2011 Barbecue Summer Camp Story and Recap from the Houston Chronicle

Check out this story about our 1st Annual Barbecue Summer Camp that just occurred June 3-5. It brings back very tasty memories. Also, stay tuned for details on our 2nd Annual Barbecue Summer Camp planned for Summer 2012 in College Station. We expect the 2012 camp to sell out, so become a member of Foodways Texas for 10% off registration and to make sure you get first chance to purchase tickets. We had a blast at Texas A&M this year and can’t wait for next summer. Hope to see you there.

Here’s a clip from the story:

It’s all in the smoke

The thermometer on the wall inside the pit room at Martin’s Barbecue reads 104. But that’s a good 10 feet from the heat source. Stand close to the pits, as Steve Kapchinskie does 12 to 14 hours a day, and you are basically being cooked, much like the brisket and pork ribs that have made Martin’s the most treasured barbecue in the Byran/College Station area.
Kapchinskie, whose grandfather Martin began selling barbecue in 1925, will tell you, you won’t find any flies in his work area. That’s because they can’t live in the smoky atmosphere, which is so thick you have to wonder how Kapchinskie does it day in and out. After a few minutes I’m stepping outside to grab oxygen that hasn’t been consumed by oak fire.
Kapchinskie doesn’t seem to notice the omnipresent fog-like haze that has colored the ceiling coal black. “My doctor said my lungs are great. I’ve been doing this since I was 12 years old and I’m 54,” the third-generation pitmaster said with a smile. “But I work hard for it.”
And we are grateful he does. No one seems to mind that it’s still morning on the first day of our camp and we’re wolfing down the best Martin’s has to offer. We are brought here by Texas barbecue authority Robb Walsh, one of our instructors, who has written extensively about the various historical and ethnic forces – which he calls “cultural tectonic plates” – that have come to define the styles of Texas barbecue. Walsh is high on this ‘cue shack, which he likens to a smoky time capsule.
Getting that smoke just right is the not-so-secret key to Martin’s barbecue, or any other barbecue for that matter.
“My father and grandfather said to me to let the wood do the cooking.”
Here, it’s doing the cooking and all the talking.

Read more: Camp ‘Cue

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