Aaron Franklin Barbecue MasterClass Review

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Aaron Franklin’s new 16-part MasterClass claims to educate you precisely how he would train a FranklinBBQ employee.

Learning from the James Beard Award-winning chef and proprietor of FranklinBBQ is an intriguing possibility for any barbecue fan.

Aaron has already shared his barbeque expertise in his excellent online series and best-selling book, but never in this amount of detail.

In this review, we’ll go through what you’ll learn and if the Masterclass is worth the monthly fee.

Aaron Franklin Teaches Texas-Style BBQ MasterClass Overview

Aaron Franklin Barbecue MasterClass Review

If you’ve never heard of MasterClass, they collaborate with notable professionals to provide online multi-part courses on a variety of subjects.

The whole faculty is excellent and diverse, with sessions taught by Gordon Ramsay, Martin Scorsese, and Stephen Curry, to name a few.

You could previously buy each Masterclass separately, but now you must subscribe to have access to the whole collection of courses.

The clip below demonstrates how the course is organized and the degree of quality to which you may look forward.

What’s included in the course

The Masterclass is divided into 16 sections. Each section includes a video in which Aaron explains a specific subject as well as a PDF download.

Each video is 5 to 35 minutes long, with certain subjects divided into many videos. Brisket has the most sections, with five separate pieces.

On the MasterClass website, you may read a brief explanation of each lesson on the course description page.

The course content is divided between theory, practical recipes, and some general interest themes.

If you’ve watched his online series, the recipes will appear similar, but they go into a lot more depth. Aaron demonstrates how to cook Pork Butt, Pork Ribs, Steak, and, of course, Brisket.

There’s also a lot of theory about wood, fire, and smoke, as well as meat selection and dealing with offset smokers.

Here are my early comments after two weeks of going through the full course:

What I liked:

  • The whole series is presented attractively, with incredibly high production qualities. While it is intended to be informative, you can simply watch it on a large screen TV and relax.
  • It was fascinating to learn specifics about how things are done at the restaurant. At one point, you even get a glance inside Franklin BBQ.
  • If you’re a novice, the course’s format works well since each dish becomes little more sophisticated. If you have some experience, you can easily leap into any subject.
  • Instead of re-watching the whole film, the digital textbook is a wonderful supplementary resource.

Reasons the course might not be for you:

  • Aaron Franklin teaches Texas Style Barbecue in this course. If you don’t like Texas style, the Masterclass may not be for you.
  • While the MasterClass neatly provides everything in a single, organized course, you could certainly put together many of the recipes and methods by viewing numerous YouTube videos.
  • Aaron cooks on a big offset type smoker during the classes. While many of the skills he teaches are applicable to every smoker, there is a lot of information regarding fire control and wood that will not be realistic for many smokers.

A MasterClass membership is $15 per month, payable yearly, for a total cost of $180.

So long as you intend on viewing at least one more session, I believe the MasterClass is well priced. The degree of detail and production quality is remarkable.

While you could certainly obtain the majority of the material in the course by searching the internet, having a single resource with everything arranged into categories is a terrific approach to swiftly level up your barbeque abilities.

This would also make a wonderful present for anybody who enjoys grilling.

You may enroll in the course or learn more about it by visiting the MasterClass website.

What’s Aaron like as an instructor

Aaron Franklin Barbecue MasterClass Review

Aaron is an amazing instructor, as anybody who has viewed any of his free YouTube lessons can attest.

He discusses things in a straightforward and humorous manner.

The classes alternate between his teaching you step-by-step style directions and him offering a more informative background on BBQ history and traditions.

In-depth look at what the Masterclass covers

In the next part, I’ll go into much more depth about my experiences with some of the important modules to help you determine if the course is worthwhile.

Fire & Smoke, Wood and Offset Smokers

I’m grouping my ideas on these three courses since they all revolve on Aaron’s method to establishing a fire and handling the smoker throughout the cook.

One of my big reservations going in was how helpful these portions would be if you didn’t possess a huge offset smoker.

The lesson on fire and smoke is good if you cook on an offset smoker (or, to a lesser degree, a charcoal smoker).

Aaron walks you through the complete process of starting a fire on his Offset, from selecting wood to constructing the fire.

He emphasizes the need of building a clean fire with sufficient ventilation.

For those of you who cook with electric, gas, or pellet stoves, it’s intriguing to observe how Aaron builds a fire, but you won’t receive many practical tips.

The art of the fire is to be proactive with it, to anticipate your needs before you arrive.

Aaron Franklin

I found it intriguing to see Aaron work on his massive Offset, but I can understand how this could be less relevant for certain people.

Fortunately, he includes advice on how to apply what he teaches to smaller smokers, which is more common.

He also goes into great depth on how to choose wood and how moisture in the wood affects the fire.

Highlights from this section include:

  • What the color and consistency of the smoke may tell you about your fire, and how to prevent a filthy fire that leaves a sour aftertaste
  • There are several hints for when things go wrong and your smoker emits nasty smoke.
  • It goes into great depth about how an offset smoker works.
  • The degree of effort and thought he puts into fire control is astounding. Really delves into his thinking process for regulating the fire and adding wood.
  • His objective is to keep his smoker within 5 degrees Fahrenheit of the desired temperature during the cook.
  • Some helpful hints for controlling a fire on cold or windy days

Watching Aaron handle the fire made me want to run out and purchase a massive offset smoker.

It was intriguing to hear him explain that he believes the fire is the most essential aspect of what Franklin BBQ does.

The recipes

I’m not sure whether recipe is the correct term to describe this segment of the Masterclass.

They’re more of an in-depth look into Aaron’s methodology and how he thinks about BBQ. Each dish increases in complexity, beginning with Pork Butt and finishing with Brisket.

They’re all divided into simple stages, and each recipe follows a similar framework.

I admire how he organizes his cook and has a game plan. He begins by determining when he wants to eat and when the meat has to be removed, and then works backwards to determine when the meat will be wrapped and when he needs to begin.

1. Pork Butt

The Masterclass begins with a dish for pulled pork. It’s an excellent place to start since it’s a forgiving piece of meat to smoke.

  • When I saw him utilize his distinctive pink butcher paper for the planning stage, I giggled!
  • As you would guess, the dish is quite straightforward in Texas style. The rub is just equal parts salt and pepper, with paprika added for color.
  • He demonstrates some basic methods such as spritzing and wrapping.
  • Shows you in great detail how he uses a thermometer probe to determine when something is done.

The ingredients and technique are quite similar to a free YouTube video that was released a few years ago. However, in this scenario, you receive a lot more information.

It’s an excellent lesson since it teaches you several ideas that you’ll use to more tougher portions of meat.

There isn’t much new information if you already have a lot of expertise, but it’s always fascinating to examine the minute intricacies in Aaron’s method to get the greatest outcome out of a basic recipe.

2. Ribs

After learning about pig butt, you move on to spare ribs. These, as Aaron says, are in the center of the difficulty scale.

Aaron cooks ribs using a modified version of the 3-2-1 technique.

I believe a lot of folks toss ribs on and say, “Oh, just cook them, they’ll be fine.” But the fact is that they are quite picky.

Aaron Franklin

  • He recommends maintaining a journal for each cook to document details like temperature, weather when you wrapped, and so on. So you may go back and evaluate and continue to improve.
  • Describes how he chooses and trims a whole rack of spare ribs.
  • The rub is identical to the recipe for pork butt (Texas style becomes fairly similar after a time).
  • He goes into great detail on how he positions the ribs on the smoker and how he spritzes the ribs to keep the edges from drying out.
  • He makes a tasty vinegar-based sauce that he adds to the ribs before wrapping them.

3. Brisket

Let’s face it, this is why people purchase the course! If Aaron is renowned for anything, it’s his 6:00 a.m. line-up worthy brisket.

I don’t want to give too much away, except to mention that this part is thorough.

The lesson on cutting brisket is 34:20 lengthy to give you a sense of the degree of detail you may anticipate.

The section is divided into five sections (plus a sixth on meat quality and selection).

Topics covered include:

  • Building the fire
  • Applying the rub
  • Spritzing and getting through the stall
  • Wrapping
  • How to check for tenderness
  • How to slice the brisket

The session on slicing brisket was the most intriguing to me out of all the courses. I really learnt a lot of new skills and identified several mistakes I was doing.

Final Thoughts

If you want to accelerate your barbeque education, I believe this is an excellent alternative.

I like the MasterClass interface as well as the course’s structure and presentation.

Aaron is an excellent instructor who clearly enjoys his profession.

If you’re not a lover of Texas-style barbecue, the recipes may not be for you.

The approach discussed, however, applies to all forms of barbeque, so even if you don’t follow the same recipes, you’ll gain a lot of useful skills.


Why is Franklin BBQ so good?

Franklin Barbecue’s Trade Secret

Franklin insists he just uses salt and pepper to season the brisket… He assures it’s all about time and pit temperature. Whereas most restaurants smoke brisket for seven hours at 500°, Franklin smokes his for 18 hours at 250° to 270°.

How long does Aaron Franklin let his brisket rest?

When the brisket is tender around 205 degrees, remove it from the barbecue and cover it in towels to rest for one to two hours. It will continue to cook, becoming more soft and absorbing fluids. Don’t overlook this crucial step!

What happened to Franklin Barbecue?

Austin’s Franklin Barbecue, known for its lengthy lines and scrumptious wood-smoked brisket, caught fire early Saturday morning. The restaurant’s co-founder and James Beard Award-winning chef, Aaron Franklin, blamed the fire on Harvey’s strong winds.

What BBQ does Aaron Franklin use?

Aaron Franklin, a James Beard Award-winning pitmaster, only cooks on wood-burning offset smokers. He is certain that the tastiest, most genuine central Texas barbecue is prepared on smoker grills that create both smoke and high heat only from burning wood chips.

What is the number 1 rated grill?

Gas Grill Weber Spirit II E-310

This is the greatest grill available. It includes everything you need for a backyard cookout with the family. It features a huge cooking surface, is simple to set up and operate, and most importantly, it provided the most delicious food on the test. It does all of this and more at a very cheap cost.

Is Franklins BBQ worth the wait?

So, yeah, Franklin Barbecue is worth the wait. It was also something we had never done before, so it was entertaining. What exactly is this? You should consider the wait in line to be part of the experience, because it is!

What grade of brisket does Franklin BBQ use?

While most barbecue establishments utilize choice briskets (some may even use select), Aaron noted in a recent interview with Thrillist that he uses hormone-free Prime grade beef. This is meat from cows that have not been injected with hormones and has the greatest marbling grade possible.

Should brisket be smoked fat side up or down?

Always smoke brisket with the fat side up. Fat-side down keeps the spice on the brisket and improves its appearance. Cooking brisket with the fat side up adds no moisture to the meat.

How many brisket does Franklin BBQ cook a day?

Every day, we prepare 106 briskets. That’s all there is to it. There aren’t even enough cows available.

What is the most famous Texas BBQ?

Franklin barbeque has become one of the most well-known bbq joints in Texas. Their success is due to the attention to detail and passion that goes into their Texan BBQ. Franklin Barbecue is so popular that customers have been known to line up as early as 4:00 a.m. and wait until the restaurant opens at 11:00 a.m.

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