Barbecue Summer Camp, 2019 edition

Todd David, Cattleack Barbeque describing his pig cooking process (photo by Kelly Yandell)
Todd David, Cattleack Barbeque, describing his pig cooking process at Barbecue Summer Camp (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Todd David, Cattleack Barbeque, describing his pig cooking process at Barbecue Summer Camp (photo by Kelly Yandell)

The Barbecue Summer Camp, co-hosted by Foodways Texas and the Meat Science Program of the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M University, was held on Friday, June 7th through Sunday, June 9th, 2019. 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 tenth Barbecue Summer Camp with the first one held in 2011, and two of them held in 2016.

Introductions to Barbecue Summer Camp

On Friday morning, Marvin Bendele of Foodways Texas and Jeff Savell, meat science professor at Texas A&M University welcomed about 70 participants to the camp. Before the participants spent some time introducing themselves to the the instructors and to the rest of the camp, Savell introduced the grad, undergraduate, and high school students and staff who would be serving vital roles in the camp.

Texas A&M University grad students who helped with the camp were Brogan Horton, Trent Schwartz, Zena Hicks, and Hillary Martinez. Texas A&M University undergraduate students who are Texas Barbecue teaching assistants who helped were Carsyn Burney, Marcee Cooke, Ashley Fuqua, Natalie Hoelscher, Lauren Lee, Sterling Pieniazek, and Robert Sturdivant. Student workers included Ayleen Gonzalez, Brittany Shipp, and Wilsey Wendler. Additional help was provided by College Station High School students Cassie Brown, Nathan Kerth, and Meagan McMurray, Thomas Larriviere and Jackson Larriviere, Chris Kerth, Devon King, Kenzie Lackey, and Eric Hamilton. Thanks to all of the people who helped make Barbecue Summer Camp successful.

Introducing students at Barbecue Summer Camp (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Introducing students at Barbecue Summer Camp (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Participants were from all over Texas, the United States, and the world. Thanks to everyone for hanging in there waiting for the lottery system to select them to attend.

Pit design and maintenance

The first panel was on pit design and maintenance, and another great group of pitmasters and pit manufacturers were led by Davey Griffin, professor and extension meat specialist at Texas A&M University. The panel consisted of Kerry Bexley, Snow’s BBQ, John Brotherton, Brotherton’s Black Iron Barbecue, Brett Boren, Brett’s BBQ, and Ryan Zboril, Pitts and Spitts. The panelists talked about the pits they use or have used, proper design for creating good, clean smoke, and how to get the best performance out of them. In addition, the panelists discussed proper break-in, maintenance, and cleaning to get maximize performance.

Davey Griffin moderating the Pit Design and Maintenance Panel

Davey Griffin moderating the Pit Design and Maintenance Panel

John Brotherton, Brotherton's Black Iron Barbecue, on the Pit Design and Maintenance Panel at Barbecue Summer Camp

John Brotherton, Brotherton’s Black Iron Barbecue, on the Pit Design and Maintenance Panel at Barbecue Summer Camp

Kerry Bexley, Snow's BBQ, on the Pit Design and Maintenance Panel at Barbecue Summer Camp

Kerry Bexley, Snow’s BBQ, on the Pit Design and Maintenance Panel at Barbecue Summer Camp

Brett Boren, Brett's Backyard Bar-B-Que, on the Pit Design and Maintenance Panel at Barbecue Summer Camp

Brett Boren, Brett’s Backyard Bar-B-Que, on the Pit Design and Maintenance Panel at Barbecue Summer Camp

Ryan Zboril, Pitts and Spitts, on the Pit Design and Maintenance Panel at Barbecue Summer Camp

Ryan Zboril, Pitts and Spitts, on the Pit Design and Maintenance Panel at Barbecue Summer Camp

Ryan Zboril, Pitts and Spitts, describing air flow in a smoker

Ryan Zboril, Pitts and Spitts, describing air flow in a smoker

Texas Barbecue history and culture primer/tour of Martin’s Place

A long-standing tradition at Barbecue Summer Camp is to go to the historic Martin’s Place in Bryan. Pit master and owner, Steve Kapchinskie along with his wife and daughter do a great job of showing off the wonderful brick pits and feed everyone a great lunch of brisket, ribs, and sausage to get the camp started off well.

Steve Kapchinskie talking about the pits at Martin's Place

Steve Kapchinskie talking about the pits at Martin’s Place

Robb Walsh, noted food historian and writer, answered questions from the participants about the history of barbecue and included a reading from his book, Barbecue Crossroads, which features a segment about Martin’s Place in it. This tradition is so great because reading this segment in the actual setting of Martin’s brings everything to life.

Robb Walsh reading from Barbecue Crossroads at Martin's Place

Robb Walsh reading from Barbecue Crossroads at Martin’s Place

Robb Walsh reading from Barbecue Crossroads at Martin's Place

Robb Walsh reading from Barbecue Crossroads at Martin’s Place

Meat safety and thermometers

After returning to the Rosenthal Meat Center after lunch, Davey Griffin gave an overview about food safety and proper food handling. One item of special emphasis this camp was to discuss the issue of small particles of wire brushes breaking off and getting ingested. There have been a number of cases of emergency surgery due to the presence of these metal fragments in food, and Davey recommended using great care when cleaning grills and grates so as to not introduce these physical hazards into cooked products.

Davey also showed how best to calibrate thermometers. His recommendation is to be sure to use the best and most accurate thermometers possible so that proper cooking and cooling temperatures can be met.

Barbecue wood and smoke panel

One of the more popular panels at Barbecue Summer Camp is the one on barbecue wood and smoke. Texas is known for having four basic woods for smoking: oak, hickory, pecan, and mesquite. Panelists included Bryan Bracewell, Russell Roegels, Dr. Nick Nickelson, and Homer Robertson. Each panelist gave their thoughts about their favorite woods to use in smoking meats with most of them using post oak because of its availability in the part of the state they are cooking in.

Russell Roegels and Jeff Savell on the Wood and Smoke Panel at Barbecue Summer Camp (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Russell Roegels and Jeff Savell on the Wood and Smoke Panel at Barbecue Summer Camp (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Wood and Smoke Panel at Barbecue Summer Camp (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Wood and Smoke Panel at Barbecue Summer Camp (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Homer Robertson talking about smoking meats

Homer Robertson talking about smoking meats

Davey Griffin talking about different styles of smokers

Davey Griffin talking about different styles of smokers

Rubs and marinades

Ryan Heger from Adams Flavors, Foods & Ingredients once again gave a great overview of the different types of seasonings available along with current trends in food. Ryan discussed the importance of shelf-life of particular products such as black pepper, and he spent a great deal of time talking about how to add heat to flavors without exceeding what people might enjoy eating.

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Adams Flavors, Foods and Ingredients samples

Adams Flavors, Foods and Ingredients samples

Ryan provided a variety of seasonings for the participants to experiment with, and the students assisted them in seasoning briskets, pork Boston butts, pork baby back ribs, and beef chuck short ribs that would be cooked either overnight (briskets and pork butts) or the next day (pork baby back ribs and beef chuck short ribs).

 

Brining basics

Brandon Burrows discussed the chemistry of meat and how brining works. The major feature of this presentation was that brining without some form of injection or vacuum tumbling is not an effective way of increasing the introduction of brine.

Brandon Burrows talking about marinating poultry

Brandon Burrows talking about marinating poultry

Dinner and refreshments

Bryan Bracewell and the crew from Southside Market and Barbeque provided an outstanding meal of brisket, baby back ribs, and their famous hot guts beef and jalapeño and cheese sausage for the evening. The meal was topped off with the choice of blackberry cobbler or peach cobbler along with Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream.

Bryan Bracewell, Southside Market and Barbeque, talking about mobile cooking trailer

Bryan Bracewell, Southside Market and Barbeque, talking about mobile cooking trailer

Southside Market and Barbeque

Southside Market and Barbeque

Southside Market and Barbeque gang (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Southside Market and Barbeque gang (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Special thanks go to the Saint Arnold Brewing Company for providing beer for the Friday and Saturday evening meals.

Whole hog cookery

This year, Todd and Riley David, Cattleack Barbeque, came to the camp to prepare the whole hog using their trailer cooking setup. Both sides of a pork carcass were placed in the cooker where coals were placed under them for the cooking process.

Riley and Todd David, Cattleack Barbeque (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Riley and Todd David, Cattleack Barbeque (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Todd David, Cattleack Barbeque, cooking pork sides

Todd David, Cattleack Barbeque, cooking pork sides

Todd David and burn barrel used to generate coals

Todd David and burn barrel used to generate coals

Beef anatomy overview

Davey Griffin and Ray Riley spent the morning going over the various cuts that come from beef along with a USDA beef grading overview. Ray ribbed a carcass in front of the participants, which always creates quite a photographic frenzy for those wanting to capture the moment on their cameras or phones.

Jeff Savell and Davey Griffin (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Jeff Savell and Davey Griffin (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Jeff Savell (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Jeff Savell (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Davey Griffin and Jeff Savell talking about beef carcass grading and cut out at Barbecue Summer Camp (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Davey Griffin and Jeff Savell talking about beef carcass grading and cut out at Barbecue Summer Camp (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Davey Griffin

Davey Griffin

Beef cutting room demonstrations

Various cuts of beef were displayed in the teaching cutting room of the Rosenthal Meat Center with graduate students standing by to discuss the different cuts and their uses in barbecue or other methods of preparation.

Brogan Horton talking about beef ribs (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Brogan Horton talking about beef ribs (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Trent Schwartz showing the different types of beef chuck cuts

Trent Schwartz showing the different types of beef chuck cuts

Chris Kerth describing beef cut

Chris Kerth describing beef cut

Hillary Martinez talking about different styles of beef briskets

Hillary Martinez talking about different styles of beef briskets

Lunch: heavy tasting – meat market style

A typical market-style lunch of smoked meats, cheese, onions, pickles and bread were served to the participants. Individual cooked briskets and pork butts seasoned by the participants the day before were sliced or pulled with the teams of people who seasoned them having the first chance at sampling the cuts. Each team talked about the type of seasonings they used and how they thought the products turned out.

Jeff Savell sampling brisket (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Jeff Savell sampling brisket (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Barbecue Summer Camp would not be as successful as it is without the help of the pitmasters who cook and slice the products the participants season. Thanks go to John Brotherton, Dominic Colbert, and Russell and Misty Roegels, and others for this valuable help.

John Brotherton, Brotherton's Black Iron Barbecue, and Russell Roegels, Roegels Barbecue putting beef ribs on to cook (photo by Kelly Yandell)

John Brotherton, Brotherton’s Black Iron Barbecue, and Russell Roegels, Roegels Barbecue putting beef ribs on to cook (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Serving brisket and pulled pork at Barbecue Summer Camp (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Serving brisket and pulled pork at Barbecue Summer Camp (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Pork anatomy overview

Davey Griffin presented an overview of pork carcass anatomy and terminology.

Davey Griffin talking about pork carcass

Davey Griffin talking about pork carcass

Jeff Savell, Cassie Brown, Meagan McMurray, and Davey Griffin at Barbecue Summer Camp (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Jeff Savell, Cassie Brown, Meagan McMurray, and Davey Griffin at Barbecue Summer Camp (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Pork cutting room demonstrations

Various cuts of pork were displayed in the teaching cutting room of the Rosenthal Meat Center. Graduate students talked about the cuts, and Trent Schwartz and Brogan Horton conducted cutting demonstrations for the participants.

Hillary Martinez describing pork shoulder cuts

Hillary Martinez describing pork shoulder cuts

Chris Kerth talking about pork loin cuts

Chris Kerth talking about pork loin cuts

Zena Hicks talking about pork shoulder cuts at Barbecue Summer Camp

Zena Hicks talking about pork shoulder cuts at Barbecue Summer Camp

Brogan Horton and Trent Schwartz cutting pork side

Brogan Horton and Trent Schwartz cutting pork side

Trent Schwartz and Brogan Horton cutting pork carcass (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Trent Schwartz and Brogan Horton cutting pork carcass (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Saturday night dinner with Cattleack Barbeque pork and beef and pork ribs

Saturday night’s meal was Cattleack Barbeque’s special cooked pork along with the participants beef and pork ribs. Each group had the chance to sample the ribs they seasoned. The pork and beef and pork ribs were outstanding.

Cooked pork

Cooked pork

Riley and Todd David, Cattleack Barbeque, pulling/preparing the pork

Riley and Todd David, Cattleack Barbeque, pulling/preparing the pork

John Brotherton, Misty Roegels, Eric Hamilton, Brogan Horton, Dominic Colbert, and Russell Roegels (photo by Kelly Yandell)

John Brotherton, Misty Roegels, Eric Hamilton, Brogan Horton, Dominic Colbert, and Russell Roegels (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Poultry sessions

Sunday morning was devoted to poultry, and the activities were led by Brandon Burrows with preparation and cooking/smoking demonstrations led Meat Science students. Fajitas, homemade sausage, drumsticks with mayo/spices, were prepared by the participants.

Trent Schwartz stuffing chicken sausage (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Trent Schwartz stuffing chicken sausage (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Eric Hamilton demonstrating poultry processing at Barbecue Summer Camp (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Eric Hamilton demonstrating poultry processing at Barbecue Summer Camp (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Brandon also presented an overview of current trends in flavor and answered questions from the participants regarding various seasonings and their usefulness for barbecue and other applications.

Chicken on the grill at Barbecue Summer Camp (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Chicken on the grill at Barbecue Summer Camp (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Summary

The tenth Barbecue Summer Camp came to an end with everyone leaving full of knowledge and barbecue! Thanks for all of the participants, speakers, pit masters, and students who were involved in another outstanding camp! Thanks to Kelly Yandell with Foodways Texas for coming to support the camp and helping to chronicle the activities through her special photographic and social media talents.

Misty Roegels and Kelly Yandell at Barbecue Summer Camp

Misty Roegels and Kelly Yandell at Barbecue Summer Camp

Kelly Yandell and Wyatt McSpadden at Barbecue Summer Camp (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Kelly Yandell and Wyatt McSpadden at Barbecue Summer Camp (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Lauren Lee and Sterling Pieniazek helping with Barbecue Summer Camp (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Lauren Lee and Sterling Pieniazek helping with Barbecue Summer Camp (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Part of the crew helping with Barbecue Summer Camp (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Part of the crew helping with Barbecue Summer Camp (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Brett Boren and Jeff Savell (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Brett Boren and Jeff Savell (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Happy campers with Davey Griffin (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Happy campers with Davey Griffin (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Jackson and Ayleen weighing seasoned cuts

Sterling helping weigh seasoned cuts

Sterling helping weigh seasoned cuts

Meagan, Ashley, and Cassie at Barbecue Summer Camp (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Meagan, Ashley, and Cassie at Barbecue Summer Camp (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Aggies participate in seventh Houston BBQ Festival

Mary Gatlin, Gatlin's BBQ, with the Aggies at the Houston BBQ Festival
Mary Gatlin, Gatlin's BBQ, with the Aggies at the Houston BBQ Festival

Mary Gatlin, Gatlin’s BBQ, with the Aggies at the Houston BBQ Festival

A group of Aggies involved in the Texas Barbecue program at Texas A&M University participated in the 7th Houston BBQ Festival, which was held in the Humble Civic Center Arena in Humble, Texas on Sunday, April 14, 2019. Those in attendance from Texas A&M University were faculty Davey Griffin, Ray Riley, and Jeff Savell, and students Anahi Arredondo, Bailey Carwile, Jazmin Guerra, Eric Hamilton, Natalie Hoelscher, Brogan Horton, Devon King, Kenzie Lackey, Steven Mancillas, and Menzi Spiller.

Ronnie Killen, Killen's Barbecue, with the Aggies

Ronnie Killen, Killen’s Barbecue, with the Aggies

Ray Riley and Bryan Bracewell, Southside Market and Barbeque

Ray Riley and Bryan Bracewell, Southside Market and Barbeque

Tin Roof BBQ folks

Tin Roof BBQ folks

Greg and Scott Moore, Tejas Chocolate + Barbecue at the Houston BBQ Festival

Greg and Scott Moore, Tejas Chocolate + Barbecue at the Houston BBQ Festival

We enjoy going to the festival each year to talk to folks about Texas Barbecue and to see so many of the pitmasters we have gotten to know through festivals and camps and to make new acquaintances with those we have not met yet. One of the most common questions we get is not about how to cook better barbecue, but how to get into the always-sold-out Barbecue Summer Camp and Camp Brisket, two outstanding programs we conduct with Foodways Texas.

Devon King, Anahi Arredondo, Jazmin Guerra, Kenzie Lackey, Bailey Carwile, Natalie Hoelscher, Brogan Horton, and Eric Hamilton

Devon King, Anahi Arredondo, Jazmin Guerra, Kenzie Lackey, Bailey Carwile, Natalie Hoelscher, Brogan Horton, and Eric Hamilton

The Houston BBQ Festival has two great champions, Chris Reid and Michael Fulmer. Chris and Michael are the event founders, and thanks for always inviting us each year and allowing us to interact with barbecue specialists and enthusiasts from around the Houston area. Your passion for shedding the spotlight on these great barbecue endeavors is making a difference throughout the southeast Texas area. The number of great barbecue establishments in the Houston area keeps increasing, and your efforts to highlight and support them has made a difference in this recognition.

Greg Gatlin, Gatlin's BBQ

Greg Gatlin, Gatlin’s BBQ

We had a great time, but sampled way too much. The food was great, but the fun and fellowship were even greater. We look forward to next year’s event, and we appreciate the opportunity to participate in these events across the state.

Camp Brisket, 2019 edition

Davey Griffin lecturing on beef brisket anatomy (photo by Kelly Yandell)
Davey Griffin lecturing on beef brisket anatomy at Camp Brisket (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Davey Griffin lecturing on beef brisket anatomy at Camp Brisket (photo by Kelly Yandell)

The seventh Camp Brisket, a joint venture between Foodways Texas and the Meat Science Section of the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M University, was held on January 4-5, 2019 at the Rosenthal Meat Center and the Beef Cattle Center at the O.D. Butler Animal Science Complex. About 70 participants from around the U.S., United Kingdom, and New Zealand embarked on a journey to learn more about the ultimate challenge preparing that most difficult dish of Texas Barbecue cuisine, the brisket.

Camp Brisket participants (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Camp Brisket participants (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Kerry Bexley and Tootsie Tomanetz, Snow's BBQ (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Kerry Bexley and Tootsie Tomanetz, Snow’s BBQ (photo by Kelly Yandell)

This year’s Camp Brisket was coordinated by Texas A&M University meat science educators, Davey Griffin, Ray Riley, and Jeff Savell, and who were assisted by graduate students, undergraduate students, and staff including Wade Baty, Hayden Blumberg, Kyle Caldwell, Morgan Foster, Clayton Garrett, Eric Hamilton, Brogan Horton, Jenna Hunt, Ty Robertson, Trent Schwartz, Chandler Steele, Holly Sanders, and Wilsey Wendler. These great folks ensured that the needs of the briskets, pitmasters, and guests were attended to through the camp.

Marvin Bendele, Foodways Texas, welcomed the participants to Camp Brisket. Greetings and introductions are part of the beginning of each Camp Brisket. Getting to know each other is one way to create community that is so important when we conduct these workshops.

Marvin Bendele, Foodways Texas, giving a welcome to Camp Brisket

Marvin Bendele, Foodways Texas, giving a welcome to Camp Brisket

Introductions of Texas A&M University students who help with Camp Brisket (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Introductions of Texas A&M University students who help with Camp Brisket (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Before Camp Brisket starts, work begins on procuring the briskets representing different types and grades, trimming them, and applying the salt/pepper seasoning (we used a half and half mix by volume of Kosher salt and course ground pepper with 3/4 cup applied to each brisket). Davey Griffin worked with the grad students to get the briskets ready to go for the camp.

Davey Griffin trimming a brisket

Davey Griffin trimming a brisket

Trent Schwartz and Jenna Hunt seasoning briskets

Trent Schwartz and Jenna Hunt seasoning briskets

Trent Schwartz and Ray Riley seasoning briskets

Trent Schwartz and Ray Riley seasoning briskets

Brisket use and anatomy

The first talks were by Jess Pryles, cook, writer, and TV personality, on the difference between restaurant and competition brisket, and Davey Griffin, on the anatomy and trimming of a brisket.

Jess Pryles talking about restaurant- versus competition-style briskets

Jess Pryles talking about restaurant- versus competition-style briskets

Jess Pryles talking about restaurant-style briskets

Jess Pryles talking about restaurant-style briskets

Davey Griffin lecturing on beef brisket anatomy

Davey Griffin lecturing on beef brisket anatomy

Davey Griffin discussing brisket anatomy (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Davey Griffin discussing brisket anatomy (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Knife selection and cooked brisket slicing

Proper knife use and sharpening was covered by Jeff Savell before a demonstration on slicing cooked briskets was conducted.

Jeff Savell talking about different knives

Jeff Savell talking about different knives

Brisket slicing demonstration

Brisket slicing demonstration

Smoked beef brisket (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Smoked beef brisket (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Tasting different grades of brisket

The first tasting test we did was for different grades of brisket. We obtained five different grades/types of briskets for use in this demonstration: Prime, Chairman’s Reserve, Wagyu, Choice, and Select. These briskets and the remaining ones used for the camp were trimmed to have no more than about 1/4 inch of fat remaining anywhere. Each brisket was seasoned with 3/4-cup of a half and half mixture (by volume) of Kosher salt and restaurant-style coarse-ground black pepper. The briskets for the grade/type demonstration were cooked on Russell Roegels of Roegels Barbecue pit with John Brotherton of Brotherton’s Black Iron Barbecue and others managing the cooking cycle. B&B Charcoal provided the oak logs as the source of heat and smoke.

Speaking of B&B Charcoal, thanks to Joey Machado and the company for providing all of the wood (oak, hickory, mesquite, and pecan), chunk charcoal, briquettes, and char-logs for the use in the camp. We are so pleased that B&B Charcoal and Joey contributed these products for the pitmasters and us to use to cook briskets with.

Each grade/type of brisket was sliced so that each participant received a lean portion to rate on a ballot. When completed, the ballots were tabulated by the students to determine whether the participants could tell the difference in the grades or types of brisket. The winner? The Wagyu won, with the other grades/types being rating similarly. Last year, all of the briskets were rated the same. Each year, this taste comparison usually results in Prime and Wagyu near the top and Select being near the bottom in ratings. There are perceivable differences in eating quality among different grades and types of briskets, and those interested in producing the best cooked briskets possible need to be aware of this.

Serving the different grades of brisket

Serving the different grades of brisket

Comparisons of different grades of briskets

Comparisons of different grades of briskets

Sampling the different briskets at Camp Brisket

Sampling the different briskets at Camp Brisket

Beef grading discussion

Ray Riley gave a beef grading demonstration talking about the USDA beef grades, and Davey Griffin talked about various certification programs so that the participants would know more about the various labels and brands associated with the meat they purchase.

Ray Riley talking about USDA beef grading at Camp Brisket (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Ray Riley talking about USDA beef grading at Camp Brisket (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Davey Griffin, Ray Riley, and Jeff Savell discussion different types/grades of briskets (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Davey Griffin, Ray Riley, and Jeff Savell discussion different types/grades of briskets (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Wood and Smoke panel

There was a Wood and Smoke panel at the end of the afternoon featuring Jeff Savell as the moderator, Bill Dumas, The Switch; Kevin Kolman, Weber Grills; Tom Perini, Perini Ranch Steakhouse; Joe Riscky, Joe Riscky’s Barbeque; and Homer Robertson, World Champion Chuck Wagon competitor and Fort Worth Fire Department leader. Post oak is the featured wood for Texas Barbecue based on its abundance and how the smoke complements beef. The panel discussed the topic of using properly seasoned wood to smoke with and how important it was to getting a clean fire that imparts the good aspects of the smoke onto the product. The positives and negatives of the other woods most commonly used in smoking — hickory, mesquite, and pecan — were discussed.

The Wood and Smoke Panel at Camp Brisket (photo by Kelly Yandell)

The Wood and Smoke Panel at Camp Brisket (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Tom Perini and Bill Dumas, Wood and Smoke Panel (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Tom Perini and Bill Dumas, Wood and Smoke Panel (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Homer Robertson on the Wood and Smoke Panel (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Homer Robertson on the Wood and Smoke Panel (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Wood and Smoke Panel at Camp Brisket: Tom Perini, Jeff Savell, Homer Robertson, Joe Riscky, Bill Dumas, and Kevin Kolman (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Wood and Smoke Panel at Camp Brisket: Tom Perini, Jeff Savell, Homer Robertson, Joe Riscky, Bill Dumas, and Kevin Kolman (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Friday night dinner

We moved to the Beef Center for the rest of the program. We were blessed to have two great people involved with dinner that night. Israel Campos from Pody’s BBQ in Pecos provided the main meal with brisket and pulled pork and wonderful sides and with Homer Robertson, world champion chuck wagon competitor, provided bread pudding and apple crisp for the crowd. We thank Robert Sierra for coming up to help out with the evening’s dinner. The food was enjoyed by all!

Israel Campos and Robert Sierra

Israel Campos and Robert Sierra

Overnight smoking at Camp Brisket

The next brisket comparison was to smoke briskets overnight using the four primary woods — oak, hickory, mesquite, and pecan. Multiple pits were used for the overnight cooking. We used Prime briskets, trimmed and seasoned as mentioned before, for the comparison, and briskets were put on the smokers around 8 pm on Friday evening so that they would be ready to serve around lunch time on Saturday. Kevin Kolman from Weber Grills started four Weber Smokey Mountain cookers with chunks from the four woods as part of the demonstration.

Observing the pits during the overnight cook

Observing the pits during the overnight cook

Chuck wagon breakfast, starting fires, and pit discussion

Saturday morning became a time for a great chuck wagon breakfast of biscuits and gravy and breakfast tacos made with sausage and brisket from Homer Robertson, Ty Robertson, JArthur Garcia, Joel Phillips, and Joe Riscky, a primer on starting fires in off-set pits and Weber Smokey Mountain cookers, a review of the different types of pits we used to cook with, and a discussion by Homer Robertson and Tootsie Tomenetz, Snow’s BBQ about cooking over direct coals.

Joe Riscky, JArthur Garcia, Homer Robertson, and Ty Robertson (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Joe Riscky, JArthur Garcia, Homer Robertson, and Ty Robertson (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Davey Griffin talking about his reverse flow smoker

Davey Griffin talking about his reverse flow smoker

Pat Reardon discussing his Jambo smoker at Camp Brisket

Pat Reardon discussing his Jambo smoker at Camp Brisket

Russell Roegels, Roegels Barbecue, talking about cooking with the Bewley pit

Russell Roegels, Roegels Barbecue, talking about cooking with the Bewley pit

Russell Roegels, Roegels Barbecue (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Russell Roegels, Roegels Barbecue (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Kevin Kolman, Weber Grills, talking about the Weber Smokey Mountain Cookers

Kevin Kolman, Weber Grills, talking about the Weber Smokey Mountain Cookers

Kevin Kolman, Weber Grills, talking about the Weber Smokey Mountain Cookers

Kevin Kolman, Weber Grills, talking about the Weber Smokey Mountain Cookers

Homer Robertson talking about chuck wagon cooking

Homer Robertson talking about chuck wagon cooking

Tootsie Tomanetz, Snow's BBQ, talking about using live coals to cook with

Tootsie Tomanetz, Snow’s BBQ, talking about using live coals to cook with

Tootsie Tomanetz, Snow's BBQ

Tootsie Tomanetz, Snow’s BBQ

Pit design and maintenance panel

A pit design and maintenance panel was composed of Arnis Robbins, Evie Mae’s BBQ; Kerry Bexley, Snow’s BBQ; Wayne Mueller, Louie Mueller Barbecue; Bryan Bracewell, Southside Market and Barbeque; Sunny Moberg, Moberg Smokers; Ryan Zboril, Pitts and Spitts; Kevin Kolman, with Davey Griffin as the moderator. Each panelist added his own take on what types of pits/cookers they preferred and what they did to make sure they were used to their best ability.

Pit Design and Maintenance Panel at Camp Brisket (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Pit Design and Maintenance Panel at Camp Brisket (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Ryan Zboril, Pitts and Spitts, on the Pit Design and Maintenance Panel (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Ryan Zboril, Pitts and Spitts, on the Pit Design and Maintenance Panel (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Sunny Moburg (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Sunny Moburg (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Davey Griffin talking to the Pit Design and Maintenance Panel

Davey Griffin talking to the Pit Design and Maintenance Panel

Seasonings and barbecue science

Brandon Burrows spent some time going over different seasonings outside of the normal use of salt and pepper. Jeff Savell discussed some of the science behind meat and barbecue and fielded questions from the crowd regarding a wide array of topics.

Brandon Burrows talking about seasonings (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Brandon Burrows talking about seasonings (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Smoke tasting panel

Lunch that day was the tasting of the briskets prepared using the four different smokes — oak, hickory, mesquite, and pecan. Each participant received a small slice of brisket from each smoke and were asked to rate it on 9-point scales. Students tabulated the results, and there was a four-way tie among oak, hickory, mesquite, and pecan. Most years, either oak or hickory wins this competition, but we are amazed that there are really few differences in how the participants rate these briskets cooked with different woods/smokes.

Life as a pitmaster panel

One of the most highly regarded parts of Camp Brisket is the final panel, moderated by Jeff Savell, which featured Brandon Allen, Tejas Chocolate Craftory; Bryan Bracewell; Russell Roegels; Wayne Mueller; John Brotherton; Domenic Colbert, Brotherton’s Black Iron Barbecue; and Tootsie Tomanetz. The title of the panel was “Life as a Pitmaster,” and it gave each person a time to reflect on their path to where they are now, the challenges and opportunities they each face, and why in this crazy world of barbecue, they love this business so much.

Tootsie Tomanetz, Snow's BBQ, on the Life as a Pitmaster Panel (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Tootsie Tomanetz, Snow’s BBQ, on the Life as a Pitmaster Panel (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Dominec Colbert, Brotherton's Black Iron Barbecue, on the Life as a Pitmaster Panel (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Dominec Colbert, Brotherton’s Black Iron Barbecue, on the Life as a Pitmaster Panel (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Wayne Mueller, Louie Mueller Barbecue, on the Life as a Pitmaster Panel (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Wayne Mueller, Louie Mueller Barbecue, on the Life as a Pitmaster Panel (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Life as a Pitmaster Panel at Camp Brisket (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Life as a Pitmaster Panel at Camp Brisket (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Bryan Bracewell, Southside Market and Barbeque (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Bryan Bracewell, Southside Market and Barbeque (photo by Kelly Yandell)

John Brotherton, Brotherton's Black Iron Barbecue (photo by Kelly Yandell)

John Brotherton, Brotherton’s Black Iron Barbecue (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Russell Roegels, Roegels Barbecue (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Russell Roegels, Roegels Barbecue (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Life as a Pitmaster Panel at Camp Brisket (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Life as a Pitmaster Panel at Camp Brisket (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Send off meal

The final meal was a comparison of wrapped versus unwrapped briskets. There was no difference between wrapped and unwrapped briskets. Most participants are facing “brisket fatigue” at this point, and are ready for something fairly light as they depart.

We end Camp Brisket for this year and know that many people from all walks of life have come together to bond over barbecue in general, but with the common goal of how to tackle the challenge that is the brisket! Thanks to Kelly Yandell, Foodways Texas board member, for coming and taking such great photos and being at the camp to support everyone.

Davey Griffin, Ray Riley, and Jeff Savell (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Davey Griffin, Ray Riley, and Jeff Savell (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Debra and Pat Reardon (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Debra and Pat Reardon (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Misty Roegels and Mallory Robbins (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Misty Roegels and Mallory Robbins (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Sunny Moburg and Davey Griffin (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Sunny Moburg and Davey Griffin (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Russell Roegels, John Brotherton, and Brandon Allen (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Russell Roegels, John Brotherton, and Brandon Allen (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Jeff Savell and Homer Robertson (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Jeff Savell and Homer Robertson (photo by Kelly Yandell)

Looking at the different grades of beef briskets

Looking at the different grades of beef briskets

 

Fifth Texas Barbecue Town Hall Meeting held

Daniel Vaughn, Texas Monthly Barbecue Editor, discussing what successful barbecue restaurants are doing
Daniel Vaughn, Texas Monthly Barbecue Editor, discussing what successful barbecue restaurants are doing

Daniel Vaughn, Texas Monthly Barbecue Editor, discussing what successful barbecue restaurants are doing

Owners/operators and pitmasters from some of the leading barbecue restaurants throughout Texas participated in the fifth Texas Barbecue Town Hall Meeting, which was held at the AgriLife Center and the Rosenthal Meat Center on Monday, December 10, 2018.

Tootsie Tomanetz, Snow's BBQ

Tootsie Tomanetz, Snow’s BBQ

About 50 people were in attendance, and participants received updates on livestock and meat markets for beef, pork, chicken, and turkey by David Anderson, professor and extension economist, Department of Agricultural Economics, Texas A&M University, key learnings from his years as Texas Monthly Barbecue Editor by Daniel Vaughn, and a beef grading and pork cutout demonstration by Davey Griffin and Ray Riley.

Suzanne and Richard Funk, Desert Oak Barbecue

Suzanne and Richard Funk, Desert Oak Barbecue

Todd and Misty David, Cattleack Barbeque

Todd and Misty David, Cattleack Barbeque

The meeting was sponsored by the E.M. “Manny” Rosenthal Chair in the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M University, and Davey Griffin, Ray Riley, and Jeff Savell served as hosts with assistance from students, Brogan Horton, Eric Hamilton, Jason Shamburger, Ty Robertson, Devon King, Steven Mancillas, Holly Sanders, Kenna Turner, and Wilsey Windler.

David Anderson

David Anderson gave a market update and shared with the participants what was going on in the beef, pork, turkey, and chicken markets. Anderson stated that the beef market remains strong, but the pork, turkey, and chicken markets are showing both high supplies and weaker demand.

David Anderson, Professor and Extension Economist, Department of Agricultural Economics, Texas A&M University

David Anderson, Professor and Extension Economist, Department of Agricultural Economics, Texas A&M University

David Anderson, Professor and Extension Economist, Department of Agricultural Economics, Texas A&M University giving a market update

David Anderson, Professor and Extension Economist, Department of Agricultural Economics, Texas A&M University giving a market update

David Anderson, Professor and Extension Economist, Department of Agricultural Economics, Texas A&M University

David Anderson, Professor and Extension Economist, Department of Agricultural Economics, Texas A&M University

Daniel Vaughn

Daniel Vaughn presented some great tips for the participants from what he has learned over the years. His presentation focused on photos of best practices with some photos of not-so-great products included to show what not to do. Adding variety to the sides and desserts, and making them memorable to diners, ensures repeat customers. Vaughn also talked about how important it is to have every plate or platter of food look Instagram-ready.

Daniel Vaughn, Texas Monthly Barbecue Editor, at the Texas Barbecue Town Hall Meeting

Daniel Vaughn, Texas Monthly Barbecue Editor, at the Texas Barbecue Town Hall Meeting

Daniel Vaughn showing a map of restaurants he has visited (in green) and those he still needs to visit (in red)

Daniel Vaughn showing a map of restaurants he has visited (in green) and those he still needs to visit (in red)

Daniel Vaughn, Texas Monthly Barbecue Editor, talking about proper platter/plate presentation

Daniel Vaughn, Texas Monthly Barbecue Editor, talking about proper platter/plate presentation

Daniel Vaughn, Texas Monthly Barbecue Editor, talking about the importance of great side dishes to successful barbecue restaurants

Daniel Vaughn, Texas Monthly Barbecue Editor, talking about the importance of great side dishes to successful barbecue restaurants

Lunch by Brotherton’s Black Iron Barbecue and Roegels Barbecue

Thanks to John Brotherton, Brotherton’s Black Iron Barbecue and Russell and Misty Roegels, Roegels Barbecue for providing the great steaks, chops, sides, and dessert for the participants. We greatly appreciate everyone who helped prepare and serve the lunch for the town hall meeting.

John Brotherton, Brotherton's Black Iron Barbecue, grilling pork chops and beef steaks

John Brotherton, Brotherton’s Black Iron Barbecue, grilling pork chops and beef steaks

Russell Roegels, Roegels Barbecue, seasoning steaks

Russell Roegels, Roegels Barbecue, seasoning steaks

Grilled/smoked two-rib pork chops from Brotherton's Black Iron Barbecue

Grilled/smoked two-rib pork chops from Brotherton’s Black Iron Barbecue

Grilled/smoked beef ribeye steaks from Brotherton's Black Iron Barbecue

Grilled/smoked beef ribeye steaks from Brotherton’s Black Iron Barbecue

Russell Roegels, Roegels Barbecue, setting up with serving line for the Texas Barbecue Town Hall Meeting

Russell Roegels, Roegels Barbecue, setting up with serving line for the Texas Barbecue Town Hall Meeting

Tootsie Tomanetz, Snow's BBQ and Daniel Vaughn, Texas Monthly Magazine, getting lunch and a photo from Kelly Yandell

Tootsie Tomanetz, Snow’s BBQ and Daniel Vaughn, Texas Monthly Magazine, getting lunch and a photo from Kelly Yandell

Beef grading and pork carcass cutting demonstrations

After lunch, the participants moved over to the Rosenthal Meat Center for a demonstration of beef carcass quality and yield grading and for a pork carcass cut-out. Davey Griffin and Ray Riley led this exercise and answered questions about both topics.

Davey and Ray talking about beef carcass grading for the Texas Barbecue Town Hall Meeting

Davey and Ray talking about beef carcass grading for the Texas Barbecue Town Hall Meeting

Davey discussing the cuts from the beef forequarter

Davey discussing the cuts from the beef forequarter

Davey talking about beef quality grading

Davey talking about beef quality grading

Ray demonstrating one of the beef marbling cards used to assign marbling scores to beef carcasses

Ray demonstrating one of the beef marbling cards used to assign marbling scores to beef carcasses

Ray about to separate the pork shoulder from the carcass

Ray about to separate the pork shoulder from the carcass

Davey talking about the pork loin separation from the pork belly and spareribs

Davey talking about the pork loin separation from the pork belly and spareribs

Davey and Ray demonstrating the cuts from a pork carcass for the participants of the Texas Barbecue Town Hall Meeting

Davey and Ray demonstrating the cuts from a pork carcass

We thank everyone who came to the town hall meeting, and we look forward to working with the the great folks who prepare Texas Barbecue.

Texas Barbecue Town Hall Meeting in the news

“Meat and Greet: Texas A&M hosts annual Texas Barbecue Town Hall meeting” by Kenny Wiley, The Eagle

 

 

 

 

 

ANSC 117 2018: Brisket

Davey Griffin describing a "packer trim" brisket, marks of inspection, and brand labels
Davey Griffin describing a "packer trim" brisket, marks of inspection, and brand labels

Davey Griffin describing a “packer trim” brisket, marks of inspection, and brand labels

The hallmark of Texas Barbecue is the beef brisket. Without question, barbecue restaurants and backyard enthusiasts are judged by how well they can prepare this cut, which can be quite tough and dry if not done correctly. We even devote an entire workshop in conjunction with Foodways Texas to the study of the brisket: Camp Brisket.

Because of the importance of this cut in Texas Barbecue, we focus an entire class on brisket in ANSC 117, Texas Barbecue. This year, we had the opportunity for Davey Griffin to share his expertise on brisket anatomy and terminology with the class, and John Brotherton, Brotherton’s Black Iron Barbecue, Pfluegerville, Texas, brought smoked briskets, sausage, and sides to serve to the students and teaching assistants.

Brisket anatomy

Davey spent time going over the anatomical location of the brisket, the major muscles that comprise it, and the terminology of the point and flat portions. He finished his lecture by dissecting a brisket to demonstrate how the direction of the muscle fibers ran in the individual muscles and how they overlay. This knowledge helps when the briskets are cooked so that proper slicing can be used to help create the best eating experience possible.

Davey Griffin showing a trimmed beef brisket

Davey Griffin showing a trimmed beef brisket

Davey Griffin showing the individual muscles of the brisket

Davey Griffin showing the individual muscles of the brisket

Serving the brisket

John Brotherton brought smoked briskets and the trimmings from his restaurant in Pfluegerville for us to dine on, and as you might expect, they were wonderful. We thank him for feeding us so well with this great food.

John Brotherton checking the temperature on the sausage

John Brotherton checking the temperature on the sausage

John Brotherton, Brotherton's Black Iron Barbecue, getting ready to slice briskets

John Brotherton, Brotherton’s Black Iron Barbecue, getting ready to slice briskets

Great brisket from Brotherton's Black Iron Barbecue, Pfluegerville, Texas

Great brisket from Brotherton’s Black Iron Barbecue, Pfluegerville, Texas

Slicing briskets

Slicing briskets

Sliced lean brisket portions

Sliced lean brisket portions

Pitmaster stories

We were happy that Russell and Misty Roegels of Roegels Barbecue in Houston came up to visit the class this week. Russell and Misty are frequent visitors to our class, and they provide so much help with the barbecue camps, too.

We thought it would be good to have Russell and John tell about their backgrounds and how they got into the barbecue world. The lessons they shared with the students show that dreams can come true when you have a passion to follow.

John Brotherton, Brotherton's Black Iron Barbecue, and Russell Roegels, Roegels Barbecue, talking about how they started in the barbecue business

John Brotherton, Brotherton’s Black Iron Barbecue, and Russell Roegels, Roegels Barbecue, talking about how they started in the barbecue business

John Brotherton and Russell Roegels

John Brotherton and Russell Roegels

Thanks to John, Russell, and Misty for coming to class this week to share food and fellowship with us. We look forward to having them back in the future.

Russell Roegels, Eric Hamilton, Brogan Horton, John Brotherton, and Misty Roegels

Russell Roegels, Eric Hamilton, Brogan Horton, John Brotherton, and Misty Roegels

 

 

ANSC 117 2018: Brazilian barbecue

Dr. Flavio Ribeiro lecturing on Brazilian barbecue in ANSC 117, Texas Barbecue

One of the most popular topics each year in ANSC 117, Texas Barbecue, is Brazilian barbecue. Dr. Flavio Ribeiro, Research Scientist, Animal Systems, College of Agriculture and Human Sciences, Prairie View A&M University, once again led the class. Flavio is a native of Brazil, and he enjoys teaching others about the culture of Brazilian barbecue through his lectures and his demonstrations of this great style of cooking. We are thankful that the came to class again this year.

Dr. Flavio Ribeiro lecturing on Brazilian barbecue in ANSC 117, Texas Barbecue

Dr. Flavio Ribeiro lecturing on Brazilian barbecue in ANSC 117, Texas Barbecue

Flavio begins the class with a lecture on Brazil, its population, geography, and culture. He describes the Brazilian cooking style where meat is cooked over coals/fires and where only coarse sea salt is used. The students gain a great perspective on Brazil and its food, and when they get to sample the great cooking that Flavio does, it helps to reinforce his message to them.

Dr. Flavio Ribeiro

Dr. Flavio Ribeiro

One of the key items of his lecture is the description of the cuts of beef used for Brazilian barbecue with what they are called in Brazil and the U.S. Below is a table that he presented showing these terms. The most recognized cut for Brazilian barbecue is the picanha, which is the sirloin cap or culotte in the U.S.

Brazilian cuts of beef

Brazilian cutEnglish name
Picanha -- The "Brazilian Sirloin"Culotte or sirloin cap muscle (M. biceps femoris)
AlcatraSirloin
CupimHump or M. rhomboideus
Contra-filetRibeye
PeitoBrisket
CostelaRibs -- chuck short ribs
FraldinhaFlank and skirt
FraldaoBottom sirloin butt flap
MaminhaTri-tip

Preparing the skewers

Flavio used four cuts of meat for his cooking demonstration: picanha, beef chuck short ribs, beef sirloin flap, and lamb sirloin chops. He had the students come up to the front of the classroom to show how to place the cuts on the skewers.

Flavio demonstrating how to load the skewers

Flavio demonstrating how to load the skewers

Flavio loading the sirloin flap

Flavio loading the sirloin flap

Preparing the Brazilian grill

When Flavio arrived, he worked with Brogan, Eric, Ray, and Davey to set up the cinder-block pit. We used about 40 cinder blocks to set this grill up outside of the Rosenthal Meat Center.

Setting up the Brazilian grill

Setting up the Brazilian grill

Davey Griffin and Flavio Ribeiro

Davey Griffin and Flavio Ribeiro

Once the grill was set up, charcoal was lit so that it could serve to start the oak logs to cook the meat with.

Picanha

As already stated, the picanha is the symbol of Brazilian barbecue, and Flavio showed the students how to cut it, place it on the skewer, apply the coarse sea salt to it, serve the cooked slices of it before applying salt again and putting the skewer back on the fire. This process is repeated until the picanha is completely cut up and served.

Picanha

Picanha

Picanha

Picanha

Picanha

Picanha

Picanha on the grill

Picanha on the grill

Brogan with picanha headed to the grill

Brogan with picanha headed to the grill

Brogan with picanha headed to the grill

Brogan with picanha headed to the grill

Brogan and Eric loading up the grill

Brogan and Eric loading up the grill

Beef chuck short ribs

The beef short ribs are cooked over the direct flames with the bone-side down. The bone side of the short ribs becomes quite charred and black, but the ribs are very delicious.

Beef chuck short ribs

Beef chuck short ribs

Applying the coarse sea salt to the beef chuck short ribs

Applying the coarse sea salt to the beef chuck short ribs

Coarse sea salt

Coarse sea salt

Beef chuck short ribs

Beef chuck short ribs

Beef chuck short ribs

Beef chuck short ribs

The hump

Flavio brought vacuum packaged humps with him to prepare for the class. His style of cooking these includes applying the coarse sea salt to them, searing the outside of them over the flames, trimming the charred exteriors, and repeating this two or three times before he began serving the hump to everyone. Here are some photos of this process.

Vacuum packaged humps

Vacuum packaged humps

Hump

Hump

Skewered humps

Skewered humps

Hump on a skewer

Hump on a skewer

Flavio placing the hump on the grill

Flavio placing the hump on the grill

Trimming the hump

Trimming the hump

Serving the Brazilian meat

Once ready, Flavio slices the cooked portion off of the meat and serves it to the students. They can take the meat and dip it into the vinaigrette and simply eat with their hands.

Tending the grill

Tending the grill

Students enjoying Brazilian barbecue

Students enjoying Brazilian barbecue

The vinaigrette is a mixture of bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes that are diced and covered with olive oil with a little coarse sea salt and some apple cider vinegar.

Vinaigrette

Vinaigrette

Beef short rib on the vinaigrette

Beef short rib on the vinaigrette

The meat was served way past the end of class, and it was safe to say that everyone enjoyed the great feast that is Brazilian barbecue. Thanks to Flavio again for serving such great food to us, and we look forward to preparing these tasty dishes to our guests now that we know these secrets to great Brazilian barbecue.

 

 

 

ANSC 117 2018: Lamb and goat

Eric talking about the rotisserie-roasted lamb legs

Although lamb and goat are not mainstays of barbecue and especially Texas Barbecue, with lamb and goat being such important livestock species in Texas, we spend one of our lectures in ANSC 117, Texas Barbecue on these products. The products we focus on are crown rack roasts, rotisserie-roasted lamb legs, and smoked goat carcass for tacos. In addition, we cover the major primals and other cuts from lamb carcasses so that the students understand their terminology and use.

Eric talking about the rotisserie-roasted lamb legs

Eric talking about the rotisserie-roasted lamb legs

Lamb carcass cutout and terminology

Brogan prepared a lamb carcass wholesale cut display to show the students what the cuts are called and where are they are from. Ray used the display and a lamb carcass for the demonstration. The major wholesale cuts are the leg, loin, rack, and shoulder, and the minor cuts are the flank, breast, foreleg, and neck. Ray also showed the students the website from the American Lamb Council to see the cooking recommendations from this group.

Lamb carcass and wholesale cut demonstration

Lamb carcass and wholesale cut demonstration

Lamb carcass wholesale cut demonstration

Lamb carcass wholesale cut demonstration

Ray showing where the lamb leg is located

Ray showing where the lamb leg is located

Ray showing where the lamb loin is located on the carcass

Ray showing where the lamb loin is located on the carcass

Smoked goat carcass

Goat has been used in the past to make goat tacos. We have been preparing a spit-roasted goat in the past, but this process has taken too long and the meat in the interior of the legs has never been cooked enough for the meat to be shredded for tacos. This year, we decided to prepare the goat in the offset smoker. It turned out well, and we probably will be doing this more in the future. The goat was cooked until it reached 170°F internal temperature in the legs.

Eric talking about smoking the goat carcass

Eric talking about smoking the goat carcass

Checking the temperature of the goat carcass

Checking the temperature of the goat carcass

Rotisserie-roasted lamb legs

We used boneless lamb legs with rosemary on the Weber Kettle Rotisserie. This product always is well received by the students. These legs were cooked until they reached 145°F internal temperature.

Rotisserie-roasted lamb legs

Rotisserie-roasted lamb legs

Crown rack lamb roasts

Making crown rack lamb roasts is a great way to have some wonderful lamb chops for a fancier meal. These crown racks were smoked until they reached 145°F internal temperature.

Eric describing the equipment used to prepare the lamb

Eric describing the equipment used to prepare the lamb

Lamb racks smoked on the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker

Lamb racks smoked on the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker

Red potatoes

We boiled red potatoes with a batch of them mashed and the other batch left fairly intact. Both were seasoned with salt, pepper, and lots of butter. These potato dishes matched well with the lamb.

Red potatoes, whole and mashed

Red potatoes, whole and mashed

Making goat tacos

We make goat tacos using pulled goat, tortillas, guacamole, pico de gallo, and cheese.

Shredding/pulling the goat

Shredding/pulling the goat

Pulling the smoked goat

Pulling the smoked goat

Serving the lamb and goat

Steven serving the goat for goat tacos

Steven serving the goat for goat tacos

Eric and Wade slicing lamb roasts

Eric and Wade slicing lamb roasts

Grant and Kamry loading up on the lamb and goat

Grant and Kamry loading up on the lamb and goat

Crown rack of lamb slices

Crown rack of lamb slices

Enjoying the lamb and goat

Enjoying the lamb and goat

Students enjoying the spread

Students enjoying the spread

Crown rack of lamb, rotisserie-roasted lamb leg, and smoked goat taco

Crown rack of lamb, rotisserie-roasted lamb leg, and smoked goat taco

Baklava

Part of Brogan’s family is Greek, and with the role that lamb plays in Greek dining, she thought it would be great to have baklava as dessert this week.

Brogan telling the students about baklava

Brogan telling the students about baklava

Dishing out the baklava

Dishing out the baklava

Baklava

Brogan Horton

This is a family recipe from Brogan.

Prepare syrup

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon and rind
  • 1 cup honey

Ladle over baklava when baked

Prepare and mix

  • 1 lb (4-1/2 cups) pecans
  • 1/2 lb (2 cups) almonds
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 1/3 T cloves
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Cut filo dough

  • Peel 2 sheets and found in half to make rectangle approximate 8″ x 10″
  • Brush ends with melted butter
  • Cover with nut mix and roll as tightly as possible
  • Brush pan and entire roll with butter

Baked 375°F until golden brown (8-10 minutes). Place finished/baked baklava in glass/tin dish and ladle syrup over pastry roll.

ANSC 117 2018: Chicken

Alec and Eric checking the temperatures on the butterflied chicken

This is the week that we focused on chicken in ANSC 117, Texas Barbecue. We covered butterflied or spatchcocked chicken, ginger ale-can chicken (no beer-can chicken for freshmen!), rotisserie chicken, Orange Marmalade Sriracha Wings, and Ranch Dip Wings.

Starting with whole chickens

One of the first things we did in class is to demonstrate how to take a whole chicken and make a butterflied or spatchcocked chicken out of it. Ray did this for the students, which is a convenient way to prepare chicken for the grill or smoker. Ray finished up by cutting the chicken up into the usual pieces of breasts, thighs, wings, drumsticks, and back.

Ray talking about purchasing whole chickens and how to cut them up

Ray talking about purchasing whole chickens and how to cut them up

Ray showing how to butterfly a chicken

Ray showing how to butterfly a chicken

Ray talking about cutting up whole chickens

Ray talking about cutting up whole chickens

Brining chicken

We brined all of the whole chickens used for the rotisserie, butterflied, and ginger ale-can cooking demonstrations.

Basic brine:

  • One gallon of water
  • 1/2 cup Kosher salt
  • 1/2 sugar

The chickens were brined overnight (about 18 hours).

Rotisserie chicken

One of the most popular types of chicken these days is rotisserie chicken. Most supermarkets have rotisserie cookers in house and prepare chickens for easy and convenient pick up by shoppers wanting an easy component of a meal. We used the Weber rotisserie set up on the Weber Performer® Gold.

Eric demonstrating the rotisserie chicken

Eric demonstrating the rotisserie chicken

Checking the temperature of the rotisserie chickens

Checking the temperature of the rotisserie chickens

Butterflied chicken

We used the Weber Smokey Mountain Cookers to smoke the butterflied chicken. These are great setups to smoke these chickens.

Eric talking about the different cooking methods used for the chicken

Eric talking about the different cooking methods used for the chicken

Alec and Eric checking the temperatures on the butterflied chicken

Alec and Eric checking the temperatures on the butterflied chicken

Butterflied chicken

Butterflied chicken

Butterflied chicken

Butterflied chicken

Ginger Ale-can chicken

Four chickens were cooked using the beverage-can method to suspend/support the whole chickens during the smoking process. As mentioned earlier, we used ginger ale rather than the traditional beer-can-chicken approach since we are teaching freshmen. Any soft drink or other flavored drink that is in a 12-ounce can works for this style of cooking.

Checking the ginger ale-can chickens

Checking the ginger ale-can chickens

Taking the temperature of the ginger ale-can chickens

Taking the temperature of the ginger ale-can chickens

Ginger ale-can chicken

Ginger ale-can chicken

Wings

Wings are quite popular appetizers or main courses, especially at sports bars. We prepared two versions: Orange Marmalade Sriracha Wings and Ranch Dip Wings.

Here is the recipe for the Orange Marmalade Sriracha Wings:

Orange Marmalade Sriracha Wings

Ingredients

  • About 24 chicken wings, separated into drumettes and flats
  • 1 jar (18 oz) Smucker’s Sweet Orange Marmalade
  • 1/3 cup – honey
  • 1/3 cup – light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup – Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce

Instructions

  • For the sauce, combine all ingredients in a sauce pan, bring to boil, stirring constantly, and remove from heat.
  • Apply favorite seasonings to chicken wings and grill over indirect heat at 350°F for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden brown and the internal temperature has reached 165°F.
  • Dip wings in the sauce, then place back on the grill and continue to cook for about 10 minutes. Repeat one or two more times until the wings have a candy-glazed look to them.

Adapted from: https://tvwbb.com/showthread.php?5949-Orange-Marmalade-Sriracha-Wings

Ty and Eric putting the wings into the Orange Marmalade Sriracha Sauce

Ty and Eric putting the wings into the Orange Marmalade Sriracha Sauce

Orange Marmalade Sriracha Wings

Orange Marmalade Sriracha Wings

Eric and Brogan checking the Orange Marmalade Sriracha Wings

Eric and Brogan checking the Orange Marmalade Sriracha Wings

The Ranch Dip Wings are easy to make. Simply apply a coating of mayonnaise over the wings and sprinkle Ranch Dip seasoning over them. Add seasonings such as salt, pepper, lemon pepper, etc., and cook indirectly until they are done.

Ranch Dip Wings

Ranch Dip Wings

Alabama White Barbecue Sauce

Jackie loves to use Alabama White Barbecue Sauce on chicken so she showed the students how to prepare it.

Jackie and students mixing up the Alabama White Barbecue Sauce

Jackie and students mixing up the Alabama White Barbecue Sauce

Jackie mixing up the Alabama White Barbecue Sauce

Jackie mixing up the Alabama White Barbecue Sauce

There are several recipes for this style of sauce, but Jackie uses this Robb Walsh recipe:

Alabama White Barbecue Sauce

Robb Walsh

Robb’s notes: Here’s a variation on Bib Bob Gibson’s white barbecue sauce. It tastes great on chicken, and it also makes a great chicken salad dressing.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Duke’s Mayonnaise
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup apple juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • Dash of cayenne or to taste

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir well. Use immediately or keep in a covered contained in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Makes about 2 cups.

From Barbecue Crossroads: Notes and Recipes from a Southern Odyssey by Robb Walsh and O. Rufus Lovett, University of Texas Press, Austin.

Baked Corn in Sour Cream

This is a family favorite that is served at most holiday meals or major family gatherings. It is easy to make and is wonderful warmed up the next day as leftovers.

Baked Corn in Sour Cream

Jackie Savell

Ingredients

  • 2 cans (15.25 ounces) of Del Monte Fresh Cut® Golden Sweet Whole Kernel Corn, drained
  • 1 jar (2.8 ounces) Hormel Real Bacon Pieces Shaker
  • 1 container (8 ounce) Daisy Brand Sour Cream
  • 2 T. salted butter
  • 2 T. chopped onion
  • 2 T. flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 T. flat parsley

Directions

Sauté onion in butter. Blend in flour and salt. Gradually add sour cream, stirring until mixture is smooth. Heat just to boiling. Add corn and heat thoroughly. Fold in half of the bacon. Spoon into a 2-quart greased pan. Top with parsley and remaining bacon. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.

Baked Corn in Sour Cream

Baked Corn in Sour Cream

Serving the chicken

The students got to sample the different styles of chicken, and from their responses, loved all of them.

Slicing the different styles of chicken

Slicing the different styles of chicken

Slicing and serving the chicken

Slicing and serving the chicken

Serving the chicken

Serving the chicken

Thanks to Brogan Horton and Eric Hamilton for providing the graduate student leadership for the class, and to all of the Super Sophomores, Jazzy Juniors, and Snazzy Seniors for their great help each week.

Brogan (right) visiting with Sarah, Carsyn, Emily, and Katie

Brogan (right) visiting with Sarah, Carsyn, Emily, and Katie

The chicken week in class always brings some surprises when you have chickens that are brined, seasoned, and cooked correctly monitored by thermometers so that they are not overcooked.

Lipton Tea/Texas A&M BBQ Genius event in Pepsi Fan Zone

Kenzie describing differences in briskets at the Lipton Tea/Texas A&M BBQ Genius event
Jess Pryles asking Davey to talk about beef short ribs

Jess Pryles asking Davey to talk about beef short ribs

Faculty and students with the Texas Barbecue program at Texas A&M University participated in the Lipton Tea/Texas A&M BBQ Genius event held in the Pepsi Fan Zone on Saturday, October 6, 2018. Lipton Tea provided samples of their Lipton Peach Tea, and Rudy’s Barbecue provided sausage tacos. Games and give aways for kids of all ages were available for the folks who stopped by. The program was coordinated by the Texas A&M University Division of Marketing & Communications, and Jess Pryles, noted author and Hardcore Carnivore, was on hand to help with the presentations and to share her knowledge about meat and barbecue.

Lipton Tea and Texas A&M BBQ Genius set up

Lipton Tea and Texas A&M BBQ Genius set up

Meat Science faculty members, Davey Griffin, Ray Riley, and Jeff Savell, graduate students, Brogan Horton, Morgan Foster, and Chandler Steele, and undergraduate students, Anahi Arredondo, Jazmin Guerra, Kenzie Lackey, Madison Mellon, Katie Price, Brittany Shipp, and Menzi Spiller were present to help answer questions about all things barbecue.

Lipton Tea and Texas A&M BBQ Genius set up

Celebrating the community, culture, and science of Texas barbecue

Thanks to all of the sponsors and to Weber for providing the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker and Weber Master-Touch Charcoal Grill for the demonstrations.

Jess Pryles talking about beef briskets at the Lipton Tea/Texas A&M BBQ Genius event

Jess Pryles talking about beef briskets at the Lipton Tea/Texas A&M BBQ Genius event

Jess Pryles interviewing Ray regarding the different types of cookers/smokers

Jess Pryles interviewing Ray regarding the different types of cookers/smokers

Jess Pryles visiting with Ray Riley at the Lipton Tea/Texas A&M BBQ Genius event

Jess Pryles visiting with Ray Riley at the Lipton Tea/Texas A&M BBQ Genius event

Jess, Ray, and Davey looking at the accessories for the Weber Master Touch Charcoal Grill

Jess, Ray, and Davey looking at the accessories for the Weber Master Touch Charcoal Grill

Ty, Chandler, Morgan, and Brogan with Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker and Weber Master-Touch Charcoal Grill

Ty, Chandler, Morgan, and Brogan with Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker and Weber Master-Touch Charcoal Grill

Brisket and prime rib set up

Brisket and prime rib set up

Raw and smoked beef chuck short ribs, beef plate short ribs, beef back ribs, pork St. Louis style ribs, pork back ribs, and pork spare ribs

Raw and smoked beef chuck short ribs, beef plate short ribs, beef back ribs, pork St. Louis style ribs, pork back ribs, and pork spare ribs

Chandler, Ty, and Davey setting up the pork and beef rib display

Chandler, Ty, and Davey setting up the pork and beef rib display

Brogan, Morgan, Madison, Brittany, and Kenzie

Brogan, Morgan, Madison, Brittany, and Kenzie

Jess Pryles talking to Morgan, Madison, Brogan, and Kenzie

Jess Pryles talking to Morgan, Madison, Brogan, and Kenzie

Kenzie describing differences in briskets at the Lipton Tea/Texas A&M BBQ Genius event

Kenzie describing differences in briskets at the Lipton Tea/Texas A&M BBQ Genius event

Morgan, Madison, and Brittany

Morgan, Madison, and Brittany

Jazmin, Katie, Anahi, and Menzi

Jazmin, Katie, Anahi, and Menzi

Kenzie talking about beef and pork ribs

Kenzie talking about beef and pork ribs

 

 

Aggies participate in The Woodlands BBQ Festival, October 7, 2018

Front row: Stuart Lapp, The Woodlands BBQ Festival organizer, Bailey Carwile, Bailey Allison, Carsyn Burney, Chandler Steele, Kenzie Lackey, and Sarah Crum; Back row: Katie Price, Devon King, Jazmin Guerra, Wade Baty, Julia Rauschuber, Brogan Horton, and Eric Hamilton
Front row: Stuart Lapp, The Woodlands BBQ Festival organizer, Bailey Carwile, Bailey Allison, Carsyn Burney, Chandler Steele, Kenzie Lackey, and Sarah Crum; Back row: Katie Price, Devon King, Jazmin Guerra, Wade Baty, Julia Rauschuber, Brogan Horton, and Eric Hamilton

Front row: Stuart Lapp, The Woodlands BBQ Festival organizer, Bailey Carwile, Bailey Allison, Carsyn Burney, Chandler Steele, Kenzie Lackey, and Sarah Crum; Back row: Katie Price, Devon King, Jazmin Guerra, Wade Baty, Julia Rauschuber, Brogan Horton, and Eric Hamilton

The Texas Barbecue program at Texas A&M University was well represented at this year’s The Woodlands BBQ Festival, held on Sunday, October 7, 2018. Faculty members, Davey Griffin, Ray Riley, and Jeff Savell, graduate students, Eric Hamilton, Brogan Horton, Julia Rauschuber, and Chandler Steele, and undergraduate students, Bailey Allison, Wade Baty, Carsyn Burney, Bailey Carwile, Sarah Crum, Jazmin Guerra, Devon King, Kenzie Lackey, and Katie Price were there to talk to the pitmasters at the event, to answer questions from the participants about barbecue, and to eat great barbecue and other specialties prepared by these outstanding establishments.

This is the third year of the festival, and we have been there each year. Thanks to Stuart Lapp, one of the organizers of The Woodlands BBQ Festival, for the invitation and the support of our program. Thanks also go to Chris Reid and Michael Fulmer, organizers of the Houston BBQ Festival, for their help and encouragement for this festival and their desire to showcase the great barbecue that is in and around the Houston metropolitan area. Houston is making a mark in the Texas Barbecue scene, and events such as these help to showcase these great establishments.

The Woodlands BBQ Festival, which benefited the Pulmonary Hypertension Association, is a community partnership between Stibbs & Co., P.C. and The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce.

Visiting with pitmasters

We enjoy the opportunity to visit with the pitmasters at every festival we participate in. Our goal is to get there early enough to go by and introduce ourselves to those we do not know and to say high to those we do.

Blood Brothers BBQ, Russell and Misty Roegels, J.R. Cohen and Aggies

Blood Brothers BBQ, Russell and Misty Roegels, J.R. Cohen and Aggies

Pitmasters and students at The Woodlands BBQ Festival

Pitmasters and students at The Woodlands BBQ Festival

John Brotherton talking to the students about his experience and background in barbecue

John Brotherton talking to the students about his experience and background in barbecue

Eric, Ray, and John Brotherton, Brotherton's Black Iron Barbecue

Eric, Ray, and John Brotherton, Brotherton’s Black Iron Barbecue

Clay Cowgill, Snow's BBQ, holding court with the students

Clay Cowgill, Snow’s BBQ, holding court with the students

Brogan, Davey, Jeff, Misty Roegels, Russell Roegels, and Ray in front of the Roegels Barbecue booth at The Woodlands BBQ Festival

Brogan, Davey, Jeff, Misty Roegels, Russell Roegels, and Ray in front of the Roegels Barbecue booth at The Woodlands BBQ Festival

Sampling great barbecue

The major benefit of going to the barbecue festivals is to sample the great barbecue and side dishes that each of the vendors has to share. At each event, we try to pace ourselves, but it never works! Everyone does such a great job of bringing the best at what they do, and we are never disappointed that we have sampled so much great food in a short time without having to travel around for hours or days to do so.

Sarah, Devon, and Ray sharing some samples

Sarah, Devon, and Ray sharing some samples

Kenzie and Devon enjoying some banana pudding at The Woodlands BBQ Festival

Kenzie and Devon enjoying some banana pudding at The Woodlands BBQ Festival

Bailey, Kenzie, Sarah, and Devon sampling Blood Brothers BBQ sausage

Bailey, Kenzie, Sarah, and Devon sampling Blood Brothers BBQ sausage

Answering questions about barbecue

The organizers provided us a Texas A&M University tailgate tent for us to hang out in. We had many people come by to talk to us about the Texas Barbecue program: ANSC 117, Texas Barbecue, Barbecue Summer Camp, and Camp Brisket. Some knew about these programs, but most did not so it was good to share what we do and why we were at the festival if we were not serving barbecue to everyone.

The love for barbecue brings everyone together

The love for barbecue brings everyone together

Carsyn and Bailey answering questions about Texas Barbecue

Carsyn and Bailey answering questions about Texas Barbecue

Sawing Varsity's horns off!

Sawing Varsity’s horns off!

We love the opportunity to visit with people, eat great food, and help support worthy efforts such as the Pulmonary Hypertension Association. We hope that we see everyone in The Woodlands next year.