Barbecue 101: Pork U

A college of barbecue knowledge in Marietta, Georgia

Photo: Michael Turek

WHEN TO GO: Once a month, pit master Sam Huff welcomes students to his college of barbecue knowledge, held on a five-acre spread in western Cobb County. A screened-in porch serves as the classroom for
the June 22, July 20, and
August 17 sessions.

WHAT TO EXPECT: Many pit masters are coy about their methods, but not Huff, whose nearby pig shack, Sam’s BBQ-1,
consistently ranks among the best in Georgia. “I want more people to cook like me,” he says, laughing. Over the course of eleven hours, Pork U students
learn to prepare rubs, sauces, injections, mops, and marinades—and when to use each. They’ll see a dozen different cookers, smokers, pits, and grills. They’ll cook butts, brisket,
stuffed pork loin, beer can chick-en, baby back ribs, spareribs, wings, sausages, a few (greenish) sides, even desserts prepared over hot coals. Students prep, cook, and—yes—eat all day.

TYPICAL DAY: It begins at 8:00 a.m. with hot coffee and Bloody Marys (“Can’t forget the internal marination of the chef,” Huff says). After a huge breakfast of egg and ham strata and sourdough biscuits doused in gravy, students don complimentary hats and aprons and get to work. When the cookers finally give up their succulent contents to be pulled and sliced, it’s time to eat (again). After the communal feast, everyone—lawyers, doctors, businessmen, and the neighbors lured over by the smoky aromas—gathers around a campfire to watch the sun set over the Georgia pines.

GETTING THERE: Pork U is thirty-five miles from Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Major hotels on I-75, in Kennesaw, are about fifteen minutes away.

>Next: Heart of the Keys: The Moorings Village & Spa