Why is Franklin BBQ in austin so good?

Discussion in 'Beef' started by waytoodeep03, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. jaxrmrjmr

    jaxrmrjmr Smoking Fanatic

    ..........and it is mediocre. I love P.D. as a tv cook, but her resteraunt was very plain.  Canned veggies in the sides.

    I eat canned veggies most nights of the week, but that is not what I expect when I go there.
  2. magslam

    magslam Smoke Blower

    Agree. The simplicity still greatness of salt and pepper with the brisket result is unparaleled.
  3. smoke hog

    smoke hog Newbie

    Never had Franklins, although I want to but have been to Salt Lick Bbq. Their beef ribs are the best bbq I have had to date. Bordering on a religious experience.
  4. Waytoodeep03 was right. In Texas, beef brisket is the holy grail of meat. I have been cooking for a number of years and have had success with most styles of cooking but I have yet to make a really good brisket. I spoke to a pit master and asked him what was the finish temperature he tried to achieve to know when his brisket was done. He held up his index finger and said, when I can put this finger through the brisket easily it is done. Just a reminder, that while the science is good, the guys like Aaron in Austin, Blacks in Lockhart and Zimmerhanzels in Smithville who have mastered the art of smoke and fire is where you find truly great food. Now look what you have done, I am craving brisket
  5. I have said in several post "keep it simple" don't over think or make it complicated and you will have some great BBQ. 40 years of BBQing I have tried lots of different rubs, injections, marinades, you name I probably tried it, but the conclusion I came to was I like to taste the meat. My brisket I rub it with olive oil course ground black pepper and salt, on the smoker for 5 or 6 hours then I pull it off wrap it in butcher paper then back on until it's finished about 6 or so more hours, pull it off wrap in a couple old towels, sometimes into the cooler, sometimes just on the counter for and hour or so, tender, moist and a good smoke ring, every time. I have cooked so many briskets I can tell by looking and feel. Now when I first started lots of trial and error. No SMF, Internet and not much information other than asking the guys I knew who operated BBQ joints and a few friends who had been smoking for a while. So I had some mistakes, tought and way over seasoned brisket. But I learned.

    magslam likes this.
  6. Being from Michigan we don't get much good smoke up here unless you do it yourself; I can do in my backyard what most of the 'good' joints around here can do. About 1 1/2 years ago I stopped by Franklin's and loved everything I ate. I'd go back right now if I could. We also went to Salt Lick which really didn't do anything for me other than take some $$ out of my wallet. I was quite unimpressed and would probably turn down another visit. Knowing for months I was going back to Austin this past fall, I dreamed and drooled about going back to Austins and had intended to get there a couple of times. However as fate would play out, it just wasn't in the cards but we kept passing by Donn's so we stopped in there one day. Hands down best turkey I've eaten. Smoked throughout, juicy, and no wait. Next year I have two places to get to but brisket at Franklins is still at the top of my list.
  7. bocaboy

    bocaboy Fire Starter

    I had a chance to meet Aaron at the Texas Monthly BBQ Festival last year. He could not have been nicer and posed for a picture with me (see attachment to this post.) He could not have been nicer to me, a total stranger.

    His brisket at the booth was simply fantastic, the most tender I've ever eaten, and that included brisket that wasn't smoked but braised in the traditional Jewish way of making this cut of meat. Unfortunately, I had to leave Austin before I could visit his restaurant, but I will definitely be back next year for the BBQ Festival, and one goal will be to eat at Franklins!

  8. jaxrmrjmr

    jaxrmrjmr Smoking Fanatic

    Does he really smoke prime graded briskets?  Heck, Sam's Club sells choice brisket for $5 a lbs.  I couldn't imagine what prime brisket goes for.
  9. ]I must admit I'm totally intrigued by Aaron Franklin's brisket legends. I drove down to Austin a few months back to visit friends and was disappointed to find out the line was too long to actually get any brisket for that day.

    So what is the step by step to Aaron's brisket success?

    I'm always trying to learn something new.

    Last edited: Jan 26, 2014
  10.  His videos are on You Tube.
  11. aggie94

    aggie94 Smoking Fanatic

    Jealous of you Bocaboy, you even got a photo to prove you were there!  I was at the 2012 Texas Monthly Festival but gave up trying Franklins brisket as the line was a football field long and never got shorter.  Next time I'm there, I'm going to get some no matter how long the line is!
  12. This is what Arron said in an email :

    Thanks Gary, 

    We will have our online store up and running in a few weeks, if you don't mind checking back soon. 

    If you are ever in Austin, please come visit us. 

    P.S> We do not serve "grass fed" beef, but instead for the majority of their lives the Black Angus cattle graze on lush pasture land throughout the mid-west. Prior to processing each animal is feed a high quality corn-based feed ration that enhances meat tenderness and flavor. The beef contains no growth hormones or antibiotics.



    On Wed, May 29, 2013 at 4:55 PM
  13. bigtexun

    bigtexun Newbie

    So, Gary S., you said you found someone selling the better grade of brisket...  Was it a meat market?  I'm a bit too far to drive there just for a brisket, just curious if we have one of those places around here.

    If it is a meat market, I may be SOL, because around here the meat markets tend to be a lot more than three times higher...  The Meat markets are great places to go right when they open new, they have better prices and selection, but after they sell out of their grand-opening load, they jack the prices up, the selection down, and the quality becomes iffy...    My wife has a Sam's membership from work, so I got a Costco membership for my work, just so I can shop both...  I think I like Costco better.  But I haven't bought any briskets there...  They have the exact same cryovac brand I can get at the HEB (the local Texas grocery store chain) and HEB is usually a bit cheaper on the cryovac brisket and ribs...  But Costco has the better steaks, fish and chicken.

    25 years ago, I helped a friend start a meat delivery business, and I got him connected with restaurant suppliers.  The restaurant suppliers have an entirely different meat supply.  Essentially, the restaurants get the good stuff, and the good stuff goes for high dollar...  But the big score there was when I found that Omaha Steaks and Seafood was actually willing to sell to us.  They warned that we were direct competitors, so we could never do mail order or have a storefront in a city where they had one, so as long as we kept clear of that, we could sell their restaurant supply line.  As it turns out that worked out really well, as that line was already pre-packaged in perfect sizes,  It was missing some of the most expensive items, but those wouldn't have been big sellers anyway...  The only catch was we had to order 8000 pounds of meat at a time...  but to get us started they were willing to sell us 4000 pound deliveries for the first year.  Their restaurant brand was "Golden Plains Foods", and was the same product they sold mail order, but at a wholesale price.  Our cost was comparable to grocery store pricing for premium meats, but at a higher quality level, higher than meat market quality as well.  My friend didn't stay in the business, so I can't get access to that meat now without ordering through the Omaha web page... but if any of you see someone selling golden plains products at a reasonable price, you should try it out.  They don't sell brisket, but what they have is good.

    I saw someone mention that Sam's has choice brisket for $5 a pound.  That can't be the whole story there, as most of the standard brisket sold is choice (except when it's a no-roll that still grades choice).  I don't know the current stats, but my dad wrote a book, and at the time something between 70 and 80% of all meat was graded choice.  The lower grades were mostly reserved for factory consumption in processed foods (ranging from dogfood to canned goods).  However a lot of meat goes ungraded, but still has the same 70% "would be choice if graded" stat.  The ungraded meat ic called no-roll, and is basically a cost-cutting measure.  Some grocery stores buy no-roll meat, and invent their own grading terms for it.  But the stats I'm citing for choice are falling, because the prime category is growing due to breeding producing animals that can grade prime on grass alone, that is partially where the Angus figures in, but Angus has been with us a while.  I'm sure that in the 25 years since I was up on my meat info, some new prime producing breeds are out there.  When I was selling meat, we didn't sell angus, because side by side the prime corn-fed Omaha meats tasted better than the prime Angus...  But I've been tasting some good Angus these days, but that may just be the grain finish.

    But for those of you wanting to eat your brisket, and /not/ die of a heart attack, grass fed beef is actually mostly good for the heart, compared to the grain fed or grain finished beef.  So while I would like to try smoking a high-dollar corn-fed brisket a couple times, I will probably stick to the cheap grass-fed grocery store beef so that I can live to tell about it.
  14. It was at a meat market, no growth hormones or antibiotics  But the price was to high, don't remember exactly but seemed like $7 or $8 a lb. We don't have a Costco (wish we did) so I buy from Sam's they have Choice and Select both, sometimes they run the Choice on sale (probably when they have too many and need to get rid of them) I have bought both and honestly at the end of the day when it's been on the smoker for 12 + hours, I really couldn't tell the difference, not like you can with a steak. I guess maybe a Prime brisket would not take as long to smoke due to the marbling and fat content in the meat. My briskets turn out tender, juicy, and a nice smoke ring every time and usually go with select, don't think I have ever smoked a Prime brisket, Done quite a few Prime Rib and love Prime cuts of Rib-eye , but I'll probably just stick with the Select and occasional Choice on the briskets. There was a whole discussion on aging brisket in another post, and how much better it was. I wrote to Texas A&M who has done lots of research in these areas, long story short, they said since you are cooking a brisket low and slow for approximately 12 hours that the aging was not a taste factor, not like it would be in a steak which you cook hot and fast.         Soooooo     I hope that helps.  My two cents worth anyway.

  15. bigtexun

    bigtexun Newbie

    Well, I wonder if we are getting select in the grocery stores... if 70% of the meat is choice, perhaps the BBQ joints consume all of it, and the grocery stores are getting the stuff that is normally reserved for dog food and ground meat...  they don't sell that many briskets, so that mite make sense.  Most of the local stores have awful meat, unless you go to a store with a premium meat counter. 

    In all honesty, I only eat beef a couple times a month, so I make it count.  Usually when I'm entertaining...  Getting old sux.
  16. Something I forgot to add was;  A while back when I was in Sam's at the meat counter looking at brisket, ribs and pork shoulders, there were two men standing a few feet away and I overheard their conversation, one worked for Sam's I think the other was a Rep. for a meat supply co. One guy said that (A local BBQ joint) better not name names, said they were buying about 150 to 200 briskets a week from them (Sam's) and they were talking about Select. I am thinking they must be getting a special price from Sam's or they would be ordering direct from the supplier. Usually when I check the other store prices, Sam's always has a better price and better looking meat. We are pretty limited here in Tyler. This is Brookshire's (Local Grocery Store) Home base, they eliminated all the competition except for Walmart. So we have Brookshire's, Super One (Kind of Brookshire's Warehouse store) Fresh (Which is Brookshire's High end store), Walmart and Sam's and one meat market.

    So not a big selection. Funny story, I posted this a while back, but here goes. A couple of months ago I was wanting to cook a whole pig, 30 - 40 lbs. so I called the only meat market in Tyler and asked if the had or could get me a small pig. He said he had one other guy that was wanting one and he could go ahead and get two, But they were kind of expensive, I asked how expensive ? he said a 30 - 40 pound-er would run about $200.00 I said no not a 300 or 400 lb but 30 to 40 lb. he said that was what they were going for. I said forget it I'll just go buy a couple pork shoulders. I wish I would have gone by his store, cause I've never seen a $200.00 30lb. pig. $6.66 a lb. for pork Wow !!!!

  17. bigworm882001

    bigworm882001 Newbie

    I've been there and it's nothing more than hype. It certainly isn't worth a 2-3 hour wait. It's my opinion so take it for what it's worth. 

    There's nothing special about his BBQ. The sides were horrible. 

    The salt lick is nothing special. They drown their meat in sauce. I asked them for some with no sauce and some guy came out and spoke with me. I asked him what he's hiding putting sauce on everything. He went back and brought me some out with no sauce....nothing special.
  18. bigworm882001

    bigworm882001 Newbie

    It's anchovy based not mustard based.
  19. [​IMG]

  20. jaxrmrjmr

    jaxrmrjmr Smoking Fanatic

    I wonder if he thought you were asking for a suckling?  A 30-40 lbs. suckling would probably cost that much in a remote town.

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