by Chef Mick Brown
Any time is a great time to start a fun BBQ Boot Camp or Grilling Class. BBQ Season is year-round in California. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, Winter begins this year on December 21st, 2015. So most of the country still has weeks or months left for Grilling. We recently received this Inquiry from Edward in Indiana:
Dear BBQ RESCUES!-
Considering your grilling credentials I wanted to see if you could give us some advice. I am the founder of Ordinary Men’s Club. We are a social club for men that is focused on men’s interests, hobbies, pastimes, and passions. Of course Grilling ranks high on most men’s interests. We are preparing to host our first Grilling Class. We are thinking of a 4 hour class for 24 People. Our first hour of class will focus on preparation, seasoning, and basic knife skills. The next 3 hours will be broken into 6-30 minute segments of hands on grilling. The segments will be steaks, chops, chicken, artisan sausages, vegetables, and seafood. We have been working with the local Chefs Academy to be the instructors.
This should provide the guys with a broad knowledge of basic skills and a pretty good meal in the process. Our event will be outdoors and weather could be iffy so AV would be difficult. Do you have any suggestions that would make this a monumental event? Feedback?- Edward in Indiana
Edward- Thank You for inspiring this Blog, as I am sure that other organizations may also be interested in hosting similar events.
5 TIPS FOR STARTING YOUR OWN BBQ BOOT CAMP OR GRILLING CLASS
1. Plan a Strategic Menu and Allow plenty of time for Cooking- My Group Grilling Lessons always start with a Quick Appetizer or Snack, like Smoked Popcorn. BBQ Potato or Tortilla Chips. Then we “Strike while the grill is hot”, preparing the main dish needing the longest cooking time first, and getting it on the Grill. Then we do a series of Appetizers and Side Dishes with any available Grill Space. To do a “Hands On” Cooking Class for 24, I’d recommend you have at least 2-4 Grills available.
2. Create Informational and Recipe Handouts and provide extra Pens for note taking– It is always good to do handouts that the Class can follow along and take notes. This can include BBQ Technique and Recipe Articles found online, or from Cooking Instructors. If you decide to use my recommended BBQ Rub HEROIC!, there is a California Gold BBQ Rubs New Owner’s Manual, that you can paste and print to hand out in Class.
3. Hire a Professional Chef or Seasoned Grill Master who is willing to share their Techniques- You have already hired someone for your Course, which is great. A good Cooking Instructor should be able to demonstrate Techniques, Teach Food Safety and help Participants do Grilling while answering their Questions.
4. Include Games and Group Building Exercises- Games are not only fun, but they can also help with Team Building and making new Friends. Teams can be picked randomly based on where they are sitting, “out of a hat” or from the same Work Department, Zip Code, Birth Month or share a favorite Color. My favorite is to create list of BBQ related Trivia Questions. from Wikipedia or any trusted online resource. Prizes can include BBQ Utensils, Cooking Supplies, Grocery or BBQ Restaurant Gift Certificates, etc…
5. Be Prepared- Goes without saying, but make sure you have carefully created and fulfilled your Shopping List, including possible take-away Gift Bags for all participants. Give a budget for Supplies to any hired Instructor, or request a full Needs List from them. Also consider the best location based on the availability of Food Preparation Space and hand/dishwashing facilities. Supply hand sanitizer, either way.
Finally, relax and have fun. Nothing ever goes exactly as planned. At the end of the day, if participants leave with the knowledge and confidence to do more Grilling at home, your event will have been a success. Good Luck and Happy Grilling!
Anyone near Brownsburg, Indiana? Here is more info on the Ordinary Men’s Club Grilling Class for 11/15/15
On Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/424356724439602/
Old Farmer’s Almanac http://www.almanac.com/content/first-day-winter-winter-solstice
BBQ RESCUES! website has BBQ Technique and Recipe articles added weekly
California Gold BBQ Rubs New Owner’s Manual- http://californiagoldbbqrubrecipes.com/2014/03/19/california-gold-bbq-rubs-owners-manual/
History of BBQ (Blog) http://protecttheharvest.com/the-history-of-bbq-how-americans-have-made-it-our-own/
History of BBQ in Indiana- Some material worth sharing (or using for Trivia Game)
History of Barbecue in Indiana https://books.google.com/books?id=L4I-AAAAYAAJ&pg=PA595&lpg=PA595&dq=history+of+barbecue+in+indiana&source=bl&ots=lJ_uWQEYb-&sig=8fvV1tS2w6Bdin87IsfTAqH-Inw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CD4Q6AEwBTgKahUKEwi-2dvJzMXIAhVFOogKHfxrDeI#v=onepage&q=history%20of%20barbecue%20in%20indiana&f=false
Related Event- Vote for the Best BBQ Restaurant in Indiana by Oct 31st, 2015