Announcing Barbecue University 2024® Dates

Barbecue University™

When the sun rises over the majestic Alisal Ranch, smoke will rise too. The fragrant smoke of hickory and the fiery smoke of mesquite—rising from the more than 30 state-of- the-art grills and smokers in our outdoor classroom.

Welcome to Barbecue University®—the nation’s premier school on the arts of grilling, smoking, and live fire cooking. “A fantasy camp for coal heads,” is how Eating Light magazine described us, while The Food Network named the school the “#1 barbecue experience in the U.S.”

Barbecue University 2023

Your instructor and host is Barbecue Hall of Famer, Steven Raichlen. You’ve read his award-winning, bestselling books, like The Barbecue! Bible and Project Smoke. You’ve watched his popular TV shows, such as Planet Barbecue® and Project Fire.

And now, you can learn the art of live fire cooking with the man who launched the barbecue revolution.

So what’s on the menu at Barbecue University® this year? Memphis dry rub ribs and Texas Hill Country brisket. Thai rotisserie chicken and a spectacular Brazilian rib roast. Smash burgers, lamb burgers, and ingenious inside-out cheeseburgers. Tri-tip of course—after all, this is southern California. Honey sesame shrimp. Smoke-roasted salmon. Grilled pizza and Steven’s legendary cedar plank chocolate brownie s’mores for dessert. Eight to ten recipes per day!

Sizzling Juicy Rotisserie Prime Rib for the Holidays

Each class opens with a demonstration of the day’s menu and techniques. The students do the actual grilling under Steven’s supervision. Class concludes with a festive 5-course lunch, accompanied by craft beers and local wines. There may even be smoked cocktails. 😉

Our students come from all over the world—literally—many of them repeats from previous years. No prior grilling experience is required, but seasoned barbecuers will find plenty of challenging dishes to take their skills to the next level.


Our home is the Alisal Ranch in Solvang, California, and if that sounds familiar, you’ve been watching Steven’s Project Fire and Project Smoke TV shows—filmed on location at this 10,000- acre ranch in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley. Guests lodge in luxurious cabins—each with a fireplace. You have afternoons free to ride one of the Alisal’s more than 100 horses, hike on scenic trails, golf on a riverside golf course, get a massage at the spa, or simply relax.


Make that relax and shop in the nearby charming Danish-California town of Solvang. Or taste chardonnay or pinot noir at one of the dozens of local wineries. (Homework assignment: Watch the movie “Sideways,” which was filmed here.)

“I have attended cooking classes and retreats throughout the U.S. and Europe, but have never experienced anything like Barbecue University®” wrote travel writer and author Larry Olmsted on

The next session of Barbecue University® takes place September 3 to 6, 2024. Space is limited, so sign up today.


Barbecue University®—where the only marks you get are grill marks!

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