Skip To Main Content
Doug Scheiding with Rogue Cookers trailer
Aerospace engineering former student Doug Scheiding ’88 used his knowledge and skills to become a barbecue world champion. | Image: Courtesy of Doug Scheiding

For many people in Texas, barbecuing is a weekend pastime. However, for Doug Scheiding '88, a former student in the Department of Aerospace Engineering, it is an experiment that involves continually testing new hypotheses. Those experiments and his passion for barbecuing have earned him the title of "BBQ World Champion.”

Scheiding realized he wanted to attend Texas A&M University after he watched a Fightin' Texas Aggie football game in the ninth grade. Kyle Field holds a special place in his heart, not only because of that realization, but because it is where he met his wife, Jennifer Talley '88, on Oct. 18, 1986.

Doug and Jennifer Scheiding
Doug Scheiding ’88 and his wife, Jennifer Talley ’88 | Image: Courtesy of Doug Scheiding

“There were some days we kissed on first downs,” said Scheiding. “That is why I made sure that was our first date. We still celebrate that day like any other anniversary.”

While in college, Scheiding played Texas A&M intramural tennis, and through the tennis journey after graduating, he was able to play on the U.S. Open courts. However, he later suffered a knee injury that would change the course of his life. During his recovery, he began cooking and watching the Food Network. He was inspired by Aaron McCargo Jr.’s recipe for ribs, which used Coca-Cola as an ingredient, and he began experimenting with the science of tenderizing meat.

“I had just used Coke to clean the battery terminals in our car, and I was like, ‘Man, if it will clean some battery terminals, it might just tenderize some meat.’ The science aspect of it kind of got me hooked,” Scheiding said.

During Scheiding's first solo barbecuing experience at the San Antonio Livestock Show & Rodeo, he used his own recipe and placed second out of 332 teams. He and his wife then formed the team Rogue Cookers, which won the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest in 2015. Scheiding was also the first person in Texas to win exclusively using a pellet grill for barbecuing.

In addition to his passion for barbecuing, Scheiding is an accomplished engineer. He has worked for small companies, owned his own businesses and even worked for NASA. He has also used his skills to consult for companies like Head Country BBQ, where he creates sauces and rubs to be sold in stores.

"Since 2015, I have actually started making money by being a consultant for some companies like Head Country BBQ and Traeger Grills. Head Country BBQ is sold in HEB, and I am able to create sauces and rubs for them," Scheiding said.

Award-winning BBQ chicken
2015 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo award-winning chicken | Image: Courtesy of Doug Scheiding

Scheiding enjoys the creative challenge of barbecuing and how it encourages different skillsets from engineering. Every time he cooks, it is like a mini competition, and he teaches grilling classes in the same way he approaches barbecuing — by changing one variable at a time.

“That is the thing about barbecue — engineering is all left brain, and for the last 10 years or so I have had to utilize my right brain,” Scheiding said.

Scheiding has competed in various barbecue competitions, including the Jack Daniels cook-off in Lynchburg, Tennessee, where he won the chef's choice award with his steak and hasselback potatoes. He has also used his skills to participate in charitable events throughout the U.S. Scheiding and his wife, who also competes on the team, use their love for barbecuing as an opportunity to give back to their community and practice the Aggie core value of selfless service.

Scheiding works with several influential philanthropists and foundations, putting his talent to use for fundraising. E3 Meat Company sponsors all of Scheiding’s meat for his competitions and is owned by former major league baseball player Adam LaRoche. E3 Meat has a hand in the Talki Foundation, which supports people with diabetes by providing insulin and diabetic alert dogs for lower socioeconomic clients. Scheiding and his wife also cook for events put on by the organization Men Opposed to Sex Trafficking.

With every recipe, Scheiding uses his engineering education and Aggie core values to better the world around him.