| Events |

TEXAZ Grill's Steven Freidkin Goes to Summer Camp

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Summer camp and BBQ are fundamental parts of the American summer experience. But are they two great tastes that taste great together?

Apparently, they taste fantastic together. TEXAZ Grill's Steve Freidkin, who considers himself, "...the westernmost outpost of Texas culture," headed out to Bryan/College Station, Texas for Barbecue Summer Camp in June. Even with 25 years of professional barbecue experience under his belt he says he would attend another barbecue summer camp, "in a New York minute."

Foodways Texas and the Meat Science Department of Texas A&M hosted the camp. Around 40 people attended, evenly divided between professional cooks such as Freidkin, competition cooks and backyard enthusiasts.

So what exactly do you do at a Texas Barbecue Summer Camp? Make pictures of cows out of painted macaroni?

Although it's called the Texas Barbecue Summer Camp it sounds a bit more like a delicious barbecue boot camp.

Last year's schedule can be found here. Freidkin said many of the classes are taught by Texas A&M faculty and are extraordinarily informative as a result. These are people with Ph.D.s in meat science, individuals so dedicated to the arts of heat and smoke that they have published scholarly papers on the matter. Classes covered everything from "chuck wagon food safety," to a 30 minute lecture on the chemical composition of smoke and were all book-ended by periods of practical applications. Since this is BBQ camp, "practical applications" translates into consuming vast quantities of the meat you just spent hours preparing.

Some take home tips from BBQ camp:

  1. When brining meats, avoid iodized salt because the iodine impedes the ability of the meat to retain moisture.

  2. Hickory, pecan and oak are favored woods for smoking because they produce a white smoke which imparts a "cleaner" taste to the meat.

  3. The size of your smoke ring is a matter of aesthetics but actually has very little impact on overall taste.*

If all of that sounded insanely cool than you are you luck. Foodways Texas recently announced plans for a new summer camp and tickets will go on sale in November. Tickets this year ran close to $500 but if a professionally taught hour-long lecture on the "Science of Rubs/Marinades" gets your blood pumping, it will probably be worth it.

*This was a topic of hot debate at the camp but this was the final consensus.

Follow Chow Bella on Facebook and Twitter.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.