The 2015 Barbecue Summer Camp, co-hosted by Foodways Texas and the Meat Science Section of the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M University, was held on Friday, June 5th through Sunday, June 7th. The camp is coordinated by meat science educators, Davey Griffin, Ray Riley, and Jeff Savell, and activities were held at the Rosenthal Meat Center and O.D. Butler Animal Science Teaching, Research, and Extension Complex. This was the fifth Barbecue Summer Camp with the first one held in 2011.
On Thursday night, before the camp began, participants and instructors gathered at Kreuz Market in Bryan, Texas for some great barbecue and a glance at the newest barbecue establishment in the Bryan/College Station market. Pit master Lee Jasper and Manager Madeline Bell welcomed the group and showed off the pits after dinner.
On Friday, over 70 participants showed up at the Rosenthal Meat Center for welcomes and introductions led by Marvin Bendele of Foodways Texas and Jeff Savell, meat science professor at Texas A&M University.
The first panel was on pit design and maintenance and was led by Davey Griffin, professor and extension meat specialist at Texas A&M University. The panel consisted of Kent Black, Black’s BBQ, Bryan Bracewell, Southside Market and Barbeque, Israel Campos, Pody’s BBQ, and Ryan Zboril, Pitt’s & Spitt’s. Panelists discussed many different features of pits, advantages and disadvantages of each, and what people can do to get the best performance out of them.
One of the features of Barbecue Summer Camp is the visit to historic Martin’s Place in Bryan. Pit master and owner, Steve Kapchinskie along with his wife and daughter, provide a glimpse into the everyday workings of the brick pits used to smoke meat and share some of Martin’s Place wonderful brisket, ribs, and sausage for the participants.
Before the tour begins at Martin’s Place, Robb Walsh, noted food historian and writer, reads a passage from his book, Barbecue Crossroads, which features a small segment about Martin’s Place in it.
After lunch, the participants returned to the Rosenthal Meat Center for an afternoon of discussions on meat safety and thermometer use and calibration by Davey Griffin, a panel on barbecue wood and smoke, rubs and marinades by Jeff Cernosek, Adam’s Flavors, Foods and Ingredients, and brining basics by Christine Alvarado, Department of Poultry Science, Texas A&M University.
The barbecue wood and smoke panel was led by Jeff Savell and had Kent Black, Black’s BBQ, Bryan Bracewell, Southside Market and Barbeque, Israel Campos, Pody’s BBQ, Lance Kirkpatrick, Stile’s Switch Barbecue, Nick Nickelson, Standard Meat Company, Russell Roegels, Roegels Barbecue, and Tom Perini, Perini Ranch Steakhouse. Discussions ranged from the use of particular types of wood, using seasoned wood, and building fires to ensure clean smoke.
— Jeff Cernosek (@jcernosek) June 5, 2015
The evening featured great food from Southside Market and Barbeque at the O.D. Butler Animal Science Complex.
Saturday agenda features detailed discussions on beef and pork anatomy including demonstrations of various cuts of beef and pork led by Davey Griffin and Ray Riley, manager of the Rosenthal Meat Center.
Saturday night features a pig cooked on a cinder block pit in the Savell backyard. Thomas Larriviere leads this effort each year, and as usual, he did a great job in making sure that the pig was properly cooked. Side dishes and desserts were provided by Stile’s Switch Barbecue, Roegels Barbecue, and Hoovers Cooking.
Sunday morning is devoted to poultry, and the activities are lead by Christine Alvarado. Fajitas, homemade sausage, drumsticks with mayo/spices, and wings with siracha sauce were prepared by the participants.
The fifth Barbecue Summer Camp came to an end with some sadness as participants had to leave, but each one left with some recipes and tips that will allow them to improve their commercial or backyard skills. In 2016, there will be two Barbecue Summer Camps to handle the great demand we have experienced. Thanks for all of the participants, speakers, pit masters, and students who were involved in another outstanding camp!