Texas BBQ Icon Aaron Franklin Headlines All-Star Lineup At Texas A&M’s ‘Camp Brisket’

Aaron Franklin of Franklin’s Barbecue in Austin, discussing brisket cuts. (Photo by Dr. Jeff Savell, University Distinguished Professor and E.M. “Manny” Rosenthal chairholder in the department of animal science at Texas A&M).

Aaron Franklin of Franklin’s Barbecue in Austin, discussing brisket cuts. (Photo by Dr. Jeff Savell, University Distinguished Professor and E.M. “Manny” Rosenthal chairholder in the department of animal science at Texas A&M).

There was no shortage of beef nor legends of Texas barbecue at Camp Brisket held recently at Texas A&M University in College Station.

Expert pitmasters from all over Texas gathered to teach backyard barbecue enthusiasts and restaurateurs how to better prepare Texas-style barbecue brisket.

Because of the high demand, the event now enrolls participants through a lottery system. Camp Brisket is a partnership between the Meat Science Section of the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M and Foodways Texas.

The program was led by Dr. Jeff Savell, University Distinguished Professor and E.M. “Manny” Rosenthal chairholder in the department of animal science at Texas A&M in College Station, Dr. Davey Griffin, AgriLife Extension meat specialist, and Ray Riley, manager of the Rosenthal Meat Center.

Aaron Franklin of Franklin’s Barbecue in Austin was part of the all-star lineup of program speakers featuring Tom Perini, Perini Ranch Steakhouse, Joe Riscky, Riscky’s Barbecue, Bryan Bracewell, Southside Market Barbecue, Wayne Mueller, Louie Mueller Barbecue, Russell Roegels, Roegels Barbecue Co., Tootsie Tomanetz and Kerry Bexley, Snow’s Barbecue, John Brotherton, Brotherton BBQ, and Homer Robertson, Robertson’s Chuckwagon. Evan LeRoy, pitmaster from Austin, provided Friday night’s meal and served on one of the panels.

Topics covered all aspects of barbecue brisket, which spanned from understanding brisket anatomy, trimming briskets, seasoning, cooking/smoking, as well as proper slicing techniques. Participants took part in tasting demonstrations featuring different grades of briskets, brisket smoked with traditionally used Texas woods, and whether to wrap or not wrap during cooking. Franklin led a demonstration on proper trimming methods prior to smoking brisket.

“I have read his book and understand the steps, but I’m still trying to get the hang of it,” said Gregg Fujino of Portland, Oregon, who operates a deli and wants to offer barbecue. “I still wanted to come to Camp Brisket and learn more about it.”

“We do a lot of entertaining and cook a lot of meat at our house,” said Debra Reardon of Houston. “We cooked four briskets and eight racks of ribs for our New Year’s party. We have a lot of fun entertaining and eating meat.”

Husband Patrick Reardon, who also had his special Aggie pit on hand, was looking to learn more about wind movement and managing fire.

 For more, visit bbq.tamu.edu.


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