What most people want to know about barbecue is who has the tastiest ribs and the tangiest sauce. But top 10 lists, ratings, and our firm belief that we are masters of the barbecue universe distract us from a much more important matter: There is a dark side to the business that only the pitmasters and their families and friends ever talk about  —–Robb Walsh

Here are seven taboo topics of the barbecue world that everyone needs to start talking about.

1. You are eating enhanced meat.enhanced

The original way that Pitmasters cook, is that they always love to brine their for the tenderness and rich flavor, however, what we get today across the meat industry is actually “enhanced meats” that has no further capacity to absorb any flavor. “Enhanced Meat” actually is meat already loaded with phosphates, potassium, antioxidants, and water or flavoring so that the meat remains moist and retains the water.

 But the real “enhancement” is that the 15% added water weight adds 15% higher profits to the meat packer’s bottom line.

2. Briskets are shrinking.brisketUnfortunately, the quality of the brisket today has become inversely proportional to its price. While price keeps going up the cuts are becoming thinner and thinner. You need to throw more and more portions of unusable meat from the brisket.

3. For what we are paying for BBQ brisket, we could be eating BBQ prime rib.pricessBarbecue is a labor-intensive cooking method developed by people with limited means to turn inexpensive cuts of meat into succulent meals. Beef brisket was once considered ideal for barbecue in Texas because the melting fat cap cut down on the effort of basting, and because the forequarter cut was so cheap. But not anymore.The new school of Texas barbecue—and its imitators across the country—are paying top dollar for USDA Prime or Certified Angus brisket and selling it to the public at ever-higher prices. (Photo:Market Oracle)

4. BBQ Competitions are the new WWF fights.

5NYC’s Texas barbecue is like Houston’s New York pizza—big fucking whoop.bbqnyc(Photo: Facebook/Mighty Quinn’s)

6National press is infatuated with white, male hipster BBQ.

The national press would have you believe barbecue is dominated by white hipster males—but believe it or not, blacks, Latinos, and women are involved in the barbecue biz too.

7There’s a national barbecue revival going on, but community barbecues are dying out for lack of volunteers.community

The Community Barbecue is one of the oldest traditions of America, and in spite of there being surely a newly developed interest and enthusiasm amongst its people, the oldest tradition seems to be getting ignored.

Community barbecue isn’t about competition; it’s about bringing people together. Young Americans don’t join social groups anymore, so annual community barbecues that have been going on for decades are starting to die out for lack of young volunteers. And that’s a shame. If you love barbecue and you want to reconnect with its roots, you might consider lending your talents to a community barbecue—or starting one of your own. It’s an American tradition worth saving.


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