View Full Version : Meat quality

Kung Fu BBQ
07-10-2007, 07:20 AM
Historically i always buy my meat at Costco or Sams for comps and large parties. I love a good deal. At the last comp I did I was forced to buy meat from Walmart cause there was nothing else in the area. It was damn expensive and didn't look to good either. The ribs and butt were a "solution" and honestly that word scares me.
I was talking shop at 3am... you know the talks, two guys standing in the middle of the road watchin temps, making conversation about bbq... and we started talking about meat sources I told him I picked mine up at Walmart this time and he was shocked.
Do you guys go the extra mile when buying "turn in" meat or do you treat them all the same. I can kinda see going that way with Brisket but not the pork or chicken. But maybe I'm just not seeing things correctly.

07-10-2007, 07:24 AM
I go to restaurant depot, good prices, nice meat, maybe they have one near you...


07-10-2007, 07:43 AM
Meat shopping is an on-going process for me, not a last minute dealie.

I select the best meat I can find and treat it with love from there.
It costs so damn much to compete that I just prefer to go in with the best quality I can find.
Of course, I can (and do) screw it up in a heartbeat from there :oops:

For everything but chicken, I shop and find the best cuts early. Does not hurt to freeze them.
CAB Brisket, aged, and frozen if needed. 70 miles one way for those suckers and the ribs.
Butts come from a local market and it takes 2 or 3 attempts to snag the right ones from the back room. I check on Mon and Thur morning as soon as they are off the delivery truck. Great ones are bought and frozen,
Ribs are from one producer, bought by the case. I pick 6 slabs or more of the best, vac-seal, and label "comp only".
Chicken is easy to find the last day or two.

I do not have to pay any premium for any of my meat. Very reasonable prices, in the scheme of things.

Lots of approaches to this.

Do what is best for you in your market area.


07-10-2007, 07:52 AM
i go the extra mile. I get all my meat from a specialty butcher shop here in KC. I can get 2 Briskets, 2 pork butts, 6 slabs of ribs and 20 fresh chicken thinghs for $150.00. This is what I budget for competition meat.

07-10-2007, 08:29 AM
I have started to forge a relationship with a local butcher, and I am getting better prices, and better meat. He does special orders for me, and is willing to search for items he does not carry. (Specifically Zebra, which I had roasted over an open flame in Kenya and loved)

For my practice BBQ I use Bj's ribs.

It also does not hurt to bring some BBQ his way.


07-10-2007, 10:41 AM
I agree with most of the other posts. Try and go the extra mile. Sams and Costco are towards the bottom of where I would want to shop but I have bought a lot of meat there. At least the briskets are choice. Wal-Mart sells select grade briskets.

Since you are in KC we have some decent places to buy meat. I have bought a lot of meat at McGonigles. They are a little pricier but not by much and they also have a great selection of rubs and sauces.


07-10-2007, 10:52 AM
For everything but chicken, I shop and find the best cuts early. Does not hurt to freeze them.
CAB Brisket, aged, and frozen if needed. TIM

Tim, I have always had the opposite impression about freezing meet being harmful to the final product. Don't want to highjack this thread, so I will start a new thread on the subject. http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=29190

Like always, a lot of things I assume turn out to be wrong in the end. :mrgreen:

07-10-2007, 10:54 AM
Here in the Madison area we are pretty lucky to have a meat wholesaler with a walk in store. Butts and brisket need to be "ordered" a day in advance, ribs are always in stock. None of it is enhanced. Pretty good quality. Butts run $1.39, Brisket $1.89, ribs $1.99, I buy chicken at the local grocery stores.
Check your yellow pages, you might find something similar.

07-10-2007, 01:17 PM
I use a local restaurant supply for CAB and my ribs the ribs are very good quality and I can get them already St Louis cut.

butts a fire
07-10-2007, 03:42 PM
I am with the original poster I hit the local sams for my meat. From my experiences with meat from a butcher I can not tell any difference in the finished product but maybe that is just my cooking :lol:. I do say though to go with the best quality that you can afford but don't break the bank getting CAB when a choice brisket will do just about the same job.

07-10-2007, 05:27 PM
I try to get the best meat available, if it's at Wal-Mart then so be it. I'm lucky that I can get good quality meat for most contests. Remember "you can't make chicken salad with chicken chit"

07-10-2007, 07:31 PM
I know most of the local butchers at the grocery stores. Then when it comes to Sams and COSTCO, I get what they have because it is usually pretty good looking. That said, I do get my pick and if they don't have what I like, I send them into the back for more.

07-11-2007, 01:57 PM
I'm starting to get to know my local butcher and really like the products I'm getting from him. Just better all around the table, Way better Lump, (B and B brand) better brisket and way better ribs from what I can get locally. The Tyson boston butts that walmart sells I honestly think are better, and I haven't made my mind up on chicken yet.