The beef ribs at Briskettown in Brooklyn, N.Y, were one of the most popular items on the menu three months ago. In January, pitmaster and owner Daniel Delaney reluctantly removed the ribs.

Delaney buys expensive beef to begin with—anti-hormone free, anti-biotic free cattle. But the rising cost of the meat Delaney purchases became too much for him to stomach.

“Our beef ribs went up really significantly [in price],” Delaney, a James Beard Award finalist this year, said. “All beef in general has gone up.” Delaney could not recall exact price figures, but said the costs became too much to keep ribs on the menu.

The price of uncooked beef roasts—which includes brisket, a BBQ staple—shot up 8.2 percent between February and January, according to Tuesday’s consumer price index report for February. That same meat category inflated 9.1 percent from February 2013 to last month. The rise in meat prices results from last year’s drought—which affects cattle feed—and the spread of a pig disease, cutting down on supply.

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As for passing the increased cost down to his customers, Delaney said, “It’s a really tough thing to do, you certainly could.” He argues that he couldn’t pass down prices because customers are not sympathetic to meat costs, and would be upset by a price increase, which he said he understands.

The consumer price index remained relatively low in February with a .4 percent increase since January, and a 1.1 percent increase from February 2013. But the cost of meat and energy—two volatile categories—rose substantially in February. All beef and veal products rose 4 percent from January to February.

Costs for propane, kerosene and firewood rose 37.5 percent on a year-to-year basis, and 11.5 percent from January to February. Brian Jones, senior economist at Societe General, said the inflation figures were good, excluding the spikes in food and energy.

“We had a benign print even though we had a sharp pick up in food prices attributable to the drought,” Jones said, referring to the overall report. “We were just fortunate that other components of the CPI were weak.”

Regarding energy prices, Jones said price increases were linked to the harsh winter.

“A lot of that has to do with home heating,” Jones said. “That’s attributable to the weather.”

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Jones said February’s CPI report, “was fairly good,” considering the bump in meat prices.

Pitmasters across New York City are seeing meat prices rise. Billy Durney opened his own BBQ joint, Hometown, in September in Red Hook, and changed the price of his short ribs recently from $5 to $6.50. He sells his brisket at $26 a pound, but pays about $30 a pound.

“It’s killing everybody,” Durney said. “Even our higher-end meats have been skyrocketing.”

Another pitmaster, Frank Davis, at Beast of Bourbon in Brooklyn, said brisket prices have gone up 15 percent this year, more ever than in past years.

Sales of chicken and pork dishes have offset Durney’s and Davis’ losses of brisket and short ribs—two products they said they can’t remove from the menu because of their popularity.

“The guys working the hardest and doing the best job are getting hurt by this,” Durney, who cooked for a James Beard Foundation event in February, said.

Durney keeps track of cattle futures and he isn’t panicking. He expects meat prices to recede eventually.

“Everything bounces back,” he said.