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Students learn from the Pit-master

With jet-black hair and square glasses to match, sporting a pair of old school Vans and a Kim Jong Grillin’ t-shirt, Aaron Franklin may not have been who the Hendrickson High School (HHS) ag students expected to see when he introduced himself as the founder and owner of Franklin Barbecue.

When asked how he felt about students viewing him as famous, Franklin laughed and noted he doesn’t feel he is a big deal.

“It freaks me out man,” he said. “Nah, they probably don’t really know who I am anyway and that’s fine. I’m just a dude making barbecue.”

Franklin might seem like an average, laid-back “dude,” but when he talks about the process of designing and building barbeque pits, his eyes light up.

Students gazed with fascination as he used words such as “smoke stack,” “firebox,” “cook chamber,” “fluid dynamics,” “vorticity,” “convection” and “air gaps” to describe his pit-design process.

“Just listening to him talk you learn a lot, and honestly a lot of it just rolls right over your head,” HHS senior John Ford said. “We learned how to change our pit to have better air flow.”

In addition to the plethora of information Franklin shared about pit design, he also reminded students everything they learn in school will be of value to them in the future.

“Go to your math classes because this stuff is hugely important,” Franklin said. “I didn’t think so when I was in high school. I was wrong. I use this stuff all of the time.”

HHS Principal Daniel Garcia was grateful Franklin agreed to take time out of his day to work with the ag students on their barbecue pit design.

“When I was the principal at Connally High School, Aaron worked with the culinary students on a project called, ‘From Pasture to Plate,’” Garcia said. “He was a great partner on the project and I appreciated his willingness to share his knowledge.”

Once completed, the ag program plans to use its barbecue pit for fundraising opportunities, teacher appreciation events and ag program activities.

“I think the barbecue pit is going to get the name of the Hendrickson Ag Department out,” HHS senior Josh Barnard said. “It will hopefully bring more projects in like this one.”
For more information about Aaron Franklin and Franklin Barbecue visit