We thought it was the black latex gloves.
But maybe what’s really standing between you and a brisket people want to line up behind is, well, the brisket.
READ: Why do barbecue pitmasters wear black gloves?
If you’ve tried every trick, rub and tip in the book and are still coming up dry, it might be time to take another look at your meat.
According to Texas Monthly, Aaron Franklin was the first in the Texas barbecue arena to pay a premium for “all-natural, Prime-grade briskets.” Until then, Texas pitmasters were reportedly satisfied “scooping up all the Select cuts at the bottom end of the market.”
As was revealed in his book “Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto,” Franklin buys his Prime briskets from Kansas’ Creekstone Farms.
Depending on which size you choose, a USDA Prime whole brisket from Creekstone will run you upwards of $120.
But what’s the difference between a Prime grade brisket and the cheaper options? According to USDA, Prime beef has more fat suspended throughout the meat, or more marbling, which helps it to stay moist during the cooking process.
From Prime, grades grow increasingly leaner. Choice is leaner than Prime, and Select is leaner than Choice.
According to Texas Monthly, nine of the magazine’s top 10 barbecue joints use Prime brisket. Snow’s BBQ, which holds the top spot on the list, is the only pit that doesn’t use Prime.
READ: The only barbecue joint in the state Texas Monthly says is better than Franklin Barbecue
If that doesn’t read clearly enough, Snow’s is proof that you don’t need Prime beef to make a great brisket.
Like we said earlier, it’s totally the gloves.