If you follow us regularly, you probably know how much we like MasterClass, and how much we like Aaron Franklin. Every time a new MasterClass comes out, we almost always say that the last one is our favorite. Now imagine combining a MasterClass with Aaron Franklin, we think you already know what we’ll say about this one! So without further ado, let’s start this Aaron Franklin MasterClass Review.
Barbecue is probably one of the oldest ways of cooking and definitely one of the most delicious. This technique could look simple, but it has a lot of science behind it. To master this technique you will need to know how to build a fire, how to choose the right wood, the importance of airflow and clean smoke, and a lot more. These important aspects and other things are what you’ll learn in this new MasterClass dedicated to Texas-Style BBQ.
Once a backyard hobbyist, Aaron Franklin is now the James Beard Award-winning owner of Franklin Barbecue Restaurant, where the line for his famous smoked brisket is hours long. In his first MasterClass, the Central Texas barbecue specialist will teach you his meticulous low and slow process for mouth-watering ribs, pork butt, and brisket. With perfectly seasoned cuts and optimal temperatures, you’ll learn to handle an offset smoker like a true pitmaster.
In this MasterClass, you will have 16 important classes where you will learn the fundamentals of Texas Style BBQ. From choosing the right wood, select the best meat, or simply know how to improve your offset smoker, you will have a lot of good content. Unlike other MasterClasses, where you will learn many recipes and techniques, in this one, you only have 5 recipes: pork butt, brisket, pork ribs, steak, and BBQ sauce.
But as we always say, the most important thing is not the recipes but the actual techniques. Although you only have 5 recipes, Aaron gives you every detail you need to know in each recipe, so you can fill confidence to start creating your own barbecue recipes. If you really pay attention to all the details that Aaron gives in this MasterClass, you will significantly improve your barbecue skills.
01 – Introduction
Meet your new instructor: Aaron Franklin, a Central Texas barbecue legend. In your first lesson, the award-winning pitmaster takes you inside his famed restaurant, Franklin Barbecue, explaining the techniques and recipes you’ll learn in the class.
02 – Fire and Smoke
Building and managing fire is key to barbecue mastery. In this chapter, Aaron demonstrates his technique for constructing clean fires, explains how to analyze smoke, and unpacks the anatomy and science of an offset cooker.
03 – Smoke: Pork Butt
For your first cook, Aaron takes you step-by-step through his recipe and technique for smoking tender, flavorful pork butt: from seasoning and wrapping through shredding into tender morsels of pulled pork.
04 – Smoke: Pork Ribs
Though best known for his brisket, Aaron is a stickler when it comes to ribs. Learn his tried-and-true process for trimming, smoking, and slicing saucy, moist spare ribs in this intermediate-level cook.
05 – Wood
Wood, and the smoke it creates, is the primary flavor agent in barbecue. In this chapter, Aaron takes you through a woodpile, explaining how to assess a piece of wood and how to choose the right pieces for different phases of your cook.
06 – Grill: Steak and Broccolini
When Aaron isn’t cooking low and slow at Franklin Barbecue, he’s often grilling at home. Here, he shares his method of incorporating direct and indirect heat for seared steaks and charred broccolini in a meal quick enough to make any night of the week.
07 – Beef Quality and Selection
Is grass-fed beef superior to grain-fed? Fresh better than frozen? Aaron shares his tips for assessing beef quality and how to buy the best meat for your needs.
08 – Prep: Brisket Trim
In the first of our five-chapter series on the Texas barbecue staple, Aaron shares his signature method for shaving and shaping briskets for an even and consistent cook.
09 – Smoke: Brisket Part I
Phase one of our brisket smoke involves building a fire, applying slather and rub, and cooking the meat undisturbed. Learn Aaron’s technique for seasoning evenly and developing clean flavors in the critical first hours of your cook.
10 – Smoke: Brisket Part II
In the second phase of our 12-hour brisket smoke, Aaron shares his techniques for spritzing, getting a derailed cook back on track, and pushing through the stall while maintaining a clean and steady fire.
11 – Smoke: Brisket Part III
Learn Aaron’s technique for wrapping brisket, checking for tenderness, and assessing when to pull and rest your meat in the final phase of our brisket cook.
12 – Finish: Brisket Slice
Aaron walks you through his detailed, cut-by-cut process for slicing your brisket to minimize waste and maximize balance and flavor.
13 – Prepare: Sauce
Learn how to make the MasterClass-exclusive recipe for the balanced, tangy-sweet sauce Aaron uses in his lesson on ribs.
14 – Offset Smokers
Years of working exclusively on offset smokers has given Aaron a sense of what to look for—and avoid—when buying and modifying the cookers. Learn Aaron’s tips so your smoker functions at its peak.
15 – Aaron’s Journey to Pitmaster
Aaron’s journey began with a botched brisket cooked on a $99 smoker. Follow the unlikely path Aaron took to become a pitmaster, and learn what sparked the birth of the most famous barbecue joint in the country.
16 – Bonus Chapter: How Brisket Became King: The History of Central Texas Barbecue
In this bonus chapter, Aaron traces the roots of barbecue culture in Texas from European immigrants to World War II vets, highlighting how brisket—a tough, difficult-to-cook cut of beef—became the region’s signature smoked meat.
Franklin Barbecue is probably the most famous barbecue restaurant in the world. People stay hours in line just to taste the delights of this restaurant. For a long time, the secret to Aaron’s famous brisket and its delicious food was well kept. But luckily for us, in this MasterClass, Aaron will teach everyone the same way he teaches the people who work at Franklin Barbecue.
For us, this is just one of the many reasons we like this MasterClass so much. Aaron could have give us many barbecue recipes, but he decided to share with everyone the recipes that make him one of the best pitmasters in the world. We already tested some of the recipes in this MasterClass and they are just brilliant, if you follow Arron’s tips, you will nail each recipe every time.
The Class cookbook is also a great addition, because where you will have the recipes and also some of Aaron’s notes. We really like MasterClass Class Cookbooks because it makes easier for us to follow along with the videos. And the dedicated spaces for the notes ensures we don’t forget anything when we’re trying to recreate one of the recipes.
Aaron Franklin Teaches Texas-Style BBQ is the MasterClass that all the barbecue fans out there have been asking. With one of the best pitmasters in the world, this MasterClass is a must-have for those who love barbecue and for those who want to improve their skills.
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In this MasterClass, you will learn how to make great barbecue, with one of the best pitmasters in the world.