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If you want four-star BBQ brisket, go to Texas. Originally served by butchers wanting to do something with meat before it spoiled – and still found in the back rooms of some vintage former groceries – brisket begins as a fairly tough cut of beef. But as it basks in the smoke of smoldering coals, the meat becomes insanely, ridiculously tender, more like warm butter than beefsteak. The exterior, blackened by its time in the pit, has some crunch and an even more concentrated flavor; interior fibers that are still laced with fat quite literally melt on your tongue.