Who’s the Brisket King of New York City?

brisketDaniel Maurer The brisket sandwich at Mighty Quinn’s.

Tomorrow night a barbecue pro will be crowned the next Brisket King of New York. Some of the city’s best chefs will braise, smoke, and sauce their entries in a throwdown organized by the East Village’s own Jimmy Carbone of Jimmy’s No. 43. The second annual cook-off pits the reigning champion, Josh Bowen of Long Island City’s John Brown Smokehouse, against 15 meat masters from across the city whose creations will be judged by Julia Moskin of The New York Times, among others.

We asked three East Village competitors to divulge their secrets. Some were more forthcoming than others.

The Mentor: Adam Perry Lang of Daisy May’s BBQ.
The Meat: 43 pounds of certified Angus beef from DeBragga.
The Method: 14 to 16 hours in the smoker at what he calls the sweet spot: 225 to 250 degrees.
The Twist: Mr. Berman will bring a Middle Eastern twist to Southern-style tomato-based sauce via lime, hot peppers and his secret weapon: a Moroccan spice blend called ras el hanout — a mix of between 12 and 27 powders like cinnamon, cardamom, and cumin. He’ll top the meat with tahini, cilanto, preserved lemon and pickled onions.

MQ7Courtesy Mighty Quinn’s

HUGH MANGUM, Mighty Quinn’s Barbeque
The Mentor: Mr. Mangum grew up eating in Texas with his father.
The Meat: The pitmaster won’t give up his source. “I don’t want anyone else to go there — my supplier is having a hard enough time getting it for me,” he said, revealing only that he gets 3,500 pounds of beef per week from a farm where “the animals are treated with as much respect as possible.”
The Method: “It’s bare bones—dry rub and smoke,” said Mr. Mangum. He uses a salt and pepper rub with a little paprika, and smokes the meat over wood for 16 to 22 hours.
The Twist: None. This will be the stripped-down brisket that’s served at the East Village spot.

JIMMY CARBONE, Jimmy’s No. 43

The Mentor: Robbie Richter, formerly of Hill Country and Fatty ‘Cue. He’ll also be competing.
The Meat: The beef will hail from the Adirondack Grazer’s Cooperative, which has farms upstate and in Vermont. He’ll also be using pork – a Mangalitsa breed sourced by Møsefund Farms.
The Method: The briskets will be braised overnight with a Rockaway Brewing Company stout, then they’ll go into the oven for a quick crisping.
The Twist: Chocolate expert Clay Gordon has invented a rub inspired by Jamaican jerk seasoning laced with cocoa powder. The briskets will be finished with a drizzle of the rub mixed with pan juices.

The Brisket King of NYC kicks off tomorrow at 6 p.m. at Santos Party House, 96 Lafayette Street. Tickets are still available at brisketkingnyc.com