The Troubadour Festival returned to Aggieland for the second year in one of the state’s largest gatherings of barbecue pitmasters and guitar pickers.

In the shadow of Kyle Field, 35 of the best barbecue joints in the Lone Star State lined Aggie Park, ready for ravenous ‘cue lovers to descend upon their white-topped tents. Texas country music floated around the festival as smoked meats and succulent sides flowed under the Texas summer sun.

A man stands in the smoke behind a barbecue pit. He is wearing a maroon short, maroon and white cap and sunglasses.
Ray Riley, Rosenthal Meat Science and Technology Center manager in the Department of Animal Science, talks to pitmasters during the Troubadour Festival at Aggie Park. (Katie Perkins/Texas A&M AgriLife)
A large crowd of people stand in lines for barbecue. Kyle Field is in the background
Festival goers were treated to barbecue samples from 35 of the best barbecue joints in the state of Texas. (Katie Perkins/Texas A&M AgriLife)

The barbecue hot spot

College Station is quickly becoming a hub for all things barbecue education, with Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Department of Animal Science meat science programs like Camp Brisket and Barbecue Summer Camp taking place each year.

These programs are spearheaded by the affectionately named “Three Brisketeers,” Jeffrey W. Savell, Ph.D., vice chancellor and dean for Agriculture and Life Sciences; Davey Griffin, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Animal Science and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service meat specialist; and Ray Riley, Rosenthal Meat Science and Technology Center manager in the Department of Animal Science.

The spirit of Aggieland runs deep with this trio, and they shared their expertise throughout the day. 

Students of barbecue

Ambassadors for the ANSC 117 class, Texas Barbecue, manned the middle of the barbecue corridor. Texas Barbecue is a class intended for first-semester freshmen to gain a sense of community in the College as well as learn how to barbecue. 

These students of barbecue shared the effects of shrinkage on a brisket from preparation and smoking with attendees at the Troubadour festival. 

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