BBQ Boot Camp teaches agriculture and grilling techniques
Published October 5, 2015
The flame is lit, the meat is seasoned and hungry people roaming the Fargodome tailgate lots expect to sample something good off the grill.
Sound like pressure? Not if the cooks have attended an NDSU BBQ Boot Camp.
The animal sciences department and NDSU Extension Service agents make the popular program happen every summer. It teaches grilling techniques that make participants the envy of the neighborhood’s grill masters, but it also provides agricultural education.
The BBQ Boot Camp team has a serious purpose in wanting people to understand where food comes from and how it’s raised, said David Newman, assistant professor of animal sciences and one of the boot camp organizers. The world’s population is expected to increase by two billion in the next 35 years, and now is the time to consider what can be done to stop any potential agricultural-related problems that could occur from having more people to feed.
NDSU experts use BBQ Boot Camp to educate people about agriculture while providing tips for cookouts and tailgating.
But the team keeps it fun and light, providing interesting facts, such as the long-term effects of red meat on the human body, the history of regional spices and the use of antibiotics in animals while cooking delicious meats on several different types of grills and smokers. The cooking tips include an introduction to different cuts of meat, how to apply seasonings and proper use of a meat thermometer.
It’s not a pre-packaged class. There are no scripts. Boot camp’s popularity centers on its knowledgeable people sharing a love of agriculture and BBQ in a laidback family cookout atmosphere.
And the camp’s popularity grows each year. Newman said he gets requests from all over the country, including New York, Los Angeles, Texas and Maine. It’s a national reputation that grew when BBQ Boot Camp grilling tips were included in a segment during the national television broadcast of ESPN College GameDay last year.
Boot camp is a large operation. The NDSU team and grill accessories arrive at their destinations in a large NDSU-themed yellow trailer, the slogan “Know agriculture. Know food.” written on the side.
BBQ Boot Camp travels throughout North Dakota about six times a summer. Visit the boot camp website for information on the schedule and how to sign up.