Soaring meat prices a tough sell for barbecue pitmasters

“Sorry, ma’am. We’re already out of the burnt ends,” Barbosa, owner of the mobile barbecue trailer Barbosa’s Barbeque, tells the patron standing out front of his trailer-turned-small business. “They were really popular today and we had a big order.”

Selling out of meat is nothing new for the native-Texan who moved to Denver in 2019 from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In the nineteen months he’s served smoked meats around town, Barbosa has quickly drawn rave reviews from those craving craft barbecue. They routinely line up to devour his signature beef brisket, homemade sausages, and moist smoked turkey breast that he may, or may not, dip in a little melted butter before serving.

“Poultry and butter go great together,” Barbosa quips.

Moments of levity have been rarer for Barbosa and other pitmasters across the country this year. They’ve seen the cost of their menu staples: beef, pork and poultry steadily increase

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