The Wall Street Journal has a piece out about the rising cost of whole brisket and the effects it is having on Texas BBQ joints.
“since 1975, Skeeter Miller’s The County Line barbecue restaurants have been dishing out ribs, brisket, turkey and sausage “so good you’ll want to get it all over ya,” their slogan says. Loyalists who have been coming since the beginning remember all-you-can-eat plates for $6.75.
Amid the pandemic and the fast-rising cost of meat, Mr. Miller has had to raise prices, including four times in just the past year, he said. When he pushed the price of the Big Daddy Platter—a hefty rack of slow-smoked beef ribs—to $32.99 from $18.99, he handed all the waiters sheets with his cellphone number to give to any customers who complained. “If you go into a high-end steakhouse you expect prices to be high, but when you walk into a barbecue restaurant, you don’t,” Mr. Miller said. No one has yet called, he said. But he is prepared to explain how fast-rising meat prices are eating away at Texas barbecue restaurants, a pillar of the state’s culture.
Some restaurateurs are getting creative to stay afloat, raffling off briskets and incorporating trimmed fat into other dishes. Some are adding sides and liquor permits. Many worry about keeping the Lone Star tradition alive. While restaurants of all kinds are feeling pinched by the rising costs, barbecue restaurants traffic in huge quantities of meat, typically sold by the pound, and often have few other offerings to offset price fluctuations.
Texas barbecue is dominated by brisket, which many restaurant owners said has doubled in wholesale price over the past year or two.
Emily Williams Knight, president of the Texas Restaurant Association, says “it is a crisis and we are deeply concerned,” adding that sustained high meat prices could force many pitmasters in smaller towns to fold up. “In Texas, in all 254 counties you can go get barbecue—that’s what we could lose.”…
In Houston, Russell Roegels of Roegels Barbecue is charging $30 for a pound of brisket that was $20 two years ago. That’s still below what he needs to make a reliable profit, he said. “Sometimes we don’t make any money, but we are surviving,” he said. Though he found it hard to hit the $30 mark, he added, “it was either that or stop selling brisket.” Mr. Roegels recently opened a second location, in the suburb of Katy, where he added a full bar. “We’re hoping that offsets the cost a little bit,” he said."
#Bidenflation is also hitting the price of mud-bugs.
Researchers at A&M found that live crawfish were around $3 per pound around College Station in 2020. In 2022, that’s up to $4 per pound, or $120 per 30-pound bag.