In Texas you learn two things as a kid: How to drive and how to barbecue," says stand-up comic and Galveston native Bill Engvall. Which explains why—although he now lives in Manhattan Beach, Calif., near where he tapes TBS's family comedy The Bill Engvall Show
—the actor keeps a collection of BBQ seasonings in a kitchen cabinet. "And I still barbecue every chance I get," he says. "Rain, shine or snow."
Fortunately it's sunny on July 29, as Engvall and his wife, Gail, host a barbecue lunch for his costars Nancy Travis, Graham Pierce Martin and Tim Meadows. A few hours before the guests arrive, Engvall, his "secret sauce" bubbling on the stove (recipe on next page), decants a bottle of Napa Valley Cabernet. "I'll drink a beer while I cook," he says, gesturing to a tub filled with Shiner beer, "but we like a really good Cabernet with barbecue."
Fans needn't worry that Engvall has shed his down-home roots: He always wears a straw cowboy hat while he grills. Is he ever tempted to try a different accessory? Nah. "Goofy aprons," he says, "are for amateurs!"