In 2009, Ray Riley and Jeff Savell answered a call from the university to teach first-year seminar classes, designed to place freshmen in small-sectioned classes rather than the 200-to-300 student-sized classes most common for undergraduates. One of the classes taught in 2008 was on baseball, so we had the idea that if you could teach a class on baseball at Texas A&M University, you could teach a class on Texas Barbecue, and the rest is history!
The course has been taught with a number of prefixes, first as UPAS 181, UGST 181, ANSC 289, and now ANSC 117 over the years. ANSC 117, Texas Barbecue is a permanent part of our fall semesters with around 25 lucky freshmen taking the course.
Here are the topics covered in ANSC 117 each semester:
- Introduction, expectations, brief history of barbecue, food safety overview
- Cooking methodology: pits, kettles, water smokers, barrel smokers
- Types of fuel (charcoal brickettes, charcoal chunks, wood coals) and smoke (hickory, oak, pecan, mesquite)
- Adding flavoring: seasonings, marinades, rubs, sauces
- Pork: Southeastern-style pulled pork, Hawaiian-inspired pork loin
- Ribs, ribs, ribs: baby back versus St. Louis-style; Memphis-style (dry) versus Kansas City-style (wet); Asian-inspired rubs and sauces
- Chicken: smoking, cooking by rotisserie; whole or pieces
- Barbecuing lamb and goat
- Briskets: To wrap or not to wrap, that is the question!
- Smoking other cuts of beef: shoulder clods, sirloins, ribeyes, and tenderloins
- Cooking beef South American style: Brazil and Argentina
- Thanksgiving Turkey: brining recipes; smoking, frying, cooking by rotisserie
- Cooking whole pigs: Hawaiian, Cuban, Cajun
- Course wrap up
Below are some photos depicting some of the activity that happens each Friday afternoon
ANSC 117 in the news