WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA9) -- Dickey's Barbecue's Jeff Forrester sees a smoked brisket as a juicy investment.
"That's brisket gold, is what it is," Forrester says.
It cost him more now because farmer in states hit by droughts raiser fewer animals. That, along with the worldwide demand, meat prices are rising.
In the last year, pork chop prices jumped 40 percent, Rib eye costs went up 40 percent and ground beef 5 percent..
And those higher costs may push restaurants to charge you more so they can make a profit.
"It's always something that we look at, but we don't want to burden our customers with any kind of price increase, if we can help it," Jeff Forrester says.
But the rising cost of meat isn't only affecting restaurants. Ground beef prices are at record highs in the grocery store, too.
The industry doesn't see a break anytime soon.
"We expect meat prices to rise in the next few months especially with beef and pork," says USDA economist Anne Annmarie Kuhns.
Forrester believes beef prices may not come down for at least two years. But, some barbecue lovers are willing to pay the extra cost.
"It's just like a religious thing. You just have to do it," says customer Gary Perdue.
So, here's how you can save money on your beef and pork purchases.
Buy bulk or value packs, buy a larger cut and slice it into portion sizes and buy on sale and stock up your freezer.