ANSC 289 Texas Barbecue syllabus

Texas A&M University

Course title and number                 ANSC 289 Texas Barbecue

Term                                                   Fall 2013

Meeting times and location                 Fridays, 4:10 PM, MSTC 100

Course Description and Prerequisites

Survey, demonstration, and participation class celebrating the rich heritage of Texas Barbecue; preparation techniques include types of meats, seasonings, and cooking methods with emphasis on food safety, costs, and availability; regional (e.g., Carolinas, Kansas City, Memphis, Cajun) and international (e.g., Brazilian, Argentine, Cuban, Asian) methods to be explored and compared.  Prerequisites:  First-year student.

First Year Learning Outcomes to be specifically covered in this course

  • Master the depth of knowledge required for a degree
  • Aware of various learning environments
  • Demonstrate critical thinking
  • Ability to understand academic assignments
  • Ability to collect and use relevant information, recognize reliable sources of data, and identify obvious assumptions
  • Communicate effectively
  • Practice development of verbal, written, and interpersonal communication skills
  • Practice personal and social responsibility
  • Recognize different leadership styles
  • Understand the value of good leadership practices
  • Model ethical behavior
  • Demonstrate social, cultural, and global competence
  • Engage in opportunities (on or away from campus) exposing them to cultures different from their own
  • Engage in interactions where multiple perspectives exist
  • Prepare to engage in lifelong learning
  • Begin practicing self-directed learning
  • Develop and demonstrate intellectual curiosity
  • Begin formulation of personal goals for continued professional growth
  • Work collaboratively
  • Experience working in a group or team

High Impact Educational Practices to be used in this course

  • Learning Communities – the cultural and social aspects of Texas Barbecue will create a group of enthusiasts who will have a common bond for years to come.
  • Collaborative Assignment and Projects – group activities and learning to work with others is a major feature of Texas Barbecue.

Instructor Information

Name Jeffrey W. Savell Ray R. Riley
Telephone number 979-845-3935 979-845-5651
Email address
Office hours Variable Variable
Office location Room 348 KLBG Room 101 MSTC

Textbook and/or Resource Material

Walsh, Robb.  2002.  “Legends of Texas Barbecue Cookbook.” Chronicle Books, ISBN 0-86450-110-3 <>.


Points Allocation



Attendance and participation 130
Writing assignments 130
Contribution to workbook 140
Total 400

Grading Description

Item Description
Attendance and participation Students will receive 10 points per class for attending and participating.  Because this will be a hands-on class, students will be evaluated on their help with the cooking demonstrations including preparations, servings, and clean up.
Writing assignments Each week, students will be asked to summarize in an E-mail message to the instructors their key learnings from the previous week to include: (1) what they learned, (2) what questions they still have, and (3) how they can use the information.  Students are requested to write more formally in their E-mail assignments.  Each E-mail assignment is worth 10 points.
Contribution to workbook Each member of the class will receive a three-ring notebook with labeled dividers for each topic.  Students will be required through their research and experimentation to prepare recipes and/or instructions to include in this notebook.  Each student will be required to prepare at least 7 recipes/instructions for inclusion in the notebook, and each recipe/instruction form will be worth 20 points.

Grade Breakdown

Letter grade



360 and above


320 to 359


280 to 319


240 to 279


239 and below

Course Topics, Calendar of Activities, Major Assignment Dates

Date Topic
August 30 Introduction, expectations, brief history of barbecue, food safety overview
September 6 Cooking methodology:  pits, kettles, water smokers, barrel smokers
September 13 Types of fuel (charcoal brickettes, charcoal chunks, wood coals) and smoke (hickory, oak, pecan, mesquite)
September 20 Adding flavoring:  seasonings, marinades, rubs, sauces
September 27 Pork:  Southeastern-style pulled pork, Hawaiian-inspired pork loin
October 4 Ribs, ribs, ribs:  baby back versus St. Louis-style; Memphis-style (dry) versus Kansas City-style (wet); Asian-inspired rubs and sauces
October 11 Chicken:  smoking, cooking by rotisserie; whole or pieces
October 18 Cooking beef South American style:  Brazil and Argentina
October 25 Barbecuing lamb and goat
November 1 Briskets:  To wrap or not to wrap, that is the question!
November 8 Smoking other cuts of beef:  shoulder clods, sirloins, ribeyes, and tenderloins
November 15 Thanksgiving Turkey:  brining recipes; smoking, frying, cooking by rotisserie
November 22 Cooking whole pigs:  Hawaiian, Cuban, Cajun
December 2 Course wrap up

Integrative Learning

This course will use encourage students to:

  1. Connect skills and knowledge from multiple sources and experiences.  An example of this will be to learn barbecuing techniques and recipes from books, websites, and instructors.  In addition, there is no better teacher than applying what has been learned through actually doing it.  Our successes or failures in barbecuing reinforce what we have learned or how to do it better next time.
  2. Apply theory to practice in various settings.  Not only will students learn more about barbecuing, but they will be able to actually make barbecue using a variety of methods, products, and seasonings.
  3. Utilize diverse and even contradictory points of view.  No subject brings about more passion, discourse, and debate than how to barbecue or which barbecue is best.  Do you use sauce or not?  Do you wrap briskets to finish cooking them or not?  Which cut is best for barbecuing beef?  These are just a small sample of the types of questions that are asked each day about barbecuing.
  4. Understand issues and positions contextually.  Barbecuing involves meat and poultry products that: (1) may or may not be seasoned, (2) that may or may not be smoked, (3) that may or may not be cooked at low temperatures, (4) that may or may not be cooked with expensive equipment, and (5) that may or may not have sauce served with the product.  Somehow, the myriad of combinations from the points above demonstrate why the discussions of what is great barbecue can be so passionate at times and so difficult to really define.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact Disability Services, in Cain Hall, Room B118, or call 845-1637.  For additional information visit

Academic Integrity

For additional information please visit:

“An Aggie does not lie, cheat, or steal, or tolerate those who do.”


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