For her birthday this year, I got Allison a voucher for a class at a local cooking school. After sitting on it for a couple months, we finally signed up for a Texas BBQ tour class, which we attended this past Tuesday.

Having never been to one of these classes, neither of us knew what to expect, but we were both very excited. After registering and receiving our aprons, we were pleased to find a bar available for the duration of our class — so we were already off to a good start.

The menu for the night consisted of the following: brisket sandwich with burnt ends, cowboy beans, dirty rice, injected baked potatoes, dry-rubbed brisket and blackberry cobbler. It sounds like a lot of food, and it was! They warned us at the beginning of class to pace ourselves, but I’m not sure anyone heeded those warnings.

The format of the class was teams of 8, dividing and conquering the side dishes while the different briskets cooked on the grills. While we didn’t actually get to cook the briskets themselves, due to the length of time they needed on the grill, we learned about the various spices, rubs, and techniques to best prepare a brisket for grilling. For the side dishes, Allison and I were responsible for the dirty rice and injected baked potatoes which, we both would attest, turned out delicious.

One of the interesting things that seemed to catch a lot of attention, and the current object of my culinary affection, was the contraption that we used to cook the food – a Big Green Egg. It was a grill and a smoker, all-in-one, and the minute I saw that brisket cooking so perfectly, I had to figure out how to get one. To no one’s surprise, they conveniently sold them in their store downstairs, and while I expected them to be expensive, I was caught by a bit of sticker shock. While my hopes of owning a Big Green Egg in the near future quickly faded, my spirits were revived when I found a pack of ranch flavored mints right around the corner which, for those of you that know me, served as a pretty good consolation.

After a wonderful evening of fun cooking and delicious food, Allison and I were stuffed. We both can’t wait to try out some of these new recipes at home soon.