It’s basically a sin to not partake in barbecue when in Austin – so why not do it right? Here, we describe the perfect BBQ-filled day in The Capitol City.

Foodies have long been making pilgrimages to Austin for its world-class restaurants and barbecue joints. But why settle for just passively tasting the best eateries when you can dive Wet-Nap first into the actual process of creating world-class barbecue?

This is our second piece in our Local Deep Dive series, which is devoted to giving you a jam-packed single day that explores a part of the local culture of a Valencia Group destination to its fullest. We took a Tesla driving tour through some of the most notable campuses of tech giants in Silicon Valley. After this, we’ll take you on a couture fashion whirlwind of Houston’s burgeoning bespoke shops. But right now, we set our sights on the finest pits and pit stops along an Austin barbecue ramble. Roll up your sleeves, fire up the grill, and get ready to eat – and cook! – your way through this super savory day trip.

Local Deep Dive Elbows Deep in Austin Barbecue

The Experience

Mastering Austin’s signature barbecue style

What You’ll Find

Enough brisket to satisfy a Texas-sized appetite for the cost of a normal night out

Where to Stay

Lone Star Court [Austin, TX]

This one-day immersion is all about the experience and lifestyle that comes with being a James Beard–worthy pitmaster, starting with a crash course to learn the juiciest wood-fired secrets. BrisketU hosts regular three-hour pitmaster classes on weekends to teach barbecue aficionados how to perfect the region’s most iconic – and most difficult to master – cut: beef brisket. From trimming, rubbing, and cooking the meat to how to work a pit and build your own wood smoke flavor profiles, every step of the meticulous process is covered for $69 – including eating.

BrisketU is just the appetizer, though. After gaining a deeper knowledge of the art form, hitting Access ATX’s Texas BBQ Trail will give you a behind-the-scenes look at how legendary Austin pitmasters ply their saucy trade. Access ATX can custom-tailor whirlwind tours (starting at $266) to the area’s best joints to their customer’s tastes – some visitors have even hit seven in a single day.

The star stop that shouldn’t be excluded is an all-access trip to Terry Black’s BBQ which is run by fourth-generation pitmasters from the family who has operated Lockhart’s famed Black’s BBQ since 1932. On these exclusive Austin barbecue tours, no questions, ingredients, or techniques are off limits – Terry Black’s will show and explain anything you want. “Unlike most others, they really are an open book,” says Meagan Fritts, owner of Access ATX. “Barbecue seems like a simple process, but the fascinating part is it’s so much more complicated than the average person would expect. They don’t mind sharing their secrets.”

No exploration of Austin is complete without a taste of the Live Music Capital of the World’s entertainers. As luck would have it, there’s no shortage of barbecue joints that also double as top-notch music venues. The best of the best is Stubbs Bar-B-Q, he of the famous barbecue sauce now sold nationally. Long after the final encore rings, you’ll still be trying to figure out whether the brisket or the stage deserves top billing.

tagged in Austin