A James Beard award-winning chef, Aaron Franklin teaching BBQ cooking? Is that even possible? Well, MasterClass has made it possible. Not even kidding, they did.
I was trying to cook barbecue for the first time to impress my family and miserably failed.
While browsing through the internet and getting recommendations from friends, the only answer I got was “Aaron Franklin MasterClass”.
Didn’t know a cooking course was that famous so I decided to take it up and the rest is history.
In this article, you’ll learn more about Texas-style BBQ cooking, a detailed explanation of the lessons, the ingredients needed, the pros and cons of the course, and many more.
In the end, I even share my experience in learning from Aaron Franklin so read till the end.
An Overview of Aaron Franklin’s MasterClass:
As mentioned earlier, the MasterClass handled by Aaron Franklin focuses mainly on Texas-style cooking of the best barbeques, how to handle fire, wood and understand the play of smoke. Moreover, you’ll also get an idea of cooking grilled food at an appropriate speed.
Aaron tries to capture all the important etiquettes in making the fire and does not leave room for any confusion throughout the course. This part gave me such clarity in everything related to fire.
He made sure that there is a proper flow of lessons ever since the beginning of the course. Like, you don’t get zoned out but feel the need to binge-watch like it’s a live cooking show. That’s how it was.
His masterclass has 16 lessons which can be totaled up to 5 hours of watch-time. As a bonus, he also drops easy tips and techniques on BBQ cooking throughout the whole course.
The MasterClass has made our lives easy and decided to provide additional workbooks in a PDF format so that we get to learn more about it in detail outside the course as well.
While taking up this MasterClass, I found out that there is a fun community of other amateurs in BBQ cooking with whom you can acquire and share knowledge about all the learnings in the course.
You must be wondering who exactly is this man named Aaron Franklin and why would he teach something related to cooking, specifically cooking a freaking BBQ, right? all your questions will be answered below, keep reading.
Aaron Franklin: Who is he and why is he teaching BBQ cooking?
The man behind Franklin Barbecue, a successfully run BBQ joint located in Texas. Many A-grade celebrities like Barack Obama, Jimmy Kimmel, and the world-famous MasterChef judge, Gordon Ramsay are patrons of the BBQ joint. He is indeed a true Pitmaster who is killing it in his field.
Franklin is also the first BBQ virtuoso to be nominated and receive a James Beard Foundation Award for the title of “Best Chef” in 2015 was a celebration to the entire BBQ cooking community.
Apart from cooking, he is also indeed a great actor who starred in the movie “Chef” which became a global hit and brought him the fame that he has today.
It also opened up diverse opportunities for him to sail the boat of success and build up his career.
What are the recipes (lessons) like?
This MasterClass had a well-structured way of lessons which I might call as recipes of Franklin because he has got something for us in each of these lessons which turns out to be helpful.
As mentioned earlier, Aaron has covered over 16 lessons where he does not repeat the same subject but instead goes deep into a particular topic or a method of cooking. Trust me, he really goes deep.
“Its name when translated from Japanese is much less exciting than when you don’t know what it means—wa means “Japanese” and gyu means “cow.” Japanese cow, that’s all it is.”
Since it might take an essay to write all the lessons in detail, let me briefly explain and highlight the necessary takeaways from the course. This way, you’ll get an insight into how the lessons are.
Without further ado, let’s dive in.
1. Initiation to the course
Aaron Franklin initiates the MasterClass by stating that he literally is going to teach how he would train someone in his famous BBQ joint, Franklin Barbecue.
As in, he will be starting from the basics of picking up the right piece of wood for the fire, how to properly look at the fire, and decide which part of the meat should be kept first. Exciting, right?
At this point, I was thrilled to know the fact that he is not jumping right into the lessons like how instructors usually do and are taking baby steps in teaching his students better.
2. Know your fire
It is evident to say that fire is an important subject in the process of cooking by which Aaron says that the fire can also be vulnerable at times and be the most critical part of the cook.
He explains why fire is the foundation for any cooking in a detailed manner and suggests ways in which you can build a proper fire so that your barbecue comes out well.
I used to wonder how someone can cook on fire when the weather is just not right and to my surprise, he also talked about different adaptations and flexible tricks to adjust accordingly.
At the end of this lesson, he concluded on how to differentiate between good and bad smoke because the smoke tells a lot about the fire which in return says about the BBQ.
3. Hands-on pork butt and ribs
In this lesson, Aaron gets hands-on pork butt initially to show an experience on how to smoke it properly because the butt is an easy way to start with.
He later smokes ribs as well so that we’ll get an idea of how different subjects require a different approach in smoking it. I did not know this until Aaron pointed it out.
Simultaneously, he writes down a game plan of his to-do list and also takes note of what he has done so that it helps in clearing out mistakes and errors if there were any.
“They’re not called spare because they’re thin or left over or not as good as strike ribs or kept in the trunk in case your main ribs get a flat.”
This kind of taking notes spoke volumes to me on learning from a different perspective.
He regularly gives out hacks and unique tips in this specific lesson, watch out!
4. How to find the perfect woodpile
Aaron decided to talk about woods, woods, and only woods in this section because usually, people think it is the fire and the meat that decides the taste of the food. They’re wrong.
Apparently, without good wood, there is no hope for proper cooking of the meat as it demands a generous amount of wood for a complete course of meat.
He guides us in selecting the appropriate wood and recommends making use of the locale. In fact, most of his woods are from his regional places only, he adds.
Then he gives us clarity in the quality of selecting wood and what sizes are apt for cooking, especially barbeque cooking.
5. Let’s talk about grilling
Though the main focus of the MasterClass was on cooking BBQ, Aaron outlived the course and showed us more than what we a sked for. He is now talking about grilling techniques.
I have tried grilling but after hearing from the legend, I can’t even say I grilled something because what he was saying and doing was something new to me. It was unique indeed.
Aaron reveals some of his usual methods in grilling where he also mentions a cool trick he uses to maintain the crisp part outside while having a tender cut on the inside.
6. Aaron got some beef
Didn’t I tell you that this MasterClass by Aaron Franklin has a well-structured flow of lessons? Well, in this module, he talks about beef in detail. Precisely.
From how the animals are fed, be it grass or grain, fresh or frozen because all of it matters when it comes to buying beef.
“But the fact that in Texas barbecue, you’re taking one of the worst pieces of the animal and converting it into one of the best is a miracle itself.”
Of course, as an eater, you don’t think about it but if you are someone who is going to cook them then Aaron advises to have these in mind before buying.
Now, he explains the anatomy of brisket because it is a learning for all the beginners out there.
Followed by the beef processing, he goes in depth about brisket, unique sauce recipes of his own, and finally talks about offset in the end.
7. Journey in becoming the best
Franklin concludes the entire course by sharing his childhood memory of visiting barbeque joints to owning a successful barbeque joint in town. Indeed, a motivating journey.
He also says that there is so much to learn despite having learned and nailed it in the field. Every day is a new beginning to learn something new.
Told you that he encourages his students then and there throughout the course.
Apparently, he also tries different styles to master his skill while having himself as a competition. Trust me, this part was actually inspiring to have one’s self as a competition.
What did I learn from this MasterClass by Aaron Franklin?
First of all, I learned a lot of things. From the basics to the extreme, I had the chance to ride through every single aspect of barbeque cooking specifically because there are a lot of times when we make mistakes while cooking and do not realize it until we take up a course about it.
Aaron taught me about understanding fire, cooking the meat at the desired speed, and not overcooking it. He also gave me an insight on handling smoke, choosing the appropriate wood, and learning the anatomy of brisket which is not commonly taught well.
I also got to see properly cooked beef in the making itself. I am saying this because I learned that not every flesh is cooked in the same way and that is something very important to learn from him.
Apart from all the BBQ cooking lessons, Aaron made sure to extend his teachings to grilling and offset as well. That was a surprise because I thought he would only teach BBQ basics.
What made Aaron Franklin’s MasterClass unique?
The immediate thought that comes to people’s minds about taking up the course is that they could have watched cooking lessons on Youtube and that is where MasterClass has excelled to my expectations. Trust me, it truly did.
I did not buy the all-access pass and right away got into the course. I did a little research in finding the best and this is where I landed in the end.
It is not something you watch for a while and switch off but a course that aims to motivate and make the students perform the activity right away.
Aaron gives super easy hacks on big cooking challenges and that is something you can’t find anywhere other than this MasterClass. Most importantly, you get to see cooking from a new perspective.
Who is Aaron Franklin’s MasterClass made for?
If you are someone who is attempting to start cooking and would like to know the basic etiquettes of cooking then this MasterClass might not be for you because Aaron goes deep in the subject of BBQ cooking-related lessons. As for me, I wanted to learn how to properly cook barbeque so it worked.
Since the course also guides grilling meat, brisket anatomy, and offset smoking, it’ll be incredibly useful to anyone who is planning to open a meat joint knowing the procedure about it.
The MasterClass is recommended to the ones who have common queries and doubts in anything related to BBQ cooking because Franklin answers it all in the most effortless way possible.
Most of the doubts that I didn’t know I had were resolved. Thanks to Aaron Franklin.
Aaron Franklin “Teaches Texas-style BBQ”: Pricing plans
MasterClass’s pricing plans are clearly curated in a way that users get to benefit the most from one solid package alone.
That is, All-access pass – $180/-
You might be wondering why there are no other plans. Well, MasterClass has made sure that the users get access to most of their classes in a single plan.
As for me, I opted for the all-access pass because I also wanted to learn something musical from the world-famous film scorer, Hans Zimmer.
Apart from this, there are more well-known faces like Penn and Teller teaching magic, Gordon Ramsay teaching cooking, and many more inspirational artists who come together to teach us.
The ingredients you might be needing are:
All hyped up about cooking barbeque? Well, obviously, you must be after taking up this course. So let me give you the list of things you might be needing in case you are planning to start cooking!
I would like to give a slight note about the budget because some of the things on the list can cost big money as the materials are a bit expensive.
Here are the ingredients, namely
- A flesh of meat (to test)
- Wrapping sheet (butcher’s paper can be used)
- Big set of knives as the meat can be hard
- A desired amount of fuel
There you go. Those are some of the main ingredients you might be needing to have a hands-on experience after all the learnings from the legend. I am sharing my experience, in the end, watch out.
In the end your dish will look something like this.
Do I recommend Aaron Franklin’s MasterClass?
Without a doubt, I would say yes. Hear me out.
You get to learn from the best in the field. You get to hear his experiences and mistakes that he has done earlier in perfecting the craft. It can also be a motivating lesson for us.
You are exposed to a deep spectrum of everything related to BBQ cooking, grilling meat, handling fire and smoke all under one single roof which is also taught by a professional in the industry.
I did not feel any less in taking up the MasterClass by Aaron Franklin because he definitely exceeded my expectations in every aspect of the entire course.
What could be improved in Aaron Franklin’s MasterClass?
There can be safety measures or disclaimers about the activity that the instructor is working on because sometimes students blindly follow what is being taught to follow.
A more interactive one-on-one session with the instructor can be organized. It does not have to be hours long but a 30 mins Q&A session would be helpful.
This MasterClass was kind of biased and limited to only Texas-style cooking and the general audience across the world might get disappointed about it.
Here are some of the best alternatives to this MasterClass:
If you are not familiar with Aaron Franklin’s MasterClass, there are other alternatives to try out on the same platform itself.
Even those MasterClasses are handled by professionals in their respective fields.
Pros & Cons of the MasterClass handled by Aaron Franklin:
The following are the pros and cons of this MasterClass:
- A unique teaching style.
- An equal share of theory as well as practical knowledge.
- Detailed explanation on various aspects.
- Interactive community.
- Centered only to Texas-style cooking.
- No live session with the instructor.
- Lack of detailing in the workbook.
Final Verdict On Aaron Franklin MasterClass Review:
By now, you must have got to see how excited and pumped I was to learn from the legend himself. He opened new perspective doors in exploring the craft better and better.
Like I said, I was left with no suspicion about the teaching because Aaron’s way of instructing was top-notch. I got to see how great of a cook Aaron Franklin really is.
The entire experience was something else for me. I would suggest you recommend Aaron Franklin MasterClass to friends or anyone who you think might be interested in learning from the best. I hope this Aaron Franklin MasterClass review suits your purpose well,
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does the MasterClass of Aaron Franklin cost?
An all-access pass priced at $180 per year ($15 per month) allows you to access Aaron Franklin with other 80+ MasterClasses.
Can you get the MasterClass of Aaron Franklin for free?
Unfortunately, there is no possibility that you can get Aaron Franklin’s MasterClass for free.
How long will it take to complete Aaron Franklin’s MasterClass?
There are 16 lessons which can take up to 5 hours of watch time.
Is Aaron Franklin MasterClass any good?
It is the perfect course for anyone interested in learning the craft of BBQ cooking better.
What is net worth of Aaron Franklin?
The net worth of Aaron Franklin is said to be $1 million.