Where Two of NYC’s Best Pitmasters Buy Their Meat and Fixings

Up your BBQ game this Labor Day by shopping where the pros shop

Where Two of NYC’s Best Pitmasters Buy Their Meat and Fixings
Franco V., owner and pitmaster of Holy Ground NYC
Steven Rojas/Instagram/@holygroundnyc

Labor Day is fast approaching, and with it comes one of America’s most mouthwatering traditions: the almighty backyard BBQ. Ready your tongs, dust off the old Weber and prepare to close out the summer in style with these words of wisdom from a couple of NYC’s top BBQ insiders.

Where to find the finest cuts in town …

Meat Hook
“I live in Williamsburg so I like to hit up the Meat Hook for meats,” says Franco V., owner and pitmaster of Holy Ground NYC. “I like them cause all the meat is from small local farms so you know you’re getting quality.”


Hudson and Charles
Upper East Side and Greenwich Village
“My favorite butcher is Hudson and Charles,” Chef Ash Fulk of Hill Country Hospitality tells us. “I’m lucky that they are a few blocks from my house! They have great grass-fed product, and always some cool cuts of cow. Being a Texas barbecue guy, I like to cook the cow. And their meat is delicious. Also, I love supporting New Yorker owned shops in my hood.”

And for seafood …

Greenpoint Fish and Lobster
“I go to Greenpoint Fish and Lobster,” adds Franco. “It’s small and easy. They usually have a pretty good selection and the people who work there are knowledgeable and can give you great pointers.”  

greenpoint fish

Lobster Place
Chelsea Market
Says Fulk: “I mostly go to the Lobster Place. I like that they have a large selection, and they will cut or give you whole fish if you ask. The team there is super knowledgeable. And most importantly it smells fresh when I walk in there — fish shops should smell fresh!”

The only place to buy your produce …

Various locations; flagship at Union Square
“Wake up early and wander through the vendors at the market,” adds Fulk. “You will find produce piled high and breathing the fresh air, not suffocated in plastic on grocery shelves. Depending on your neighborhood there may be local markets or community gardens that sell as well. If you can’t make it to the Greenmarket, try the Manhattan Fruit Exchange in Chelsea Market, they have a good selection of quality produce.”

Where to stock up on BBQ essentials …

BBQ Guys and Aquarius
“With my schedule I buy most tools online,” said Fulk. “For specialty tools (thermometers, grate scrubbers, etc.), check out bbqguys.com. They have neat stuff. The big musts: you need a great grill brush, infrared thermometer, good mop and a cheap spray bottle. Mine is from a local hardware store on the Upper West Side called Aquarius (yes, that’s my sign too). I use the squeeze bottle to help prevent flare up. A little spritz goes a long way!” 

Spinelli Farms
“My only grilling essential is wood,” said Franco. “I like to cook over wood instead of charcoal cause it gives the food so much more flavor. I usually grab some of the wood we use to smoke meat at Holy Ground and bring that home. We get it from a farm in New Jersey — it’s seasoned, not kiln-dried, so it’s really great for cooking. But hey, when push comes to shove, you can’t go wrong with Whole Foods and Amazon in reality.”

And the BBQ wisdom to remember this weekend and beyond …

Says Fulk: “Do it often. Fire is a living thing. Whether coal or hardwood, you need to date a bit before you learn all the quirks a live fire has to offer. And have everything you need ready. I bring all the tools I need to grill with. I put all the ingredients (salt, pepper, meat, mops and glaze)  on one sheet pan so I don’t need to leave the grill. You will have better results if you are able to watch the grill like a hawk. Don’t forget the cold beer! And lastly, get a spray bottle. I always have a spray bottle filled with water. When you have a little flare up on the grill, give it a little spritz and it will take care of it.”


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