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SpicemanJames
01-15-2014, 05:28 PM
Okay guys some of you might know me but after making seasonings, and injection seasonings for the meat industry, competition cookers, and smokehouses for more than 20 years I am getting into the competitions this year. My question is what brand meat should I use for the cook-offs, or does it really matter?

ckelly
01-15-2014, 05:35 PM
For me, brisket should be higher quality, prime or above.

Pork I generally buy from wholesalers (Costco, Cash & Carry, RD) again, not really focused on brand, but more the appearance of the meat itself.

Chicken ... heh. Don't get me started.
Some might say smart chicken, I buy whatever looks good at the store.

SpicemanJames
01-15-2014, 05:44 PM
So I shouldn't spend the money on wagyu beef or other brands like that? Just go with what looks good?

ckelly
01-15-2014, 05:54 PM
So I shouldn't spend the money on wagyu beef or other brands like that? Just go with what looks good?


I WOULD spend the money on waygu, but not spend the extra money on say ... berkshire or duroc pork.

Smart chicken doesn't cost much more than regular chicken, it just might be hard to come by. If it were easily accessible, I'd give it a whirl, see how it works for you. Most people have good luck with it.
I have good luck with regular chicken.

To each their own I guess!

Indybbq
01-15-2014, 06:15 PM
I've found that ribs and pork butt from restaurant depot are consistent whenever I've gone there. That's important to me when looking for good pork. If you're a member of KCBS you'd have access to RD.

SpicemanJames
01-15-2014, 06:24 PM
I am a member of restaurant depot, thanks for the info.

sdbbq1234
01-15-2014, 07:03 PM
IMHO, if you are just getting started in the competition arena, I would try using choice briskets to start with. Usually, a LOT cheaper than prime or Wagyu. Gives you a chance to get used to the whole comp style. Pork, I really only have a few places here where we live to pick from. I usually end up purchasing from Wegmans or Sams. Ribs, I get those from Costco (Farmland brand). Chicken, Holly Farms from the local grocery store. I will look into some other brands that do not have as much fat on the skin.

My $.02.

Oh, BTW, best of luck!:thumb:

wallace

Scottie
01-15-2014, 07:23 PM
If folks think that by cooking a Wagyu means you will cook a good brisket just doesn't work. If you don't know how to cook brisket, Wagyu is not the way to go. Not saying you can't cook either. Wagyu is not the same to cook as other brisket grades and A LOT of guys waste money buying them with the thought it will make them a better cook. I'd start with a choice or a prime, just depends on cost. Don't spend over $100 on a brisket and finish in mid pack. If you are looking to get your expenses back, usually you will have to hit in the top 5 to recoup your money in prize money

SpicemanJames
01-15-2014, 08:04 PM
If folks think that by cooking a Wagyu means you will cook a good brisket just doesn't work. If you don't know how to cook brisket, Wagyu is not the way to go. Not saying you can't cook either. Wagyu is not the same to cook as other brisket grades and A LOT of guys waste money buying them with the thought it will make them a better cook. I'd start with a choice or a prime, just depends on cost. Don't spend over $100 on a brisket and finish in mid pack. If you are looking to get your expenses back, usually you will have to hit in the top 5 to recoup your money in prize money

I know a lot of competition guys, Cricle R Cookers, Jambo's, Talk Texan have all been very helpful, wow between all of them I can't count the number of years they have been cooking. I don't think I would be doing this if it wasn't from their encouragement. I do know they like to buy the good stuff on the big competitions.:thumb:

indianagriller
01-16-2014, 12:13 AM
I know a lot of competition guys, Cricle R Cookers, Jambo's, Talk Texan have all been very helpful, wow between all of them I can't count the number of years they have been cooking. I don't think I would be doing this if it wasn't from their encouragement. I do know they like to buy the good stuff on the big competitions.:thumb:

The "good stuff" is what they know and can cook consistently and turn in a great product. I have cooked Wagyu, prime, etc... 1st place brisket was off of a 18lb choice that was wet aged 48 days... the next weekend Australian Wagyu 24th brisket... same cook different results... Find something that is consistent and cook that until you cant get it wrong... then worry about what everyone else is cooking...

CBQ
01-16-2014, 06:28 AM
Wagyu is like basketball shoes. Fancy shoes are not going to turn you into Lebron, and Lebron can still beat you in a 1:1 with cheap ass shoes.

If you are on your game, though, it can give you an edge. Search for 'night train' here, get good with a CAB brisket (or Superior from RD) and if you can get a call with it, then you can try dropping $150 on a brisket.

As others said, commodity meats are fine for other categories. Look for large chicken thighs, meaty ribs, and pork with a nice looking money muscle. You can Google money muscle to see pix of what people are looking for.

Kave Dweller
01-16-2014, 09:58 AM
usually you will have to hit in the top 5 to recoup your money in prize money

I'm with him, I didn't spend $75 for both briskets at any comp this year. You just have to find a place that has a ton of briskets to choose from and spend your time looking for the good ones. I do fairly well (3 top 10s in 5 comps) in brisket with $2.30lbs resturant depot briskets.

ShencoSmoke
01-16-2014, 11:54 AM
You are getting good advice regarding the brisket^^^^. I struggle with the "to Wagyu or not to Wagyu" question. For me it is a matter of money, $35 Choice vs. $100+ makes a big difference for me. Here were my brisket finishes the last 7 comps of 2013, 11th, 5th, 7th, 4th, 3rd, 5th, and 6th, all with choice except for one and it was prime. Now obviously there is a "good not great" trend there and maybe Wagyu would have put me up one more level to consistent top 3's, who knows? If I would have cooked wagyu I may have won more $ to offset the cost, who knows? It is a decision you have to make, but I agree with the others, start with Choice and work your way up. Good Luck

SpicemanJames
01-16-2014, 09:03 PM
Thanks all for you advice :clap2: I look forward to meeting you all, if I can.

WineMaster
01-17-2014, 07:00 AM
IMO Cook the highest quality brisket you can. You can cut some corners with the other 3 categories.

didisea
01-17-2014, 12:26 PM
I think I'd rather cook 2 choice packers than one Wagyu. You just have to jump in and swim, and figure out what works for your cooker, cooking style, and budget. As long as your brisket is choice or higher, you should do fine.

One thing is to look at your meat closely before buying to check for gashes in the brisket. I've also had gashes in pork butts too, so just look at the meat closely before buying.