View Full Version : Berkshire Pork

01-07-2011, 10:16 AM
How many of you use Berkshire Pork when competing?

While in Iowa over the Christmas holidays I visited a company that sells Berkshire pork. I went to the processing plant and watched the whole process, much like an assembly line in an auto plant where everyone has one task to perform.

When I tried this product, wholly crap! I have never tasted pork this good. Wife parents, born and raised in Iowa also said they had never had such pork. I will be going around over the next month to see if there is a need for Berkshire pork in Alaska with the thoughts of being a distributor.

I brought home 120lbs of butts to try out over the winter and believe I will be using this upcoming summer.


01-07-2011, 10:40 AM
I've used them and done some extensive testing.

Very rich with all of the fat in them, incredible flavour that reall stands out. However I found that they were too rich for my taste and have opted for a different produce with heritage pigs 1/2 way between a commercial pig and a Berkshire.

I hate to say it but Berkshire is better suited for 5 star cooking, not something I would compete with.:tsk:

01-07-2011, 11:26 AM
I love heritage pork and am thrilled it's catching on in restaurants. We have tried Hampshire and Berkshire in competitions and decided it isn't the product I'm looking for. I found that the money muscle is absolutely riddled with fat. So much so I think it would be detrimental so I don't use it any more. On the 3 butts I've cooked there was a thick vein of fat going down the middle of my slices and even a pork fat lover like myself found it too much. I did think that my chunks / pulled coming off those butts was slightly better tasting but I was aware of the difference. I decided to test the Hampshire Vs. Costco boneless butts at two consecutive contests and kept everything the same (injections, rub, sauce, wood, charcoal, cooker, method). In the end, I beat the same % of the field with both products. Considering one cost me over $4 a pound and the other was $1.49 a pound I know which one I will continue to use.

My experience with Berk / Hamp ribs has been a mixed bag. I bought 8 racks (4 Hamp St. Louis Spares / 4 Berk babybacks) to try and every one of them had shiners so I have not tried them in a competition. The supplier I bought them from was obviously more concerned about the more valuable loin meat and belly. In my practice cooks there is minimal difference between what I'm getting at Costco or RD but that's my sampling from one supplier. I have come to the conclusion that with heritage pork I'm going to stick with simple preparations so that the meat shines. Between the rub, injection, and sauce there is little to no difference in my opinion. A pork chop on the other hand is a whole different story.

01-07-2011, 11:29 AM
I have to agree... There are times in competition that if a product is to far outside of the perceived flavor box, they'll score you down... It makes no sense but it happens..

I do love the taste and when I can afford it, I use it for family and friends...

Big Poppa
01-07-2011, 05:23 PM
I cook at home with it on nice occasions...we tried berkshire and didnt like it for comp especially the ribs very skinny

big matt
01-07-2011, 06:02 PM
I cook at home with it on nice occasions...we tried berkshire and didnt like it for comp especially the ribs very skinnySame here but our first time out we used them and pulled a 2nd outta 54..my jaw was on the floor!