In “14 Father’s Day Lessons About Barbecue & Life,” author Steven Raichlen reflects on the lessons he learned about grilling and life from his father, as well as other barbecue masters. Raichlen discusses how his mother was the grill master in their family, and shares humorous anecdotes about her unique grilling techniques. He then goes on to share the wisdom passed down to him from other barbecue enthusiasts, such as the importance of hard work, building a fire, and experimenting with different foods on the grill. This article serves as a delightful tribute to fathers and the valuable lessons they impart, both in grilling and in life.

Lesson #1: Running a barbecue restaurant is hard work

Running a barbecue restaurant is no easy feat. It requires dedication, perseverance, and a lot of hard work. Aaron Franklin, the owner of Franklin’s BBQ in Austin, Texas, knows this all too well. He grew up in a barbecue family and learned from a young age that running a barbecue restaurant is no walk in the park.

Lesson #2: Running a barbecue restaurant is really hard work

If you thought running a barbecue restaurant was just hard work, think again. According to Aaron Franklin, it’s really hard work. When you open a barbecue restaurant, you have to be prepared to put in long hours and be there before the sun rises and after it sets. It’s a labor of love, but it can also be incredibly rewarding.

14 Father’s Day Lessons About Barbecue  Life

Lesson #3: When you open a barbecue restaurant, plan to be there before the sun rises and after it sets

As mentioned earlier, running a barbecue restaurant requires long hours. You have to be willing to put in the work, and that means being there before the sun rises and after it sets. This is when the preparations begin and the cooking starts. It’s a time-consuming process, but it’s essential for ensuring that your barbecue is top-notch and ready to be served to your customers.

Lesson #4: Use a water sprayer to put out grease fires

Grease fires can be a dangerous and potentially disastrous occurrence in a barbecue restaurant. However, there are ways to combat them effectively. One method is to use a water sprayer to quickly and safely put out the fire. Aaron Franklin’s father used this method in his own restaurant, and while it may create a spectacle, it gets the job done.

14 Father’s Day Lessons About Barbecue  Life

Lesson #5: Install an offset firebox to avoid grease fires

A more proactive approach to preventing grease fires is to install an offset firebox in your barbecue pit. By doing so, the flames are kept away from the cook chamber, reducing the risk of grease fires. This not only enhances the safety of your restaurant but also ensures that you can focus on the art of barbecue without constantly worrying about potential fires.

Lesson #6: Start barbecue sauce with whole fruits and vegetables

When it comes to making barbecue sauce, starting with whole fruits and vegetables can make a world of difference. Aaron Franklin recalls his first job in his father’s restaurant, where he was responsible for cutting onions and lemons for the sauce. This process adds freshness and complexity to the sauce, elevating its flavor profile and distinguishing it from store-bought alternatives.

14 Father’s Day Lessons About Barbecue  Life

Lesson #7: Pay attention in the restaurant

One important lesson that Aaron Franklin learned from his experience is the importance of paying attention in the restaurant. As a child, he worked at his father’s establishment but didn’t fully grasp the intricacies of barbecue. Looking back, he wishes he had paid more attention because it would have made his journey as a restaurateur much smoother. So, if you plan on opening a barbecue restaurant, be present and absorb as much knowledge as you can.

Lesson #8: Teach kids how to build a real wood fire

Daniel Vaughn, a renowned barbecue critic, believes in teaching kids about live fire cooking from an early age. He emphasizes the importance of teaching them how to build a real wood fire as opposed to just turning on a gas grill. By introducing them to the art of fire-building, they gain an understanding of the fundamentals of barbecue and develop a sense of respect for the process.

14 Father’s Day Lessons About Barbecue  Life

Lesson #9: Teach kids how to grill a piece of meat

While grilling a piece of meat may not be as time-consuming as smoking a brisket, it’s a great starting point for teaching kids about cooking on the grill. It provides them with quick results and allows them to see the immediate impact of their actions. This kind of instant gratification can pique their interest and motivate them to further explore the world of barbecue.

Lesson #14: Choose a reputable brand when buying a new grill

When it comes time to buy a new grill, it’s crucial to choose a reputable brand. Kevin Kolman, a grill master for Weber-Stephen Products Company, stresses the importance of selecting a reliable brand, such as Weber. It’s a decision that can significantly impact the quality of your grilling experience and ensure that you have a grill that will last for years to come.

In conclusion, running a barbecue restaurant is not for the faint of heart. It requires hard work, dedication, and a passion for the art of barbecue. Whether it’s learning from experienced pitmasters, installing safety measures, or teaching the next generation about the joy of live fire cooking, there are valuable lessons to be learned. So, if you’re considering opening a barbecue restaurant or just want to improve your skills as a backyard pitmaster, take these lessons to heart. Happy grilling!

14 Father’s Day Lessons About Barbecue  Life


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