I recently had the chance to take the Aaron Franklin MasterClass, and let me be upfront about it — it's game-changing! If you've been scouring the internet for that perfect brisket recipe or the ultimate grilling tips, your search may just end here. This is my comprehensive Aaron Franklin MasterClass review, and you don't want to miss it. Look, mastering the art of BBQ is not just about slapping a piece of meat on the grill and hoping for the best. There's science, skill, and yes, a little bit of magic involved. And to get there, who better to learn from than Aaron Franklin, a name synonymous with top-notch barbecue? But is his MasterClass worth it? Is it just for beginners, or can even seasoned pros get something out of it?
Hang tight, as I dive deep into every aspect of this MasterClass. From the course material to practical tips and even some surprising aha moments, I've got it all covered. By the end of this post, you'll know whether this MasterClass is your ticket to BBQ stardom.
1 - Who is Aaron Franklin?
Never heard of Aaron Franklin? Ok, let's talk about this barbecue legend! Operating out of Austin, Texas, Aaron Franklin has elevated the craft of barbecue to new heights. He personally runs Franklin Barbecue, a hotspot so renowned that people willingly stand in line for hours just to savor his mind-blowing brisket.
What truly distinguishes Aaron is his hands-on, meticulous mastery over every aspect of barbecuing. He chooses the perfect wood, carefully monitors the temperature, and thoughtfully seasons each cut of meat. This isn't just a hobby for him; it's a full-blown obsession fueled by an unwavering commitment to quality.
Awards? Oh, he's got them. He's won multiple James Beard Awards and written a bestselling cookbook that has become a BBQ bible for many. But he doesn't stop there; he's on a mission to educate.
Through his engaging MasterClass courses and informative YouTube series, Aaron shares his profound knowledge with aspiring pitmasters and casual grillers alike. When Aaron Franklin dishes out barbecue wisdom, everyone from the novice to the expert sits up and takes notes.
2 - An Overview of Aaron Franklin's Masterclass
Aaron Franklin has teamed up with MasterClass to teach us all about the art of Texas-style BBQ. Now, if you're new to MasterClass, they're a platform known for enlisting the crème de la crème in various fields to give us regular Joes a dose of high-level expertise. Yeah, I’m talking about lessons from big names like Gordon Ramsay in cooking or Stephen Curry in basketball.
- What's in the Package?
This course isn't just a one-and-done deal; it's broken down into 16 comprehensive parts. Each section has a video led by Aaron himself, and there's a companion PDF to download too. This makes it easier to follow along or refer back to key points later. The video lengths vary, ranging from quick 5-minute briefings to immersive 35-minute deep dives. The Brisket section alone is a five-part saga, which is pretty darn awesome.
- Course Content: The Meat and Bones
Okay, so what's the course really about? In a nutshell, it's a balanced blend of theory, practical recipes, and some interesting side topics. If you've seen Aaron's web series before, some of the recipes might seem familiar. But let me tell you, he goes into a lot more detail here. You'll learn the nitty-gritty of preparing Pork Butt, Pork Ribs, Steak, and the pièce de résistance, Brisket.
Aaron doesn’t skimp on the theory either. You'll get schooled on choosing the right wood, managing fire and smoke, and even selecting the best beef cuts. If you've been pondering about getting an offset smoker or you already have one, there's good stuff in there for you too.
After spending a good two weeks engrossed in this course, I've got to say it offers a ton of value, whether you're new to grilling or a seasoned pitmaster. No, I'm not trying to sell you on it; just sharing what I genuinely felt. If you're looking to up your BBQ game, this is a solid resource to consider.
3 - In Depth Review of The Course
Curious about what Aaron Franklin's Masterclass packs in its lessons? Man, I was stoked to dive in and learn BBQ tips from Aaron Franklin himself, who's like the Yoda of the barbecue world, with a James Beard Award to boot. This isn't just another online class—it's like grabbing a front-row seat at the pitmaster's secret chamber of BBQ wisdom. So, if you've been contemplating a Masterclass subscription, let me break it down for you.
- Learning The Basics: Fire & Smoke, Wood, and Offset Smokers
Alright, let's kick it off with this amazing section. So, we're talking about Aaron Franklin here—the genius pitmaster who took a food truck parked in a random lot and turned it into Franklin Barbecue, an institution for Texas BBQ. This section is basically your BBQ 101 course, and here’s how it benefits both the newbie grillers and BBQ die-hards.
Can the Average Joe Really Benefit from an Offset Smoker Module?
Real talk: Owning a massive offset smoker is a luxury not everyone can afford—whether it's because of limited space or a tight budget. So, how valuable are these lessons for a casual backyard grill master or someone more familiar with a compact pellet smoker?
> The Takeaway for Novices
If you're new to the BBQ world, you'll gain insight into what an offset smoker is capable of, even if you don’t own one. The lesson teaches you about temperature control and smoke distribution, knowledge you can apply to any smoker you might use.
> And for BBQ Lovers?
Seasoned BBQ folks, the module isn't irrelevant to us either. The techniques Aaron shares around managing an offset smoker can often be adapted for your smaller grills or even your beloved pellet smoker. You'll end up with a deeper understanding of how to maximize the tools you already own.
The Holy Grail: Mastering Clean Fire and Smoke
Aaron takes us on a deep dive into fire management, covering everything from choosing quality wood to crafting a fire that churns out clean smoke. This man is a James Beard Award winner; he knows his stuff.
> For Newbies
If you're just starting out, these lessons on clean fire and smoke are your BBQ Bible. Aaron shows you how to manage airflow and stresses why clean fire is crucial. His mantra, "Be proactive with your fire," will stick with you and guide your BBQ journey.
> BBQ Aficionados, Listen Up
His teachings on airflow and the 'art of fire' are a must-watch. They can help fine-tune your existing skills and take your BBQ game to a whole new level.
Some Love for Electric and Propane Cooks
You might think, "Well, I don't use charcoal or an offset smoker, so is this course for me?" The answer is a resounding yes.
> Novices, Take Note
Even if you're using an electric or propane cooker, understanding the mechanics of fire management and smoke is invaluable. You’ll get to learn the science behind cooking meat, which can be applied universally.
> Seasoned Cooks
For the experienced, Aaron even throws in some tidbits on how to adapt his fire management techniques to your specific cooker. These lessons offer a fresh perspective that makes you reconsider your own methods, no matter what equipment you use.
Digging into the Details: Wood and Weather
Lastly, Aaron dives into the nitty-gritty of picking the right wood and how weather conditions can affect your cooking.
> Newbies, This is Crucial
Learn how the moisture in the wood or the day’s weather can impact your BBQ. It’s like a mini-meteorology lesson for BBQ enthusiasts.
> For the BBQ Savants
Even if you think you've mastered wood selection and you barbecue rain or shine, Aaron offers strategies for handling less-than-ideal conditions. Tips on dealing with windy or cold days could be the difference between good BBQ and
- Breaking Down the 'Recipes': An In-Depth Look Into Franklin BBQ's Processes
Hold up! 'Recipes' seems like an understatement when you're talking about Aaron Franklin's Masterclass. It's not just about throwing pork butt or spare ribs onto an offset smoker; it's an entire cooking process, a meat-smoking manifesto if you will. The course workbook accompanies each lesson, providing a written description for every step of the way.
Pork Butt 101: Where to Start?
The first lesson is all about pork butt, which Aaron describes as a forgiving piece of meat for beginners. It's a great place for newbies and veterans to start as it sets the stage for more complex recipes. He even uses his signature pink butcher paper for planning, which, let's be honest, adds a little pizzazz to the whole experience. The rub is simple, Texas-style BBQ at its best: equal parts salt and black pepper, with a touch of paprika for color.
Spare Ribs: An Exercise in Patience and Precision
Next up are the spare ribs, which Aaron categorizes as a mid-level difficulty. He deviates from the traditional 3-2-1 method and offers his own twist. This is where maintaining the internal temperature becomes crucial. "Ribs are really, really finicky," says Aaron, advocating the use of a notebook to jot down everything from the weather to when you wrapped the meat, offering a new dimension of instruction that goes beyond the popular courses and YouTube videos you've probably seen.
The Crown Jewel: Beef Brisket
I have to be a little coy here because the beef brisket lessons are, without a doubt, the highlight of the course. Aaron goes into a staggering level of detail. He gives you the lowdown on brisket trimming (a 34-minute video just on that!), navigating through the "stall," and finally, how to slice it to perfection. It's not just a series of videos; it's an immersive, meaty experience.
- Comparing with Other Masterclass Courses and Online Content
While free courses and YouTube videos offer some great tips, they rarely match up to the level of detail in Aaron Franklin’s Masterclass. Even within Masterclass, courses by Gordon Ramsay or Thomas Keller don't dig into the specifics of BBQ like this one does.
4 - What drawbacks should be considered when considering this program?
Alright, let's get real for a second. While Aaron Franklin’s Masterclass is a gem for anyone obsessed with Central Texas barbecue, it's not perfect for everyone. Let’s dive into some of the drawbacks you should be aware of before you hit that "subscribe" button.
- Specialized Equipment is a Must
First up, if you don’t have an offset smoker and other specialized equipment like thermometers and grates, you’re not going to get the most out of this course. It’s like taking a Gordon Ramsay course and not having a proper chef’s knife. Smokers can be a significant financial investment, and let's not forget the other tools that go into perfecting your barbecue techniques, like maintaining the right internal temperature. The cost can add up, especially if you’re just a backyard hobbyist or if you're on a tight budget.
- Beef Brisket Gets the Spotlight
Another thing to note is that the entire course zeroes in mostly on beef brisket. In fact, six out of the sixteen lessons are all about brisket—from brisket trimming to the most critical part of the cook, the twelve-hour cook time. So if you're here for a deep dive into pork butt, spare ribs, or turkey breast, you might be a bit disappointed. The course workbook will give you a good game plan, but it won't replace the in-depth look you might want for different meats.
- Prior BBQ Know-How is Almost a Prerequisite
Aaron Franklin goes into great detail in his video lessons, but he assumes you've got a basic level of barbecue knowledge. This course isn't a BBQ 101; it's more like an advanced tutorial. If you don't know the difference between direct and indirect heat, or what "clean fire" or "clean smoke" means, you might find yourself lost. Even though Franklin’s previous videos on YouTube might provide some basics, this Masterclass course is geared more toward those who have a solid foundation and want to take their skills to the next level.
- Is it the Right Fit for Beginners?
If you're new to the BBQ scene, the level of detail in this Masterclass might feel overwhelming. It's not as beginner-friendly as some other online courses or free YouTube videos. But on the flip side, if you’ve been barbecuing for a long time, this course can add a new dimension of instruction that you might not get from other platforms. Just make sure you're comfortable with the basics before you dive in.
- Other Masterclass Options Could Offer More Variety
With a Masterclass subscription, you get unlimited access to a plethora of courses, including household names like Wolfgang Puck and Thomas Keller for cooking, or even Steve Martin and Malcolm Gladwell for other skills. If you're looking for a wide-ranging culinary education, you might find courses like those by Thomas Keller or Wolfgang Puck to be more comprehensive. They offer a broader look at cooking, beyond just Texas-style BBQ or the best BBQ techniques honed in a Franklin BBQ food truck.
5 - What Is Included In Your Masterclass Subscription
Gone are the days when you could buy just one MasterClass course. So, if you are considering diving into the barbecue world with Aaron Franklin, you will need to get an "all-access" subscription which will get you access to their full library. So, not only could you become a pitmaster, but you could also refine your basketball skills with tips from Stephen Curry. Here is what is included in your membership:
- Single Class Access to Aaron Franklin's Texas BBQ 101
What You'll Learn:
- Beef Brisket: Franklin teaches you the ins and outs of brisket trimming, one of the most critical parts of the cook.
- Pork Butt & Spare Ribs: Get your hands dirty with other meats, learning how to cook them to perfection, including achieving that elusive internal temperature.
- The Right Wood: Franklin's course dives into the science of clean fire and clean smoke, helping you choose the right piece of wood for that twelve-hour cook.
- BBQ Sauce & More: Ever wonder what gives Franklin BBQ sauce its zing? It's all about that apple cider vinegar and black pepper blend.
- Course Workbook: Each lesson comes with a workbook to reinforce your barbecue knowledge, complete with exercises and additional reading.
- Video Lessons: High-quality video lessons that can rival any popular courses online. You won't find this level of detail in seconds of new videos on random YouTube channels.
- All-Access To Other Course
Additional Culinary Adventures:
- Wolfgang Puck: Explore different meats and cooking techniques like indirect heat.
- Thomas Keller: Delve into beef quality and other gourmet cooking tips.
- Gordon Ramsay: Get a taste of international flavors.
More Than Just Cooking:
- Steve Martin: For a change of pace, why not try your hand at comedy?
- Malcolm Gladwell: Uncover the art of storytelling and make your barbecue the talk of the town.
- Unlimited Access: Binge-watch any series of videos you want, whether it’s food-related or not.
- Household Names: Learn from James Patterson, Reba McEntire, Samuel L. Jackson, Herbie Hancock, and other experts in various fields.
Final Verdict: Should You Take The Class?
Alright, folks, without further ado, my final verdict is a resounding yes! If you're serious about upping your BBQ game and diving deep into the art of smoking meats, this is a golden ticket. The depth of knowledge, from choosing the right wood and maintaining a clean fire, to achieving the perfect internal temperature, is unmatched. This course has taken my BBQ skills from just another backyard hobbyist level to, dare I say it, pitmaster level.
So, head over to that requested URL and get yourself that Masterclass subscription. Your BBQ will thank you, and hey, you might just end up starting your own long line in your backyard!
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely, Aaron Franklin's Masterclass is worth it! You get the privilege of learning from one of the best pitmasters in the world and enhancing your grilling skills. Plus, you can try out his remarkable recipes and craft a variety of delicious smoked meat creations. With this amazing opportunity also comes unlimited access to other MasterClass courses along with their money back guarantee — making investing in this program more than worthwhile!
This course is tailored to meet the needs of beginner, intermediate and advanced grillers. It's important to note that prior knowledge of smoking will be beneficial when taking this course. Aaron has designed each lesson to be straightforward and easy to follow while allowing learners plenty of chances for practicing their barbequing skills with accompanying resources provided in the end. Additionally, he'll cover topics that rely on specialized equipment as well as fundamental smoking techniques.
For a fraction of the cost, you can access 16 lessons plus their accompanying resources with Aaron Franklin's BBQ Masterclass subscription. Not only that but by signing up for this incredibly affordable plan - just $15/month (billed annually) - you will also have unlimited access to all other courses offered at Masterclass! That means unlocking elite knowledge from some of the world’s most renowned chefs like Gordon Ramsey and Wolfgang Puck — without breaking the bank. What are you waiting for? Sign up now and get cooking with confidence!
Yes! When you sign up for the course, you will receive a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you change your mind or decide it isn't right for you.