At the University of Georgia, undergraduate students can take steps toward achieving grill master status.
The first-year seminar class "BBQ and You," taught by John Michael Gonzalez and Alexander Stelzleni in the Department of Animal and Dairy Science (ADS) at the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, is tailored for students interested in improving their barbecue technique.
The course covers all the basics: chicken, pulled pork, brisket and more. Stelzleni and Gonzalez might spend the morning smoking and preparing a ti-tip steak, for example. The class observes the grilling and cutting process, and then they get to taste.
Developed for first-year students, the course also offers knowledge on best safety practices-the proper internal temperatures of various meats, sanitary preparation methods, and more-to avoid mistakes later. Outside of that, it is all about figuring out what the individual student likes and doesn't like.
Meet the profs
Gonzalez is quick to claim his native Texas as the No. 1 barbecue state, but he also lived in Kansas, which he ranks as second-best for barbecue. As an associate professor, he researches meat quality and palatability, barbecue methods, and other meat-related topics for his students.
Stelzleni grew up in the midst of the Midwestern meat industry and when he isn't manning the grill, he researches factors influencing the quality, yield and shelf-life of meat products.
The duo shows students how they can make a career for themselves in meat science. Understanding cook times, developing recipes and knowing the science behind barbecuing are all specialized industry skills.
"I was drawn to the course by the prospect of barbecuing for a credit hour, which sounded awesome," said former student Jude Jackman, a mechanical engineering major. "It was a great way to learn about cooking from experts, without having to worry about buying meat or finding a grill."
Gonzalez and Stelzleni offer advice: Never shy away from the idea of failing. "Everyone refines their recipes to what works well for them," Gonzales said. "We hope to help students by allowing them to have those mess-ups for free."
The next offering of the "BBQ and You" seminar will be n spring 2024. Learn more about the CAES Department of Animal and Dairy Science at animaldairy.uga.cdu/
Barbecue is also Georgia Social History:
Too old for school, how about BBQ Camp?