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Pole D
06-19-2013, 03:56 PM
Just went to pick up a couple packages of Smithfield butts and noticed that the way they package them and the size of them has changed. They are much smaller then they used to be and the shape isn't great. We are talking around 6 pounds with maybe a 5-6 inch MM.

Anyone else run into this?

buttburnersbbq
06-19-2013, 06:39 PM
I have stopped buying Smithfield due to the sizes and the cuts looks as if a kid butchered the pig. The quality in my opinion has gone down hill lately.

dwfisk
06-19-2013, 06:46 PM
Yea, the last bunch of Smiths I bought were weird, got 8-9 pounders and 5-6 pounders in the same vac pac, so I guess they are pretty close to an 8 pound average, but a PITA to cook.

Jason TQ
06-19-2013, 07:06 PM
Yea, the last bunch of Smiths I bought were weird, got 8-9 pounders and 5-6 pounders in the same vac pac, so I guess they are pretty close to an 8 pound average, but a PITA to cook.

I see pretty much exactly this when I go to Sams and look at the Smithfield they have. I buy other stuff from Sams, but always look at their butts just for fun. There might be one decent 2 pack in the meat case and the rest have one big on and one smaller one. Also they are trapezoid shaped and taper smaller towards the money muscle end.

PeppermonkeyBBQ
06-19-2013, 07:48 PM
Just went to pick up a couple packages of Smithfield butts and noticed that the way they package them and the size of them has changed. They are much smaller then they used to be and the shape isn't great. We are talking around 6 pounds with maybe a 5-6 inch MM.

Anyone else run into this?

This raises a good question for us ... Did some side by side tests in the off season and smithfield actually came out really well ... but our Sams rarely carries them now, the brand they do carry did pretty crappy in our tests compared to others (can't think of the brand off hand) ... so if smithfield is now sucking, what is everyone using if they don't have their own personal magician of a butcher???

Untraceable
06-19-2013, 08:17 PM
It's not just Smithfield, check out this farmland butt.

http://i1294.photobucket.com/albums/b616/supertraining/null_zps51f3e785.jpg

Brother bought a case and they were so small and horrible he had to call farmland. Their standard for butts were something like 5-10 lbs. this weighed 4lb 8.9oz

Been a bad wave of 7lb loinbacks 3 packs everywhere here too

smokeinthenoke
06-19-2013, 08:25 PM
Same problem here. Bought a bunch of 5-6 lbers from Food Lion, only cause they were .99/lb. Noticed that the bin was all different sizes and weird cuts. I don't know what the brand is at Kroger, but they are very consistent and 8-10 lbs all the time.

MattG
06-19-2013, 08:42 PM
To me IBP still have the best butts. Haven't bought Smithfield in a while. I buy by the case and the butts would be anywhere from 3.5 - 9 lbs. It drove me crazy. IBP butts are usually the close to the same size.

Hawg Father of Seoul
06-19-2013, 08:48 PM
Yeah, but they have changed the IBP cut we get here, like in the last few weeks. Bet it varies by geography, but I was a little shocked with the last few cryo's I opened.

hogzillas
06-19-2013, 08:53 PM
Smithfield is now made in China :tongue:

dosvans
06-19-2013, 08:54 PM
I agree with MattG. Our Sam's alternates between Smithfield and IBP, and the IBP butts are larger and more similar in size.

indianagriller
06-19-2013, 09:05 PM
I guess this is when it pays to be sponsored by a butcher shop...:clap2:

Pole D
06-20-2013, 07:50 AM
Well at least now I know it wasn't just me seeing things. Thanks for the replies.

Just Pulin' Pork
06-20-2013, 09:09 AM
Could this have anything to do with commodity prices being so high? The farmer is selling sooner because it costs to much to feed these critters?

Uncle Buds BBQ
06-20-2013, 09:26 AM
but always look at their butts just for fun.

You still talkin' 'bout BBQ Jason? :lol:

Jason TQ
06-20-2013, 09:37 AM
You still talkin' 'bout BBQ Jason? :lol:

Sorry for the ambiguity. What I meant to say was "creepily look at their butts" :becky:.

Granny's Gang Barbeque
06-20-2013, 10:44 AM
This year, our Sam's Club started to carry the Smithfield Butts. I've never used them before. I don't seem to have a problemwith size. I can usually find a few 8-9 pounders. I have more of an issue with the fat content. During the post-cook pull I'm finding alot more pockets of fat within the meat. Very unappealling.

Lake Dogs
06-20-2013, 02:34 PM
I'm not defending Smithfield, but you should know they have multiple "lines" and they vary in quality and particularly in what they put IN them. There's "All Natural" which is pretty much just that, and then they have varying degrees of enhanced meat, some they say is "Self Basting". I'm thinking to myself: YUCK.

FlavorSavor
06-20-2013, 03:07 PM
Smithfield was a great Virginia company until recently. They sold out to China.

I noticed the smaller, hacked up, butts about 2 months ago. I bought 2 cases of them [bang head] at $1.21lb. Great deal....so I thought. I always had great luck with Smithfield, and thought maybe this was a flook.

Two weeks later I bought another case. Same thing. 5-6lbs average. The butts were hacked to pieces. Very disappointed.

I contacted Smithfield and provided photos of what I received. I got a response stating they were going to forward my email to some other department. I never heard anything further.

They've defiantly lost me as a customer, as if they really care.

https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/946960_247234035417954_961577372_n.jpg

Pole D
06-20-2013, 03:38 PM
^ Exactly the type of stuff I am seeing.

Packmanjim
06-20-2013, 08:27 PM
Could this have anything to do with commodity prices being so high? The farmer is selling sooner because it costs to much to feed these critters?

I think you nailed it.

boogiesnap
06-20-2013, 08:50 PM
Smithfield was a great Virginia company until recently. They sold out to China.

I noticed the smaller, hacked up, butts about 2 months ago. I bought 2 cases of them [bang head] at $1.21lb. Great deal....so I thought. I always had great luck with Smithfield, and thought maybe this was a flook.

Two weeks later I bought another case. Same thing. 5-6lbs average. The butts were hacked to pieces. Very disappointed.

I contacted Smithfield and provided photos of what I received. I got a response stating they were going to forward my email to some other department. I never heard anything further.

They've defiantly lost me as a customer, as if they really care.

https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/946960_247234035417954_961577372_n.jpg


:shock:

landarc
06-20-2013, 09:28 PM
It has nothing to do with China, as that sale has not yet been finalled.

It has something to do with getting a lot more young and underfed hogs in the market due to prices and...

the stores have an option as to what line of pork they bring in, and they are buying the cheapest option from Smithfield. I see this with Farmer John out here, I see folks getting great butts from them, but, I can never seem to find them, I find weird half-butts and such. Now, IBP has been very consistent for me, but, that is the brand carried by my local restaurant supply.

FlavorSavor
06-20-2013, 09:53 PM
I asked the grocery store meat manager where I buy my butts about different grades of Smithfield pork. He's been the meat guy for over 20 years. He had no idea what I was talking about.

boogiesnap
06-20-2013, 09:59 PM
I asked the grocery store meat manager where I buy my butts about different grades of Smithfield pork. He's been the meat guy for over 20 years. He had no idea what I was talking about.

is he the buyer? only that person would really have access to that kind of info.

FlavorSavor
06-20-2013, 10:51 PM
is he the buyer? only that person would really have access to that kind of info.

Yeah, he does the purchasing. This is a small locally owned and operated grocery store. They typically do not have an additional two cases of pork butts on hand, so I order my cases of meat days in advance. I would ask for Smithfield butts specifically because traditionally I'd get a nice product. When I read the above comments about lesser expensive options I gave him a call to clarify so we would not make this mistake again.

However, if someone has product numbers for better quality meat, I'm all ears. It's embarrassing to me to even have butts that look like that on my pit.

dmprantz
06-20-2013, 10:58 PM
Grocery stores typically acquire "commodity pork" which is the cheapest stuff they can get fit for human consumption. It's the production and finishing farms who decide what goes into that commodity pork, and grocery stores just take what they can get. Those farms acquire and breed stock based in part on what will give them "adequate" quality, but more than anything else, increase their profits the most. Different farms start with different stock, but in those cases, you're buying whatever people can get for the best price. Anything above the cheapest acceptable product is sold through different channels.

dmp

EDIT: I believe that Smithfield is the only retail brand which manages everything from the genetic breeding stock to the case, so they have an advantage in some areas, but it's the same process in the end. The stuff you buy in the store is whatever the can produce to provide the most profits while managing acceptable values for retail traits.