Feasting is our column dedicated to cooking, grilling, eating and discovering what’s on the menu across America and the world.
National BBQ Month may have passed, but luckily the time to pull out those smokers and grills is just beginning. Just in time to kick off the season, PBS is launching a new series with one of, if not the, most famous pitmasters in the country, Aaron Franklin. You’ve probably seen the lines, or even experienced them if you have the patience, wrapped around his namesake joint Franklin BBQ in Austin, TX. Now he’s taking his talents and expertise on a road trip through BBQ culture, highlighting the people, places and food that make this American passion so very special.
Split into 10 half-hour episodes, BBQ With Franklin not only celebrates the traditions and histories passed along through generations, it also explores cooking techniques when he visits notable BBQ joints and their celebrated masters as he tries new recipes and answers burning questions like “is it done yet?” Based on the YouTube series of the same name, created and launched by KLRU-TV, Austin PBS in 2012, it’s also a journey through Franklin’s own backyard as he experiments with building his own smoker from scratch and makes important decisions like whether or not to go whole hog.
“BBQ With Franklin is my little way to give back to a barbecue community that has been so generous to us,” Aaron said. His interest in BBQ started when him and his wife Stacy would throw backyard cookouts. When they opened a small BBQ trailer on the side of an interstate in 2009, they had absolutely no idea how big they would get so quickly. Today Franklin BBQ is the most obsessed over barbecue joint in the country, if not the world. Aaron just won the 2015 James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southwest and has been named Best Barbecue Joint in Texas by Texas Monthly and Best Barbecue Joint in America by Bon Appetit.
We’ve seen the first episode, and we’re already hooked. Check it out below and let us know what you think.
Photos courtesy of KLRU-TV, Austin PBS