Spring is here and the smell of grilled food soon will be wafting through the air.

If you’d like to learn more about grilling a tasty steak, burger, chop or kabob, North Dakota State University can help.

NDSU meat science faculty are partnering with food science faculty and the NDSU Extension Service to hold 12 BBQ Boot Camps throughout the state this spring and summer.

The BBQ Boot Camp will introduce people to new cooking methods and practices. The program also will cover topics such as meat cut selection, methods and theories of cooking, food safety and variations in barbecuing practices, such as using rubs, marinades and seasonings. In addition, participants will receive information on current topics in the pork, beef and lamb industries, including research, teaching and Extension activities at NDSU.

“BBQ Boot Camp is a unique opportunity to explain and discuss current topics in the food industry at the grass-roots level, all while having a lot of fun with barbecue,” says David Newman, NDSU Extension swine specialist.

Meat cut selection will emphasize value cuts, which are considered excellent for barbecuing if people use proper cooking methods. Meat selection education also will include information on typical retail cuts.

Food safety education will cover pre-cooking, cooking and post-cooking issues such as proper cooking temperatures and the use of a meat thermometer. Instructors also will analyze the differences among smoking, gas and charcoal cooking methods and help participants understand how the compositional differences in meat animal species, cooking temperatures and humidity affect the success of barbecuing.

The dates and locations of the camps and the Extension agent to contact are:

  • June 10 – Wahpeton, Dale Siebert, (701) 642-7793
  • July 1 – Lisbon, Brian Zimprich, (701) 683-6128
  • July 7 – New Rockford, Tim Becker, (701) 947-2454
  • July 9 – Carrington, Wendy Becker, (701) 652-2581
  • July 14 – New Salem, Vanessa Hoines, (701) 667-3340
  • July 16 – Beulah, Craig Askim, (701) 873-5195
  • July 23 – Williston, Mary Froelich, (701) 577-4595
  • July 31 – Jamestown, Eunice Sahr, (701) 252-9030
  • Aug. 4 – Bismarck, Cathy Palczewski, (701) 221-6865
  • Aug. 6 – Dickinson, Kurt Froelich, (701) 456-7665
  • Aug. 10 – Cando, Crystal Martodam, (701) 968-4362
  • Aug. 12 – Pembina County (location to be announced), Helen Volk-Schill, (701) 265-8411

Each camp will run from 5 to about 8:30 p.m. The cost is $30 per person. Participation will be limited to 60 people at each camp.

For more information or to register for a camp, call the contact person for the camp you’d like to attend.

The North Dakota Pork Producers Council, North Dakota Lamb and Wool Producers Association, North Dakota Beef Commission, Northern Plains Distributing Inc. and Cloverdale Foods are helping sponsor the camps.