WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The smell of the barbecue leaves everyone’s mouth watering. The fumes off the ribs, sauce-covered pulled pork or the most tender beef brisket draws people from miles around. They’re all delicious. However, brisket and its popularity and price are on the rise.
“Usually, I try to make it close to once a week,” Wichita Falls resident Darron Brown said.
Bown’s referring to his trip to Zeke’s Pit Smoked BBQ food trailer at The Yard in Wichita Falls.
Chris Pettyjohn opened the Windthorst restaurant almost four years ago and has had the trailer open almost a year.
“He does a great job. I love his barbecue,” Brown said.
To no surprise, like so many Texas barbecue fanatics, Bown’s favorite food is brisket, which is what Pettyjohn said he sells the most of, notably during the Thursday night Wichita Falls art walks.
“The staple of Texas barbecue is the cow, the beef. And you can’t really beat something that’s been on a smoker absorbing that from anywhere from twelve to twenty hours,” Pettyjohn said.
The man-hours and supplies that go into a brisket sandwich from Zeke’s will cost you $8.
“From the time that we sold our first brisket to the time we are selling it now, it’s basically doubled in that instance,” Pettyjohn said.
Despite the supply being there, in fact, one of the largest amounts of cattle in the US since 2009, it’s proving hard to keep up with demand, on top of turning a profit.
“Over the past several years, it is still really tough to make a net profit in that, because you have to feed them through the winter,” David Graf, Texas A & M AgriLife County Extension Agent, said. “Typically, there’s such a slow turnaround in the production cycle.”
Although it may cost Brown a bit more buck for brisket, it’s something he says he’s willing to digest.
Pettyjohn said prices will vary all over. Though he added prime grade brisket, which is what they sell, is not typically something you can find in most stores.