BBQ Wars: New York Pitmasters Show Off Their Chops

New York City barbecue aims to be a top contender among the Southern kings of meat.
5:16 | 07/03/14

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Transcript for BBQ Wars: New York Pitmasters Show Off Their Chops
With the tour of July around the corner, everyone from rank amateurs to decorated chefs are firing up the grill. So who does it best? They've always claimed bragging rights down south, but some say the best barbecue comes from a Yankee upstart. ? ? Reporter: We're on the road. About to taste the holy grail of all grills. It's barbecue, and here beef is religion. That's a fatty brisket right there. Reporter: In Texas alone, there are over 1900 joints. A typical day here in Austin looks something like this. The lines never seem to die down. I was going to be here at 8:00 A.M., but I just couldn't wait. So I got down here at 7:30. Reporter: Even then you still aren't guaranteed a chance to taste the world famous cuisine. But nobody seeds to mind. It's all part of the foodie experience. How is it? Love in your mouth. Reporter: The best advertisement for the barbecue business are the customers themselves. Barbecue is big business nationwide. Tennessee, Louisiana, the Carolinas, and now New York. Yes, that's right. East coast barbecue is a top contender against the southern king of meat. And this summer it's an all-out barbecue war. We would stand up to anything that's happening in Texas right now. Reporter: Billy is bodyguard turned barbecue pit master. He opened hometown barbecue in Brooklyn less than a year ago. We barbecue on the foot of the statue of liberty. We light the fires and see the sun come over here. It's an amazing place to cook barbecue. Reporter: Just five mails away, they head to Delaney barbecue. I smelled my first brisket when I was three days old. Reporter: My take on what's considered number one, and that's Texas barbecue. Someone has to unthrone the legends, right? We're always competing in one sense or another. Reporter: But as a native texan, I had to see myself. I grew up on texan style barbecue. I'm hungry. Pork rib, sausage, Turkey. We've been doing great briskets for a couple of years now. And hometown barbecue opened up last year. They do Texas meats as well as anybody in Texas. Really phenomenal how quickly they've been able to master it. Reporter: Daniel is the only barbecue editor. He's been to almost 900 barbecue joints. When you're in a city that doesn't have any good barbecue yet, it takes that one really good place to open up to create the barbecue culture in that say. Reporter: Now these joints are foodie destinations. I'm not sure they use this technique in Texas, but we're in Texas. So it works for us. Reporter: New York barbecue has the freedom to inslow Nate. That's no rules. We do a baby back rib. There's no way my brother in North Carolina could be cooking this. They would send them to a therapist or something like this. Reporter: The space in Brooklyn allows Tony to cook his barbecue in a more traditional way. He says the secret is in the fire. We could probably cook around 3,000 to 4,000 founds a meat at a time in these two guys. It's all about the fire in this box and the meat in this container is just getting in the way of a really great fire. We cook until about 3:00. On the weekends, between 3,000, 5,000 pounds, depending on the weekend. Reporter: What's your best selling item? The restaurant is none for brisket. We rubble them in salt pepper, we stand by the smoker 24 hours a day putting wood in there. Besides the zip code, they're not much difference from what the greats are doing in Texas and what we try to do every day here. Reporter: Despite their new found barbecue fame, these new York pit masters say it's surprisingly simple. It's no secret. It's about none of those things. You can put a brisket in with nothing on it. And if you know really -- really know how to operate this tool that you're cooking with, you're going to be able to produce really great food. If you put the time in, though, you'll be able to produce stuff that's much better than we can produce here. It doesn't matter where you are. That's nothing in me that says it's got to be in Texas to be good barbecue. Next, there may be a new and

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