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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 03-07-2009, 07:27 PM   #1
thirdeye
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Default Choice Angus Grain Fed at Sam's



Is your Sam's carrying this? I don't recall seeing it. I picked up a pack of stew meat to check out....$2.50/lb.
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Unread 03-07-2009, 07:28 PM   #2
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Grass fed or grain fed?
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Unread 03-07-2009, 07:33 PM   #3
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Grass fed or grain fed?
Oops, was thinking grain and typed grass. Correction made.
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Unread 03-07-2009, 07:34 PM   #4
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My Sam's switched to that for basically all their beef a little over a year ago. A little improvement for a lot of cuts, but not a huge difference. Biggest thing I ahve noticed is that the briskets are now always USDA Choice, every one of them.

IMHO, it was just to make the product more attractive. Maybe some consistency was desired too. I think it was overall a positive switch, but not a major improvement either, if that makes sense.
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Unread 03-07-2009, 07:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigabyte View Post
My Sam's switched to that for basically all their beef a little over a year ago. A little improvement for a lot of cuts, but not a huge difference. Biggest thing I ahve noticed is that the briskets are now always USDA Choice, every one of them.

IMHO, it was just to make the product more attractive. Maybe some consistency was desired too. I think it was overall a positive switch, but not a major improvement either, if that makes sense.
My Sam's has always had choice beef.....the briskets, tenderloins, chuck rolls, and whole loins are in cryo packs. Even the burger has the red/white/blue Choice label... I've just never seen the "Angus branded" meat like this before.

Safeway has their Ranchers Reserve Angus, which is just to catch the consumers eye. It's select beef.
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Unread 03-07-2009, 09:00 PM   #6
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There are no Sam's Clubs in Vermont. The closest one to me is across Lake Champlain in New York and is about two hours away if you get to the ferry on time. I'm not gonna be much help.
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Unread 03-07-2009, 10:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thirdeye View Post
My Sam's has always had choice beef.....the briskets, tenderloins, chuck rolls, and whole loins are in cryo packs. Even the burger has the red/white/blue Choice label... I've just never seen the "Angus branded" meat like this before.

Safeway has their Ranchers Reserve Angus, which is just to catch the consumers eye. It's select beef.
Interesting. I guess mine was jsut differnt before. My Sams prior to the change had either Choice or Select briskets. You ahd to look to see what you were getting. Nowadays though, they are always Choice. I still look out of habit though.
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Unread 03-08-2009, 09:07 PM   #8
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Chris - Which Sam's? For at least the last 5 years, Sam's has always carried "Choice or Better" graded meat.

They have launched the premium angus branding, the meat manager told us it was to give them a leg up on CostCo. They were hoping it would be a differentiator. they tested it in a couple markets last year, and I believe it is spreading to all the locations now.

You can differentiate based on packaging.... the "choice" is the blue labeling. In the Premium angus... the cryovac is black text, with USDA choice, and "Angus" on the cryovac. By the case, the label is brown and white and says premium angus choice or better.

In addition, some of the cuts are CAB - and have the CAB logo on the cryovac, and the black and white label in the case boxes.

I believe the Angus branded meat is supposed to be in the top 50% of choice.
The CAB is the top 8% of choice.

There are more and more of these sub-brands appearing, that guarantee a level above just "choice", edging you closer to prime. I think what it gets us is just a more consistent product. There is alot of variance between the bottom and top of "choice" beef... These angus branded products just raise the base bar - so you are staying away from the bottom end of choice.

Restaraunt depot is doing this as well... with "Superior Angus" branded beef. It too, is choice, but has a specification that to carry that brand tag, it has to be a notch above the entry standards for the choice grading.
So Chris, I would say, the Angus beef, is likely about the same as the meat they have always had... the occasional boxes of CAB cuts they get are nice. I have found the occasional Tenderloin, and Sirloin.... but they typically always have CAB flats. And those ROCK.
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Unread 03-08-2009, 09:32 PM   #9
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Despite all the labeling and marketing.......the hard thing to swallow (no pun intended) is the accuracy of the grading. Let's say a plant is processing 3,4 or 500 carcasses per hour. Color, firmness and looking at the marbling on just one cut between rib 12 and 13 happens pretty fast. Like less than 30 seconds. I would like to think that a prime beef stands out like a sore thumb. But, the borderline calls could go either way.

Camera systems, called instrument grading are slowly being placed into service, and it sounds like a computer makes the comparison to a known baseline and does the grading in a number of seconds.
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Unread 03-08-2009, 09:39 PM   #10
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Just find a local farmer who raises cattle and buy prime grade angus for 1.50/lb like me. It pays to discover. Meat packing plants pack s.h.i.t./ prime? who is to know/trust. I know when/where my freezer meat comes from. $0.02
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Unread 03-08-2009, 11:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoDeDo View Post
Chris - Which Sam's? For at least the last 5 years, Sam's has always carried "Choice or Better" graded meat.
I always shop my nearest one at 95th and Quivira. It was only jsut about 2 maybe 3 years ago that I picked up a couple briskets without looking and after getting home found one was stamped "Select" and the other "Choice". I had seen Selects in the bins a few other times prior to that even, but they generally were always choice. But some Selects would be mixed in from time to time. I'm not making this up. Kinda wish I had taken pics I guess!

I haven't seen the CAB's in the bin yet, but I'll be looking for sure. Thanks for the pointers, now I know what to look for. I'll have to ask the guy if they have any in the back if I don't see any, maybe that is the ticket for the CAB?
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Unread 03-09-2009, 12:04 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigabyte View Post
I always shop my nearest one at 95th and Quivira. It was only jsut about 2 maybe 3 years ago that I picked up a couple briskets without looking and after getting home found one was stamped "Select" and the other "Choice". I had seen Selects in the bins a few other times prior to that even, but they generally were always choice. But some Selects would be mixed in from time to time. I'm not making this up. Kinda wish I had taken pics I guess!

I haven't seen the CAB's in the bin yet, but I'll be looking for sure. Thanks for the pointers, now I know what to look for. I'll have to ask the guy if they have any in the back if I don't see any, maybe that is the ticket for the CAB?
That is where I usually hit. They have those CAB briskets about 50% of the time. A couple of the guys know what they are... the rest are kinda clueless... You have to ask for the cases with the black/white labels.

I guess a select could get shoved in by accident, I'd be mad as heck!
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Unread 03-09-2009, 12:15 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoDeDo View Post
That is where I usually hit. They have those CAB briskets about 50% of the time. A couple of the guys know what they are... the rest are kinda clueless... You have to ask for the cases with the black/white labels.

I guess a select could get shoved in by accident, I'd be mad as heck!
Now that I think about it, the two cases my dad and I picked up jsut the other day had black and white labels, but they are not marked CAB. I wish I'd taken a picture, I may be thinking of the wrong label.

I'll ask so I can lay my eyes on it, then I'll know!

I haven't seen ANY Select briskets since the switch to this Angus stuff about a year ago. It is always Choice, and IMHO, the product is more consistent. I used to complaing about inconsistent briskets from Sams a few years ago. Not any more.

then again, maybe it's just me getting better at brisket. Or both perhaps.
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Unread 03-09-2009, 04:48 PM   #14
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Two weeks ago I was in Sams Club, and I looked and their brisket flats (my Sam's doesn't carry packers) were all Certified Angus Beef, so I picked up one. So far, it's the best brisket I've done to date! Last week I checked again but they were all USDA choice. I guess you have to keep an eye out for CAB briskets. I don't know where to get CAB packers in western PA. Can anyone help me out here?

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Unread 03-09-2009, 07:10 PM   #15
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Was at my SAMs today looking for Choice packers and they accidentally received select packers. So I got the shaft today. While I was there I looked over the meat case and didnt see any CAB on any of the Beef. Maybe mine will switch out eventually.
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