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cmohr74
03-15-2013, 06:35 AM
I'm still a newbie to the BBQ world so I'm venturing to try many different things to figure out "My Style" of cooking for competitions and what works best. I have been venturing in the world of Wagyus and heard a term the other day that I've never come across, 'Dark Cutter'. I had shipped 6 Wagyu's, 5 of them a real rich red color; the 6th, it was much darker color that seemed off. It wasn't next to the dry ice, so I didn't think that had anything to do with it because the other 2 not in that container didn't have this color. I contacted the rancher to pick his brain and he said he sent me a 'Dark Cutter'? According to him, he said his friends in the piedmontese beef world said those are like finding the lucky pot of gold with the richness of flavor. He said if I didn't care for it or it wasn't to my liking, he would ship me out a new one at no cost. Long story short, has anyone heard of this term 'Dark Cutter' or experienced cooking one? Thanks for your feedback.

HeSmellsLikeSmoke
03-15-2013, 06:55 AM
Even if there is such a thing, it is according to the rancher, so rare you won't be practicing on a brisket you will be using again in competetion. I would take him up on his offer to replace it.

I can find no mention of a dark cutter brisket in a Google search.

Kave Dweller
03-15-2013, 07:00 AM
Cook it!

HeSmellsLikeSmoke
03-15-2013, 07:00 AM
Also, Utility, Cutter and Canner are such a low grades that they are rarely used in anything but ground beef.

bignburlyman
03-15-2013, 07:06 AM
Dark Cutter is a term used in beef slaughter, and it is a big discount price wise so it is not desireable. Here is a very brief description of it.

The 1995 National Beef Quality Audit (NBQA) reported that dark cutting beef carcasses (dark cutters) result in a loss of $6.08 per animal harvested in the United States (Smith et al., 1995). Dark cutters result from preharvest stress, which depletes muscle glycogen stores and thus reduces the glycogen needed to produce the lactic acid that reduces the pH of postmortem muscle. The abnormally high pH (>6.0) increases the light-absorption and water-binding abilities of postmortem muscle and results in an undesirable, dark, firm, and dry cut lean surface (Lister, 1988). Even though this is understood at the clinical level, the stress factors that induce the condition are not as clear. Weather, growth promotants, genetics, disposition, and handling practices before harvest all may play a role in creating the dark cutting condition (Hedrick et al., 1959; Smith et al., 1993; Voisinet et al., 1997).

Hawg Father of Seoul
03-15-2013, 07:24 AM
You may like the way it tastes, but look at any pig genetics/breeder site. The "stress gene" has been identified in the porcine family. To the best of my knowledge (and the excerpt earlier) this pathway has not been identified in bovines.

You will always find stuff that some people will prize because it is rarer, but is in fact not worth a dam (sic).

Hawg Father of Seoul
03-15-2013, 07:51 AM
Also, we do all kinds of things in BBQ to make the beef more alkaline before cooking, this one is already more acidic. It is like it has already been marinating for weeks in a couple teaspoons of vinegar. It has the potential to be rubber, more so if aged.

sdbbq1234
03-15-2013, 08:00 AM
This is really interesting stuff.

Dan, is there any way you could post some pictures of the "dark cutter" brisket next to one of the others?

Thanks.
wallace

cmohr74
03-15-2013, 08:24 AM
77157

There was a small punture hole, which explains the frost, but the color difference was my first concern

sdbbq1234
03-15-2013, 08:50 AM
Wow! Big difference!

Thanks for posting the pic. This helps.

wallace

sdbbq1234
03-15-2013, 08:52 AM
Dark Cutter is a term used in beef slaughter, and it is a big discount price wise so it is not desireable. Here is a very brief description of it.

The 1995 National Beef Quality Audit (NBQA) reported that dark cutting beef carcasses (dark cutters) result in a loss of $6.08 per animal harvested in the United States (Smith et al., 1995). Dark cutters result from preharvest stress, which depletes muscle glycogen stores and thus reduces the glycogen needed to produce the lactic acid that reduces the pH of postmortem muscle. The abnormally high pH (>6.0) increases the light-absorption and water-binding abilities of postmortem muscle and results in an undesirable, dark, firm, and dry cut lean surface (Lister, 1988). Even though this is understood at the clinical level, the stress factors that induce the condition are not as clear. Weather, growth promotants, genetics, disposition, and handling practices before harvest all may play a role in creating the dark cutting condition (Hedrick et al., 1959; Smith et al., 1993; Voisinet et al., 1997).


Very good info indeed!

Thanks.

wallace

cmohr74
03-15-2013, 11:46 AM
I asked around before I got some of these replies and got an interesting one from a local butcher who is a Master Butcher. Supposed that means he's wicked awesome with meat. Here is his response.

"Dark Cutter is a term we give to a piece of meat that has blood left in it from slaughter or that has been bruised It has an off flavor and where is it will not make you sick, I still would not eat it. Most butchers would not allow it out into the case let alone tell you it is very rare to get one and it's all good the most likely cause of a dark cutter is.....(and I hate to tell anyone
this) is that is was a sick cow that went down at the meat plant and could not get back up. The Dark Cutters come off the side it was laying on before the plant came over with a forklift and pick it up and helped it to the kill floor."

I contacted the Rancher I purchased all of these from and let him know what others have told me. I think it truly may be a case of he is not knowledged enough in the processing part to know better. He was relaying what he heard from others so I wanted to inform him of the truth. He apologized and is replacing it ASAP.

HeSmellsLikeSmoke
03-15-2013, 12:02 PM
I was told long ago by cattle trader that a canner or cutter may very well have been a down cow. I didn't mention it in my above response since I did not personally know it to be true.

bignburlyman
03-15-2013, 12:18 PM
I asked around before I got some of these replies and got an interesting one from a local butcher who is a Master Butcher. Supposed that means he's wicked awesome with meat. Here is his response.

"Dark Cutter is a term we give to a piece of meat that has blood left in it from slaughter or that has been bruised It has an off flavor and where is it will not make you sick, I still would not eat it. Most butchers would not allow it out into the case let alone tell you it is very rare to get one and it's all good the most likely cause of a dark cutter is.....(and I hate to tell anyone
this) is that is was a sick cow that went down at the meat plant and could not get back up. The Dark Cutters come off the side it was laying on before the plant came over with a forklift and pick it up and helped it to the kill floor."

I contacted the Rancher I purchased all of these from and let him know what others have told me. I think it truly may be a case of he is not knowledged enough in the processing part to know better. He was relaying what he heard from others so I wanted to inform him of the truth. He apologized and is replacing it ASAP.

Highlight in red in quote absolutly not accurate. Certain breeds of cattle may be more likely to be dark cutters, and cattle that are exciteable and have been chased around (stressed) have more instance of dark cutters. I work in a commercial cattle feedlot, and do the financial settlements for the cattle sold. Some lots of cattle might have 5 to 10 head of dark cutters. Like I said earlier, it is a BIG discount when a dark cutter goes through. Also, at major packers regulations now require any animal that is not mobile to be rejected and condemned.

Mustang Sally
03-15-2013, 12:22 PM
Here is another link to help explain.

http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/agriculture/livestock/beef/market/publications/dcb

You don't hear much about this any more as meat processors will cull this out of their boxed beef before it gets to the stores.

bignburlyman
03-15-2013, 12:28 PM
Here are a couple of links to the information from Dr. Temple Grandin, a very respected livestock researcher.

http://www.grandin.com/meat/cattle/cattle.meat.html

http://www.grandin.com/meat/dkcut.html

Kave Dweller
03-15-2013, 12:49 PM
Did I mention cook it?

cmohr74
03-15-2013, 12:57 PM
I appreciate the feedback. As originally stated, I'm trying to determine the truth. I dont have a clue about a dark cutted, but figured i would ask around because someone on the Brethren or professionally would know. Thanks again.

HeSmellsLikeSmoke
03-15-2013, 02:29 PM
It is interesting but not worth pursuing for competetion practice cooks. You may never encounter another one so why try to master it?

didisea
03-15-2013, 02:46 PM
Thanks for the education everyone! Interesting stuff!

Slamdunkpro
03-15-2013, 03:02 PM
Looks to me like the cryo got punctured and the brisket turned dark due to air exposure.

Kave Dweller
03-15-2013, 03:04 PM
It is interesting but not worth pursuing for competetion practice cooks. You may never encounter another one so why try to master it?

Because there is always room in the smoker and it can't be awful.

HeSmellsLikeSmoke
03-15-2013, 03:16 PM
Because there is always room in the smoker and it can't be awful.

:mrgreen: I can buy into that thinking.

Hawg Father of Seoul
03-15-2013, 03:35 PM
Looks to me like the cryo got punctured and the brisket turned dark due to air exposure.

Definitely premortem. If it was postmortem, it would be localized.

Slamdunkpro
03-15-2013, 03:39 PM
Looks to me like the cryo got punctured and the brisket turned dark due to air exposure.

Definitely premortem. If it was postmortem, it would be localized.

Sorry about the smiley. I don' know how to remove it.

Depends on how long it's been frozen. I've had them like that - remember we're only seeing the surface.

And by the way it's antemortem not premortem:tongue:

CBQ
03-15-2013, 04:51 PM
Looks to me like the cryo got punctured and the brisket turned dark due to air exposure.

I was thinking along those lines too. You could defrost it and cut it to find out for sure, I guess.

Either way, the end result is the same. If it's a dark cutter from the processing plant, or a problem with the cryovac/storage of the brisket, either way a replacement is in order.

CBQ
03-15-2013, 05:00 PM
Here are a couple of links to the information from Dr. Temple Grandin, a very respected livestock researcher.

http://www.grandin.com/meat/cattle/cattle.meat.html

http://www.grandin.com/meat/dkcut.html

From those articles:

"A majority of the dark-cutting in cattle is due to mounting behaviour"


...and now we can move this discussion over to The Woodpile :becky:

sdbbq1234
03-15-2013, 05:12 PM
From those articles:

"A majority of the dark-cutting in cattle is due to mounting behaviour"


...and now we can move this discussion over to The Woodpile :becky:

Alas, we digress.................

:tape:


wallace

G$
03-15-2013, 06:44 PM
From those articles:

"A majority of the dark-cutting in cattle is due to mounting behaviour"


...and now we can move this discussion over to The Woodpile :becky:

I was actually going to speicifically mention this, especially as it relates to brisket. I have heard it happen especially in a small or one off operation heading to slaughter.

Hawg Father of Seoul
03-15-2013, 08:03 PM
Depends on how long it's been frozen. I've had them like that - remember we're only seeing the surface.

And by the way it's antemortem not premortem:tongue:

Sorry dude. I know it's not very Latin friendly, but I got it from pathophysiology.

premortem- existing or taking place immediately before death

antemortem would also be correct, but less precise. :tape:

You are right, we are only seeing the surface. ALSO after they replaced it I would make it into pastrami and hit it several times.

Slamdunkpro
03-15-2013, 08:20 PM
Sorry dude. I know it's not very Latin friendly, but I got it from pathophysiology.

premortem- existing or taking place immediately before death

antemortem would also be correct, but less precise. :tape:

You are right, we are only seeing the surface. ALSO after they replaced it I would make it into pastrami and hit it several times.

In the medical profession it's perimortem - premortem is considered a slang term and not to be used but yeah hit the pastrami!

cmohr74
03-16-2013, 02:05 PM
I talked more in depth with the Rancher I've been dealing with couple hours ago. I told him some of what I came across and he said please don't believe for a second that his cattle or any others are allowed to run through that processing plant sick. He said there is such strict protocal that sick cattle are prohibited from even enter the plant and he would personally show me if I was in the area. He called a few of his experts to learn himself more about the scientific end of 'Dark Cutters' and "BignBurlyMan" hit the nail on the head with his links about the pH and the stress of the cattle. Thank you for setting me straight and clarifying this. This rancher has been extrememly helpful in making me understand more about what I'm cooking other than Beef Brisket. Despite not cooking my first Wagyu from him yet due to scheduling of family and work, just his willingness to help you and his customer service have been second to none.

bignburlyman
03-17-2013, 06:54 AM
I talked more in depth with the Rancher I've been dealing with couple hours ago. I told him some of what I came across and he said please don't believe for a second that his cattle or any others are allowed to run through that processing plant sick. He said there is such strict protocal that sick cattle are prohibited from even enter the plant and he would personally show me if I was in the area. He called a few of his experts to learn himself more about the scientific end of 'Dark Cutters' and "BignBurlyMan" hit the nail on the head with his links about the pH and the stress of the cattle. Thank you for setting me straight and clarifying this. This rancher has been extrememly helpful in making me understand more about what I'm cooking other than Beef Brisket. Despite not cooking my first Wagyu from him yet due to scheduling of family and work, just his willingness to help you and his customer service have been second to none.

Cudos to the rancher for following up, any respectable cattle grower only wants to provide the food chain with the highest quality product possible.