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Brisket King Competition Just Upped the Ante With Aaron Franklin as Judge

The Franklin Barbecue pitmaster will help decide who wins

brisket Nick Solares

The brisket master hopefuls of the 2017 edition of Brisket King of NYC will have their smoked meats judged by a particularly big name in barbecue this year: Aaron Franklin, arguably the hottest pitmaster in barbecue today.

The James Beard Award winner behind Franklin Barbecue in Austin will be one of several celebrity judges deciding who will take home the title of Brisket King of NYC in the annual competition, where a slew of NYC restaurants and chefs try their hand at brisket. It’s the sixth year for the event, which has had winners like Billy Durney of Hometown Bar-B-Que.

For brisket fanatics, the competition is an opportunity to sample brisket from more than 20 area chefs — from traditional barbecue purveyors like Morgan’s BBQ and former Fatty Cue’s pitmaster Robbie Richter to restaurants like Mexican hit El Atoradero and Thai restaurant Look by Plant Love House. Tickets start at $75 and include unlimited brisket tastings and drinks. Diners will also get to choose which briskets they prefer for the people’s choice awards.

Other judges include Daniel Vaughn, the barbecue editor of magazine Texas Monthly, Texas-based chef John Tesar, a Top Chef alum, and Jake Dell, owner of NYC pastrami icon Katz’s.

Beef brisket is one of the most difficult cuts of meat to smoke, which makes a delicious version even more coveted. While the event is not exactly the same as waiting in line to try brisket at Franklin, it certainly raises the stakes for what the chefs put out this year.

Tickets for this year’s event on April 19th at the Food Science Academy of Long Island University in Brooklyn may be purchased here.

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