steel, reclaimed propane tanks, and the molten metal that bonds everything together. So Johnson never thought the piece of cooking equipment that would endanger him and his family would be the small charcoal grill in his backyard. It was a Saturday morning in April earlier this year. Johnson’s wife, Paige, was out having brunch with her sister. Johnson was at home with their six-month-old daughter and eight-year-old son. He lit the charcoal in a Weber Kettle grill in their backyard, then went inside…

The post Fire Destroyed This Welder’s Home, but That Didn’t Stop His Passion for Barbecue Pits appeared first on Texas Monthly.

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