bbqcookingschool.com - Testimonials


February 11, 2017


The Master BBQ School has taught me that there are proper ways to both grill and smoke meat that will yield good results every time.  You need to slow down, practice and let the meat cook as it needs to.

I would recommend the school because it forced me to cook things on a time line I wouldn’t have necessarily tried.  Between The Master BBQ School and he research it inspired me to do, I am much more confident grilling and have come to enjoy smoke-cooking.  Thank you! I look forward to serving good food to friends and family!

Charity Tatro


.January 25, 2017

Dear Mr. Head,

I have sent you the final documents for lessons 1-8 of the Master BBQ School.

I enjoyed this course very much.  It was challenging but I learned a lot concerning grilling and smoking meats.  One of the biggest things In learned was that the internal temperature of the meat is more important than how many minutes the meat has left to cook on the grill or smoker.  There were a few times I overcooked meat due to the fact that the clock said 10 more minutes.  I learned this is within the first lessons and it prepared me for upcoming lessons on grilling and smoking.

Smoking meats was my favorite section of the course.  I was able to try new things and adjust my technique to produce some excellent meat.  Please feel free to contact me with questions and concerns.

Joseph Ward


Jan. 6, 2017


I have learned that, even though I have been cooking for over 35 years, that there are always new ways to cook foods.  I never stop learning and the Master BBQ School helped me to continue to learn more about cooking everything.

There really isn’t anything that the school could have added, everything you need to get a good grasp of BBQ is included in detail.  I would recommend the school to even the weekend BBQ cook because you can gain some valuable information to produce quality BBQ for almost every palate.

As a chef, I feel this course has made me a better, more versatile and well-rounded chef.

Mark Wilson



Nov. 22, 2016


The most important thing I learned was how to properly smoke a brisket.  The members at my club just love it!!  I wish you could have included a section on cold smoking, but I would absolutely recommend this school to other chefs and backyard BBQers.  It certainly was worth the time, cost and effort to take the course.  It took me a while to complete it, but it was well worth it to me.

Jeremy Halker 



December 16, 2016

Mr. Head

I learned a lot about the mistakes I had been making in how to set the proper temperature, which wood to use and how to better use spices.  I would recommend this course t anyone because it is easy to follow and includes just about everything anyone would want to know about grilling and BBQ.  I am a CEC and would tell any chef or backyard cooker about the class and I do.


Danny Arturo


November 1, 2015

Hello John, 

Attached are the final lessons for the class. I would like to thank you very much for the class. My customers at the restaurant would also like for me to thank you as they have been really enjoying the changes that I introduced from taking the class. Controlling the temperatures and controlling the smoke more has really made a difference in my BBQ. The customers have also liked  the sudden increase of BBQ cuisine as I have been featuring all the food as specials in order to make it worth my while in cooking everything as quickly as I have. Being able to put several  specials a day helped me continue that class in a timely manner. 

Thank you again!

George Kyrtatas



On Sep 2, 2015, at 8:05 AM, JOHN R STEWART wrote:

Mr. Head

I must say your class was a great pleasure. My first objective was to get the continuing ed hours, but it quickly became more than that. I found your lessons very informative and fun to complete. I enjoyed your ideas and recipes and the variety of items you had me grill and smoke. The knowledge you impart in your course has me totally recommending this class to anyone, beginner, back yard cook or expert. They will gain knowledge and techniques that will help them furthering their knowledge of producing fantastic BBQ. Thank you for putting together this excellent class.


Chef Johnny Stewart C.C. MSBBQ


Jun 26, 2015, at 3:29 PM, Matthew Harcourt wrote:

Thanks John. Honest mistake. Actually, your "promptly forgot about it" line had me laughing out loud...we ALL have those moments! I know if I were an instructor, it would be a bit perplexing to receive 75% of a student's work all on the last day, so I can't thank you enough for accepting my work.

I am actually incorporating some of the cooking methods I learned in your class into my menu ideas for my food truck business plan. Your course made me realize two really important things: (1) I LOVE BBQ!; and (2) I do NOT want to have to smoke meats for 8 - 16 hours everyday my future establishment is open. Low and slow cooking is something I truly love when entertaining family and friends, but as a business, I am looking into smoking/barbecuing the items that take shorter amounts of time to cook (i.e. tri-tip, sockeye salmon which is my new-found favorite, boneless rib tips, chicken/turkey parts, even homemade smoked sausage, etc.). Your course has helped me tap into my talents in cross-cultural cuisine with the inclusion of smoking techniques, which seems to be where the culinary world is heading at the moment, if not already there.

Thank you again John! I'll drop a line or two when I finally get my sauce business going and my food venture as well.


Matt Harcourt

Student #176



TO: John Head


I would like to start by thanking you for having this Master BBQ School available for my recertification with the American Culinary Federation.  When I originally was scrolling down the list of online classes that were offered for my recertification, I was very unhappy because I had already taken those classes and wasn’t going to learn anything new.  So when I saw the class you were offering, I was very interested and a little excited.  BBQing was one of my first loves of cooking, and one of my earliest childhood memories.  As a young child I remember my father and grandfather grilling food on an hibachi grill on top of our metal trash cans.  As a child that was a great time, including the aroma and taste of the food and then toasting marshmallows over the hot coals after they were done cooking.

After a 32-year hot foods career in the restaurant industry, culinary school graduate with honors, Certified Executive Chef and a former Chef Educator of 8 years at a local culinary school, I thought I knew it all about grilling and BBQ cooking.  I was wrong.  After taking your class I have a much better understanding of the application and science behind this style of cooking.  So after going through your program I got very excited to learn more about BBQ cooking.  I decided to venture around the country to see if I could learn more.  So I spent thousands of dollars on travel and tuition for these weekend classes and was very disappointed.

The difference I saw as far as the educational experience was that your program was more detailed in all aspects of BBQing/Grilling, and I was having a complete hands-on experience.  When I would attend these weekend classes, I was basically sitting on a lawn chair watching somebody else cook, and just brag about the cook-offs they had won.  They were very unprofessional and not qualified to teach.  One story that I will never forget was watching one so-called teacher spilling pork juice all over a student’s leg.  He didn’t even apologize and the student left and never came back.  From what I hear there was no refund and the so-called teacher made fun of her after she left.  A lot of us taking the class were very disappointed with the whole experience.

I enclosed with all of my class paperwork some pictures I took of my personal BBQ arsenal which includes my $6,000 Gator Pit, $1,400 Extra LRG Big Green Egg, $1,150 Spit Jack Rotisserie, and $600 Weber gas grill.  Yes, that’s how excited you got me on BBQing/Grilling.

Thanks again,

Yoshio Seto CEC MBBQ

November 28, 2014

I have been chef for over 30 years and I was looking for a class to aid in my CEC recertification. I came across the Master  BBQ School. The program is a great addition to my skills background and being a chef  from the  East Coast what did I know about traditional barbequing. The lesson plans are really thought out and really makes you understand what goes into each cooking process. I can taste the difference. Now I know what I have been missing out on all these years. John, thanks for your support and guidance. Great program for people of all levels of cooking experience. Highly recommended!

Paul K   C.E.C


March 22, 2013,

Dear Mr. John Head

            I have been cooking for nearly 20 years now and have been trying to hone my BBQ skills now for about the last 5 years or so. The Master BBQ Course really helped me to do just that. This course is exactly what any aspiring BBQ chef should take to really learn the art. I was so impressed with the amount of time that I can tell went into putting this course together. It covers just about everything that is considered BBQ around the world today. From high heat grilling, to slow and low smoking and everything in between, this isn’t just about Beef, Chicken and Pork either. You’ll learn how to smoke fish, lamb and wild game too.

I currently work as a retail chef for a popular Midwestern grocery chain. It is my job to help our customers learn how to use fresh new ingredients in their meals at home. I believe this course will help me better educate our clientele on different ways to cook their fresh purchases from our meat department. We also will now be expanding our smoked meat section to carry so much more than it ever has.

 Wow!!! This truly is a BBQ course for the Masters.  BBQ is that mystical communion of fire, smoke and meat…Thank you so very much!

Chef Corey M. Hall MBBQ, KCBS CBJ


March 13, 2013

Dear Mr. John Head,

I wanted to take just a few moments to thank you for all the hard work you put into The Master BBQ Cooking School.  I have been in the cooking industry for more than 35 years and have cooked most everything in this course at some time in my career.  I found this course to be a valuable tool to continue to learn more about where the newest trends in culinary preparation are heading.  It also reiteratd some of the fundamentals of what it takes to produce quality BBQ for my guests.  The outline for this course is set up in such a way that it makes learning enjoyable and easy to achieve.  

There is a lot more to this type of BBQ cooking than kust "throwing" some food onto a grill and hoping for the best.  It gives you the tools to create something that your friends and family will talk about for years to come and leave them wanting more.

This course has made me a more versatile Chef.  I plan on taking the information that I learned through The Master BBQ School and continue to grow further in my career by bringing some of these styles of cooking into the kitchens I will be working in from now on.  Once again, thank you for taking the time and making the effort to produce this valuable course and I look forward to seeing how this will positively inspire me in the future.

In good cooking,

Dwayne McFann 


February 5, 2013

The Master BBQ Course is a real opportunity to roll up your sleeves and dive right into the world of real BBQ. Not only did I learn the basics of award winning BBQ but really left the course with a much better understanding of what can be achieved with even a modest smoker set up. The course gave me the kick in the butt I needed to finally fire up the smoker on a regular schedule. I now have people bringing the food to be smoked and BBQ'd for impromptu parties and I know I won't ruin their irreplaceble bear roast or salmon from an Alaskan excursion. I am a certified chef and have done a lot of smoking and BBQ and found the course offered me a foundation of knowledge and formulas for cooking that worked better than what I had done in the past. I would highly recommend giving this course a try. Besides, it was a whole lot of fun.

Gary Peach
Certified Executive Chef
Owner - Pura Vida Cafe 
P.S. I honestly did have fun with this John. I know I have a lot more friends now since the big BBQ party! Thanks a ton- Gary


January 16, 2013

Thank you John.

The difference in my skills has been night and day. For starters the meat exercise has taught me most of the cuts of meat that I will find at my local butcher. Understanding what I do now, I don’t know how I was able to even begin before with my limited knowledge of meat and how each cut should be cooked. Even meats like lamb that I don’t particularly care for turned out moist and flavorful. A friend of mine said the smell was divine and the taste exquisite! I can now take what I’ve learned and make knowledgeable decisions on how to refine my cooking even more. There is so much information on the Internet. This course has been instrumental in filtering out the garbage and heading me in the right direction. I am even more obsessed about BBQ now and enjoy my pit Time More than ever!

Along the way I conducted various experiments that helped me understand the flavors that I was imparting to the meat. I was so curious about all of the different types of wood available that I smoked Chicken, Pork & Beef with Apple, Cherry, Pecan, Peach & Mesquite. My son and I then sampled each. I was surprised haw subtle the difference was between many of them. If I could only use one, I think that would be Apple. It really seemed to go well with everything.

When asked on the questionnaire what I would suggest for the course, I mentioned my charcoal smoker. This is why. I have done some reading on the amazingribs.com website. Meathead parallels most of what you have taught including the gas grill’s equality. On thing that was hard to swallow (but I know it’s true) is that the offset smokers are terrible for smoking and he recommends against them. In the exercise to learn my pit, I found 15-degree differences across the grid. He also says he doesn’t like the electric smokers. He can’t explain why but believes the taste is off. I think he prefers gas. Interesting though. 

I have been so obsessed with my cooking since I have taken the course that I have scheduled a hands-on course with the CBBQA (California BBQ Assoc). Thanks to you and the course, I can walk in with confidence and believe I will get much more out of it.

I appreciate your guidance and experience John. I hope you are satisfied with my progress.

Best Regards,

Michael Restivo‚Ä®

Alameda, CA


December 17, 2012

Mr. Head,

I cannot express to you my gratitude and appreciation for this Master BBQ course.  My husband and judge (who used to be the outside griller in the family!) now refers to me as "doctor" every time I grill something.  My skills and confidence are immensely greater than when i started this course.  I know I have told you before, I have been cooking professionally since 1992 and have been teaching culinary arts for the past six years, specifically a grilling class for the past three years!  But what I have learned from this experience is invaluable to me and to those for whom I cook.

Thank you so much for your patience with me, as well as for all the information, lessons and recipes that you have made available with this MBBQ.  AS i said on my final evaluation, I want to get MBBQ embroidered on my Johnson & Wales uniforms as this means more to me than my other certifications -- CEC, CHE and FMP.  I have learned so much and will always receommend the course to anyone who wants to know about it.


Ashley McGee

Associate Culinary Instructor

Johnnson & Wales Charlotte Campus


December 11, 2011

Dear John,

I want to thank you again for putting together such a well thought out and interesting course. “The Master BBQ School” has far exceeded my expectations for a study-at-home, continuing educational experience. The class is so "Hands On", it heightened my senses enabling me to truly have fun learning fundamental BBQ skills and I am privileged to share in your knowledge of tried and true first class BBQ techniques. I was easily able to measure the success -- and at times flops -- in each exercise with the comprehensive judging format, identifying my mistakes and correcting them the next time. Most importantly, the critique brought forward the entire thought process, flavor profile and execution of each exercise spinning off great fresh ideas that can be implemented in any professional kitchen.

Thank you again for sharing your knowledge,

Deborah Huntley   CEC  CFBE


October 9, 2011



The BBQ Cooking program that John offers is a real pleasure to experience. Even though I have been an Executive Chef for 30 years it was refreshing to learn some new tricks and re-work the knowledge I already have. Living just outside of Memphis TN. it is very competitive in the BBQ world and there is an awful lot of bragging about who's BBQ is the best.

John's program provides an in depth foundation for you to build on to suit your wants and needs due to your geographical BBQ location. Upon his foundation, which I have adopted, I've integrated my knowledge and experience to become an even better BBQ cook. I've hosted numerous get together's at my house during the learning phase of the course and of course everyone was pleased, but the best part was watching their reactions and listening to my guests compare the BBQ that I cooked to certain well known restaurants in the Memphis area.

Overall it is a great, very in depth course which can benefit even the most experienced culinarians.
Lastly, John was only a phone call away and if he did not answer he always returned the call within 24 hours

Thanx, John

Marc Silverberg CEC, CFBE


October 7, 2011

One of the major things I learned from The Master BBQ School was the importance of good outdoor equipment.  It was a real change for me to go from cooking almost always indoors to outdoors.  The course included everything I could imagine for learning the intricacies of grilling and wood-smoke cooking.  I would recommend this course to family members and friends because it not only provided me with the necessary ACF continuing education credits for certification, it was fun and very informative.   I am very pleased that I selected The Master BBQ School as a way to earn my CECs.  Thank you.

Jeanie Newton


September 2, 2011

 I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the course.  Lots of good information and I like that it had both some food science and culinary information.  This will help me to complete some continuing education for my CCS re-certification.

I will be going back through some of the cooking lessons and perfecting some of my techniques.  Let’s just say the family is really excited about this!

Thanks again,

Craig Claussen

Principal Scientist

Tyson Foods Research and Development 


August 12, 2011

Roll up your sleeves, grab the tongs and fire up the grill! If you want to learn a bit of BBQ history, a touch of science and the techniques that can turn a novice hamburger-flipper into a backyard Master Griller, the BBQ Cooking School is the place for you.  There are not too many places where you get to eat your homework, but this is one of them. So open the pages of this course, pull up a chair and feast on the trade secrets you will gain here.  BBQCS is a cornucopia for the hungry aspiring pit master!

Professor Rey C. Wojdat, MBA, MBBQ

Coordinator, Hotel/Restaurant Management
Department of Business
Broome Community College


August 8, 2011


I am a proud graduate of bbqcookingschool.com I come from a long line of Southern Missouri & Texas BBQ cooks. For years I attempted to BBQ on just what little I'd learned from the Family. I did some things right and did not know it, and I did some things wrong and did not know it. Honestly,I was like the average backyard cook. I found John's bbqprogram on line..and the light bulb came on. I spent far more money on meat that I ruined than the $299.00 it costs for the course. I have earned a reputation in my area for BBQ. It's ALL because of this course.I've spent hours now enjoying BBQ cooking & have a working knowledge because of John Head. Look no farther.....Believe me...This is for you. Do yourself a favor and make an investment in yourself. Your confidence level will soar. I still read his material & have called him several times and found him to be most helpful,even though I'm finished. Go for it!......Donald Cox....Flint, Michigan...

 January 10, 2011

Hello John,
I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed The Master BBQ School that is offered on line, a very complete package. One that was very instrumental in reviving the old world concepts of BBQ. Engaging and hands on, it was truly fun and informative. All program items sent promptly and complete. Then the turnaround time on receiving the results were incredibly fast and efficient, a one day process.
Thanks again John for being so personal and professional, its all about low and slow!!!!      
Frederick Clabaugh CCC
Executive Chef, Tenaya Lodge
Fish Camp, CA 


December 26, 2010

RE: My education and experiences with John F. Head

From: Steve Phelps, owner of “Wild Wild West Cookin’ Shack” BBQ business.

Over the past several years, it has been my opportunity to be taught by and become acquainted with John Head.  It began when I fell out of my attic and landed on my garage floor – shattering my leg.  While I was sitting in my recliner chair for several months while my leg healed, I began to realize that I needed to make some changes in my life

I have always loved to cook barbecue, so at this time I began looking on the Internet for information on cooking and found John.  I took his Master BBQ School and we became very good friends

I had thought I knew quite a bit about cooking barbecue, but since taking his class, I found that I really didn’t.  I learned so much from his class that has made me a better cook and his advice and expertise have been invaluable.

I have now started my own barbecue business and have almost competed my first year.  John has been there to offer help and guide me through a lot of the storms that I have encountered.  Believe me when I say there have been some big storms and some people in the business that almost shook me to my core.  Through it all, John has been there to offer support.  What a bright star and a blessing he has been in my journey.  He was always available when I needed help and he has always gone above and beyond.

Thank you so much John.  You are one of the few people I know who actually stands behind what they say.  Again, thanks for everything and we’ll be talking and seeing each other soon




Steve Phelps MBBQ

CEO, Wild Wild West

Las Vegas, Neveda


October 10, 2010

From Nigel Dawson CRC®


Having worked as a Chef and/or a Food Technologist for more than 20 years and being a BBQ judge certified through the Kansas City Barbecue Society, I thought I was fairly knowledgeable about grilling and smoking meats, poultry and fish.  From the first lesson to the last, I can honestly say I learned something new in every single lesson.  The recipes you provide are fantastic, the lessons progress in a logical manner, the reading material is thorough and gets the point across well, while keeping it interesting and fun.  Even before finishing the course I have repeated some recipes several times over due to requests from family and friends.  I even have some family and friends who will confirm the smoker (or grill), is going to be fired up, before they will  accept an invite to one of our get-togethers.  Before taking the class no-one ever asked this.   I would highly recommend this course to anyone interested in learning how to cook not just barbecue but really, really good barbecue.  

The other benefit of this course is the American Culinary Federation approved contact hours.  I was needing contact hours for my re-certification as a Certified Research Chef through the Research Chefs association.  The contact hours this course provides will  help me meet the RCA’s requirements for contact hours.  Young or old, back yard enthusiast or experienced chef/cook, everyone will learn a lot from taking this course.




June 22, 2010 


I thoroughly enjoyed working through each Master BBQ School lesson. I found the course very comprehensive covering all the techniques for grilled as well as smoked meat, fish, and fowl. I am sure I will use one of the rubs, sauces, or brines every time I grill.   Now, I feel confident enough to handle any barbecue challenge!

David T. Lawrence MBBQ


June 7, 2010

Since completing the Master BBQ School, I can honestly say that it is packed full of information that has properly exposed me to the world of BBQ.  I am an ACF member and needed the 48 points to complete my recertification packet.  Not only were the continuing ed hours for the ACF very helpful, I've become much more knowledgeable when it comes to understanding the cooking processes I use at work daily.  I've been preparing all kinds of great BBQ for my friends who seem mesmerized by the flavors.  I am very glad to have chosen this course to continue my education as a Certified Executive Chef.  Thanks for taking the time to create such an awesome course.  The BBQ manual is now a regular part of my personal library.  I would recommend this course for anyone interested in cooking.  With some cooking knowledge, anyone should be able to complete the course in the time frame given.  The single most important thing I learned from this course was that I was missing out on a whole bunch of skills I should have possessed years ago.  Thank you so much!

Chef Jeffery L. Selvig, Executive Chef, MBBQ

Hotel Pere Marquette, Peoria, IL 


April 21, 2010 

John, Regarding the Master BBQ School:


I greatly enjoyed learning about smoke & humidity, how much smoke a food product can take, and the Tenderness Zone. I really enjoyed the fact that the course is written with the FUN of cooking, BBQing, & smoking in mind.  Food should be fun, isn’t that why we originally got into this business? I would recommend this class to anyone who may understand grilling as a finesse point because of the lessons on fuel and temperature. I recommend this class for people who want to be better pit bosses when they smoke because the info on fuel, how much, when, how hot is vital and again, the humidity issues—both too much and not enough.  Learning to reach the tenderness zone without going too mushy and overcooked was a great insider tip.

Thanks for a great class.


PS my judge, Bob, owns and runs the best pit in many counties (Texas dry rub he calls it.) so I got extra tips on technique. Lucky me!


Jeannine Snyder C.C.C.

Wooster OH 


March 2, 2010 


The Master BBQ School was very educational and fun!  One thing I really learned was to "Slow Down." Good BBQ requires patience and long, slow cooking times.  As an ACF chef, I found that most classes seem to cost on average about $10 per hour of continuing education credits.  This class was comparable when the food costs were included, however, the hands-on learning of this course is invaluable when compared to the other courses which were just reading and multiple-choice questions.  Fantastic job! 


Nicholas Weimer 

Rochester, MN 


May 20, 2009


Dear Chef John,
Thank you for your fast reply. And as you know I'm already in IT, so nothing was odd for me. Concerning the cooking exercises I do cook already all of them so I prepared small portions of some and 6 of them I have already prepared from last week even before the course and tomorrow we are preparing again shish kebab, Ourfa style this time, this includes cooking with eggplant, it's delicious come and join us !!!
The Personal BBQ Judge was my father who cooks fantastically nearly all kinds of foods and pastry. Also all the members of the family and friends were some kind of a jury .
The overall course and how you have put it was very good and it can help lot of people and chefs who are not familiar with BBQ and it is a refreshing course for the pro-BBQ cooks.  God Bless you!
Best Regards,
Master Chef Varant Seropian

Antelias, Lebanon


March 7, 2008

Dear John,


I am please to enclosed all the completed work sheets and questionnaires for Lesson No. 8.0 and Reading Questions 8.21. This is the final chapter in the Hands-On, Master BBQ Cooking School and completes the requirements of the course within the one year required time frame.

I thought I would take this opportunity to also let you know how much I have enjoyed the Hands-On Master BBQ Cooking School. Although I am not a cook by vocation, I have enjoyed back yard cooking for years. I am also an avid fish smoker but until now, had not ventured into the red meats and poultry. This course has given me a whole new menu to entice friends and neighbors with product that not only tastes great, but looks great too.

Before this course, I just slapped stuff on the grill or in the smoker and played it by ear. Now I am able to turn out professional quality food with consistent taste and appearance. Using a restaurant owner as my Judge also helped improve my techniques and quality. I now feel that I can keep up with the best of the BBQ cooks in town!

One final benefit of the course - I always cooked more food than the lesson called for and the extras were distributed to my employees on Monday following lesson week-end. Now there are 35 additional people in town eagerly looking forward to my next cooking lesson. How disappointed they will be when I tell them the requirements have been completed.

Best wishes to you and my sincere hope that you have continued success with the Cooking School. Expect a call from me in the near future as I look to upgrade my smoker and would appreciate your guidance in smoker selection.


John W. Holic, CFP

Vice President Branch Manager

Wachovia Securities



April 3, 2007


To the Staff,

I very much enjoyed the course and learned a great wealth of knowledge from your course.  I have built a successful small business and have a portable BBQ that I work with.  I earned enough money to buy additional equipment for catering including a box truck, slicer, chafing equipment, canopies and various hand tools, etc.  I now have the confidence and the knowledge to handle parties of up to 200

persons and cook perfect BBQ every time.  Just recently, (we served) a 50th birthday party for a very wealthy California businessman, serving lunch and dinner.  Gross sales for the day were $6,000.  I am now retiring and handing off the business to my son as he has learned from it as well.  Thank you for the wonderful information and I recommend your course to all in this testimonial.


Doran A. Dauria

Sun City, California 

















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