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va92bronco
04-24-2012, 08:19 PM
I'm looking for some packer briskets for comps. The only supplier in my area is Wal Mart. Sam's, BJ's, Costco, and everywhere else around me only have flats. Restaurant Depot is about two hours away(and I have never tried them since I just recently just got my KCBS membership). I have found a local farmer who sells his meat to local butchers and suppliers. He has grass fed and finished beef. I have been talking to him about supplying me with meat(he also has pork and chicken) but his prices are not cheap. With a discount, I am still looking at about $6/pound for packer briskets. Thats about $80 for one packer:shocked:.

I haven't tried his brisket yet, but think I might try it atleast once. Has anyone used this type of beef for comps or just to cook? He raves about the quality and leanness of the beef, but $6/pound is still pretty high.

Anybody have any experience I can draw from. thanks for any info.

Still Smokin
04-24-2012, 08:26 PM
Grass fed is a different flavor profile. I have a guy near me that raises grass fed Black Angus cattle and I have tried it, one good thing is it is wsell marbled. The only downsize was that the flats were very thin.

landarc
04-24-2012, 08:28 PM
I love thast kind of beef, I buy mine from a rancher in Humboldt County. But, I would not compete with it. It has a distinct taste, unless you can get stuff from Oregon, it is not at all like what most folks expect from beef.

Yes, you can get it tender, it will even be juicy, but, it will not be a winner unless you live where folks don't like corn-finished beef. I assume there is such a place. Man, $6 a poung for a packer is gonna run into some money. I gotta believe if you plan the trip right and make sure there are packers, RD is a better bet.

Captain P.J.
04-24-2012, 08:37 PM
If your lookin at droppin $80 on a brisket... Might as well take a look at some proven briskets at snake river farms... http://store.snakeriverfarms.com/competitive-bbq-collection/

Porcine Perfection
04-24-2012, 08:41 PM
I don't do comp, but I go to RD (in Kansas City) for my butts. Their briskets never looked that good to me.

southernstyle
04-24-2012, 09:00 PM
i second snake river farms

va92bronco
04-24-2012, 09:13 PM
If your lookin at droppin $80 on a brisket... Might as well take a look at some proven briskets at snake river farms... http://store.snakeriverfarms.com/competitive-bbq-collection/

Ya I looked at snake river too. Would be more with shipping, but it is established. Guy was really pumped about us using him. Almost feel guilty not to use him.

AZScott
04-24-2012, 11:42 PM
I would go to RD with a big cooler, pick the ones you like (they will open cases for you), age them and learn to cook them. RD briskets can and do win all the time. Mail order briskets are a gamble since you have no clue what you are going to get. I purchased 10 SRF briskets and will never do so again unless they sponsored us with free briskets.

sitnfat
04-25-2012, 05:37 AM
Why not ask a local grocer to get you some packers. Or a local BBQ joint. I live a hour from any city instead of driving I get my ribs from a local BBQ and a week before a contest till the manager at the grocery I need brisket and butts. I get there when they come in pick what I want and even get a discount. I even have him get me a case of parsley while I'm at it.

Crash
04-25-2012, 05:54 AM
Grain-fed briskets all the way, 100% of the time for comps. That's just my opinion. Grass fed usually equals less fat in my experience. Fat is flavor in brisket and especially in a competition setting.

I've never personally cooked Wagyu, but have heard some great things from competitors that have used it on the West Coast.

Oh yeah, on another note. There are some really good teams out there only using the flat. It's pricier than the whole packer per lb, but apparently it works.

billm
04-25-2012, 07:23 AM
Im pretty sure pure grass fed beef results in less marbling not more. I know a couple farmers who raise cattle and and they usually grassfeed then they introduce a little grain into their diets toward the end to get a little more fat and marbling. Im no cattle farmer so im just going by what they said
I will say this though..I buy beef from them regularly and its near prime

va92bronco
04-25-2012, 08:31 AM
Why not ask a local grocer to get you some packers. Or a local BBQ joint. I live a hour from any city instead of driving I get my ribs from a local BBQ and a week before a contest till the manager at the grocery I need brisket and butts. I get there when they come in pick what I want and even get a discount. I even have him get me a case of parsley while I'm at it.

I've asked, but most say they can only get flats.


Oh yeah, on another note. There are some really good teams out there only using the flat. It's pricier than the whole packer per lb, but apparently it works.

I've only done packers, and only one at that. With my limited experience, I feel alittle more comfortable with the packer since the margin of error are larger. From what I have read, the larger mass and more fat allows for more room for mistakes. Minor mistakes in timing at least.

Im pretty sure pure grass fed beef results in less marbling not more. I know a couple farmers who raise cattle and and they usually grassfeed then they introduce a little grain into their diets toward the end to get a little more fat and marbling. Im no cattle farmer so im just going by what they said
I will say this though..I buy beef from them regularly and its near prime

I need to do some more research on this grass fed and finish beef. I might have walked into a situation where it will not work for my application. I'm sure it is great for steaks, but for brisket it might not be worth it. I will still try it atleast once.

sitnfat
04-25-2012, 12:31 PM
Nothing wrong with flats I cook 6lb ones

va92bronco
04-25-2012, 03:13 PM
Nothing wrong with flats I cook 6lb ones

Oh I know lots of teams win with just cooking flats. I am just not confident enough to try it in a comp yet.

CBQ
04-25-2012, 04:12 PM
Grass fed is a leaner beef. That's great if you are making filet migon, but not so great when you are trying to keep a big piece of meat moist for 12 hours in smoker.

Frankly, a lot of people rave about grass fed because it implies a more naturally raised product. Mass market beef is "finished" in large grain feed lots just before slaughtering, and that rubs some people the wrong way. The meat producers do that because grain feeding adds more marbling to the meat, and USDA grading is based strictly upon marbling.

As a competition cook, you should be concerned about taste. Many people think grain fed or grain finished simply tastes better.

Premium brands like Snake River Farms and Niman Ranch use grain finishing, which should tell you something. It's not just a trick the mass market producers use, there is a benefit to the final product.

The RD "Superior" brand states one of it's requirements is that the beef be grain finished.

QueNivorous
04-25-2012, 04:39 PM
Grass-fed for $6 per pound! You are in the Wagu park pricewise. Before I paid $6 per pound for Grass-fed I'd spend some money on gas and drive two hours to RD and buy Prime Packers. Take a big cooler!

Still Smokin
04-25-2012, 05:55 PM
Im pretty sure pure grass fed beef results in less marbling not more. I know a couple farmers who raise cattle and and they usually grassfeed then they introduce a little grain into their diets toward the end to get a little more fat and marbling. Im no cattle farmer so im just going by what they said
I will say this though..I buy beef from them regularly and its near prime

To clarify my earlier statement, the guy near me does use grain the last few weeks to fatten the steer. He also charges 7.95 per # for Briskies.

va92bronco
04-25-2012, 06:15 PM
Grass fed is a leaner beef. That's great if you are making filet migon, but not so great when you are trying to keep a big piece of meat moist for 12 hours in smoker.

Frankly, a lot of people rave about grass fed because it implies a more naturally raised product. Mass market beef is "finished" in large grain feed lots just before slaughtering, and that rubs some people the wrong way. The meat producers do that because grain feeding adds more marbling to the meat, and USDA grading is based strictly upon marbling.

As a competition cook, you should be concerned about taste. Many people think grain fed or grain finished simply tastes better.

Premium brands like Snake River Farms and Niman Ranch use grain finishing, which should tell you something. It's not just a trick the mass market producers use, there is a benefit to the final product.

The RD "Superior" brand states one of it's requirements is that the beef be grain finished.

I wasn't buying it because I wanted to think the cow was happier. I am trying it because it supports a local small farmer and I heard some good things about grass fed and finished beef. As I said, I think I am going to try it once(if only for the farmer since I already I needed one for next week. Tempted to get a walmart packer at same time and cook them both. Compare a $6/pound brisket to a $2.50/pound one. Whats another $35 when you have spent $80:crazy:

CBQ
04-25-2012, 07:54 PM
I wasn't buying it because I wanted to think the cow was happier ... I heard some good things about grass fed and finished beef.

I was trying to say that maybe some of the good things you heard about grass finished may have had more to do with animal rights than the taste of the product. Try it and see if you like the result. That's the only way to know for sure. Be sure to come back and tell us what you found.

The extra money spent on the brisket is only a small percentage of the total cost of a contest, but at $6 bucks a pound you can also get waygu at the same price point and see how it stacks up. You can do win with RD Superior brisket too. It freezes nices, so maybe load up for a few contests on one trip.

BC Squared
04-25-2012, 09:00 PM
I don't do comp, but I go to RD (in Kansas City) for my butts. Their briskets never looked that good to me.

I've gotten great briskets at RD...

Corky
04-26-2012, 12:20 AM
If you ask the CostCo butcher they might bring in a case of full packers for you. They have that available here in Spokane.

va92bronco
04-26-2012, 07:50 AM
I was trying to say that maybe some of the good things you heard about grass finished may have had more to do with animal rights than the taste of the product. Try it and see if you like the result. That's the only way to know for sure. Be sure to come back and tell us what you found.


I tended to ignore the sites that spoke of the animal rights issues alittle too much. I was really trying to go with something local. I really was hoping to find a butcher or farmer that would really help with cost of meat. Something like a sponsorship. Instead, I'm paying even more now:loco::clap2:. I am trying it next week and will def give a update.

If you ask the CostCo butcher they might bring in a case of full packers for you. They have that available here in Spokane.

I don't have the freezer or fridge space for a case of packers. I talked with two different butchers in Costco(and around town) most thought a packer was just a flat. They are just not that prevalent in my area.

boogiesnap
04-26-2012, 08:41 AM
i can understand your intentions and appreciate them.

i haven't cooked a ton of grass fed and finished local beef, but enough to suggest that i don't think you're going to get the results you're looking for in a competition setting.

it is certainly less marbled very differently flavored than grain fed or even finished.

it's worth a try, sure, but i would be continuing to explore other sources.

those are my 2 cents.

big brother smoke
04-26-2012, 08:49 AM
I tried a grass fed prime brisket once in a comp, just once. It was my worst brisky finish ever :tsk:

MAP
04-26-2012, 09:16 AM
Do you need this brisket for the comp in Fredericksburg? If so I may be able to hook you up. I get CAB brisket from a local butcher over here in Maryland. If he has more than what we requested I can buy them and bring one or two for you and you can pay me then.

Let me know.

They also have Choice packers at the Walmart in Dahlgren.

CBQ
04-26-2012, 09:06 PM
I am trying it next week and will def give a update.

Sweet. Be sure to take a few pics too, especially before cooking so we can see the intra-muscular fat.

va92bronco
05-10-2012, 02:28 PM
Do you need this brisket for the comp in Fredericksburg? If so I may be able to hook you up. I get CAB brisket from a local butcher over here in Maryland. If he has more than what we requested I can buy them and bring one or two for you and you can pay me then.

Let me know.

They also have Choice packers at the Walmart in Dahlgren.

Sorry MAP just saw this one today. Probably would have taken you up on it. Thanks for the offer though.


Sweet. Be sure to take a few pics too, especially before cooking so we can see the intra-muscular fat.

Was going to use it for the comp last week, but the farmer was not getting his meat from the butcher until Monday(5/7). Contact him today to pick it up for the comp I am going to on 5/19. He tells me his butcher chopped the 14lbs brisket into 4 pieces:mad: Told the guy that I needed a whole packer. Needless to say, I am not using it.

I might try this guy again at a later date, but seems like he just doesn't need my business as much as he was talking. Nice guy, but I just can't count on him to have what I need when I need it. Considering some of the responses I've gotten in this thread. Think I might have dodged a bullet. Got my KCBS membership card last week. Going to hit Resturant Depot before the 19th. Tuffy Stone also recommended I try Central Meats in Chesapeake, Virginia also.

Podge
05-10-2012, 02:38 PM
Creekstone will ship you a prime for $80 total.

Iamarealbigdog
05-10-2012, 02:49 PM
I did the grass fed local producer, the buthcer they had did not know how to cut a full smoker, the flat was just that very flat. The meat tasty bu the overal brisket was sub par after the cook.

I only paid $2.00 a pound the same price of burger as this is where the meat was going to.. not much demand for brisket up here at the time.

Did that once, if your paying $6.00 then take the extra step for WAYGU, it is worthy of the price no doubts about it.

Brewer
05-11-2012, 09:48 AM
i second snake river farms

SRF briskets have a different flavor than angus. Much lighter "beef" taste and much richer. We've done well with them outside our local circuit however, we get mixed results in our local circuit.

va92bronco
05-11-2012, 10:22 AM
I did the grass fed local producer, the buthcer they had did not know how to cut a full smoker, the flat was just that very flat. The meat tasty bu the overal brisket was sub par after the cook.

I only paid $2.00 a pound the same price of burger as this is where the meat was going to.. not much demand for brisket up here at the time.

Did that once, if your paying $6.00 then take the extra step for WAYGU, it is worthy of the price no doubts about it.

SRF briskets have a different flavor than angus. Much lighter "beef" taste and much richer. We've done well with them outside our local circuit however, we get mixed results in our local circuit.

As I have posted before, I have looked into Snake River. Just hate the thought of paying for that shipping. This next contest there is a butcher, Central Meats, that is right next door in Chesapeake, Virginia. Heard some great things about them. They cater to comp teams as much as possible. Has prime whole packers at $4/lbs. Also has unfrozen chicken thighs at $1.99/lb. I'm paying about $2.60/lb at Walmart for a select packer, so this is where I am going to try for the next comp.

Slamdunkpro
05-11-2012, 10:38 AM
Central Meats is going to be your best bet. If you go to Restaurant Depot Don't get the house angus brand (Superior). The flats are paper thin. Stick to the choice ones.

va92bronco
05-11-2012, 10:45 AM
Central Meats is going to be your best bet. If you go to Restaurant Depot Don't get the house angus brand (Superior). The flats are paper thin. Stick to the choice ones.

Ya I am using the Chesapeake Jubilee being just down the road as a excuse to try Central Meats. Resturant Depot and Central are both in the Hampton Roads area of Va. Since I will be coming from Richmond(two hours away) either place is about the same distance away.

walrus79
05-11-2012, 02:33 PM
As of a few weeks ago prime briskets were $4/lb at Central Meats. Great place, a must stop if you're in the area, lots of great supplies for the comp cook (sauces, rubs, smoke wood, etc...).