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Competition BBQ *On Topic Only* Discussion regarding all aspects of Competition BBQ. Experiences competing or visiting, questions, getting started, Equipment, announcements of events, Results, Reviews, Planning, etc. Questions here will be responded to with competition BBQ in mind.


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Old 03-15-2013, 06:35 AM   #1
cmohr74
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Default 'Dark Cutter' Brisket

I'm still a newbie to the BBQ world so I'm venturing to try many different things to figure out "My Style" of cooking for competitions and what works best. I have been venturing in the world of Wagyus and heard a term the other day that I've never come across, 'Dark Cutter'. I had shipped 6 Wagyu's, 5 of them a real rich red color; the 6th, it was much darker color that seemed off. It wasn't next to the dry ice, so I didn't think that had anything to do with it because the other 2 not in that container didn't have this color. I contacted the rancher to pick his brain and he said he sent me a 'Dark Cutter'? According to him, he said his friends in the piedmontese beef world said those are like finding the lucky pot of gold with the richness of flavor. He said if I didn't care for it or it wasn't to my liking, he would ship me out a new one at no cost. Long story short, has anyone heard of this term 'Dark Cutter' or experienced cooking one? Thanks for your feedback.
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:55 AM   #2
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Even if there is such a thing, it is according to the rancher, so rare you won't be practicing on a brisket you will be using again in competetion. I would take him up on his offer to replace it.

I can find no mention of a dark cutter brisket in a Google search.
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:00 AM   #3
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Default 'Dark Cutter' Brisket

Cook it!
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:00 AM   #4
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Also, Utility, Cutter and Canner are such a low grades that they are rarely used in anything but ground beef.
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:06 AM   #5
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Dark Cutter is a term used in beef slaughter, and it is a big discount price wise so it is not desireable. Here is a very brief description of it.

The 1995 National Beef Quality Audit (NBQA) reported that dark cutting beef carcasses (dark cutters) result in a loss of $6.08 per animal harvested in the United States (Smith et al., 1995). Dark cutters result from preharvest stress, which depletes muscle glycogen stores and thus reduces the glycogen needed to produce the lactic acid that reduces the pH of postmortem muscle. The abnormally high pH (>6.0) increases the light-absorption and water-binding abilities of postmortem muscle and results in an undesirable, dark, firm, and dry cut lean surface (Lister, 198. Even though this is understood at the clinical level, the stress factors that induce the condition are not as clear. Weather, growth promotants, genetics, disposition, and handling practices before harvest all may play a role in creating the dark cutting condition (Hedrick et al., 1959; Smith et al., 1993; Voisinet et al., 1997).
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:24 AM   #6
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You may like the way it tastes, but look at any pig genetics/breeder site. The "stress gene" has been identified in the porcine family. To the best of my knowledge (and the excerpt earlier) this pathway has not been identified in bovines.

You will always find stuff that some people will prize because it is rarer, but is in fact not worth a dam (sic).
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:51 AM   #7
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Also, we do all kinds of things in BBQ to make the beef more alkaline before cooking, this one is already more acidic. It is like it has already been marinating for weeks in a couple teaspoons of vinegar. It has the potential to be rubber, more so if aged.
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:00 AM   #8
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This is really interesting stuff.

Dan, is there any way you could post some pictures of the "dark cutter" brisket next to one of the others?

Thanks.
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:24 AM   #9
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2013-03-14_13-29-11_676.jpg

There was a small punture hole, which explains the frost, but the color difference was my first concern
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:50 AM   #10
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Wow! Big difference!

Thanks for posting the pic. This helps.

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Old 03-15-2013, 08:52 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bignburlyman View Post
Dark Cutter is a term used in beef slaughter, and it is a big discount price wise so it is not desireable. Here is a very brief description of it.

The 1995 National Beef Quality Audit (NBQA) reported that dark cutting beef carcasses (dark cutters) result in a loss of $6.08 per animal harvested in the United States (Smith et al., 1995). Dark cutters result from preharvest stress, which depletes muscle glycogen stores and thus reduces the glycogen needed to produce the lactic acid that reduces the pH of postmortem muscle. The abnormally high pH (>6.0) increases the light-absorption and water-binding abilities of postmortem muscle and results in an undesirable, dark, firm, and dry cut lean surface (Lister, 198. Even though this is understood at the clinical level, the stress factors that induce the condition are not as clear. Weather, growth promotants, genetics, disposition, and handling practices before harvest all may play a role in creating the dark cutting condition (Hedrick et al., 1959; Smith et al., 1993; Voisinet et al., 1997).

Very good info indeed!

Thanks.

wallace
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:46 AM   #12
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I asked around before I got some of these replies and got an interesting one from a local butcher who is a Master Butcher. Supposed that means he's wicked awesome with meat. Here is his response.

"Dark Cutter is a term we give to a piece of meat that has blood left in it from slaughter or that has been bruised It has an off flavor and where is it will not make you sick, I still would not eat it. Most butchers would not allow it out into the case let alone tell you it is very rare to get one and it's all good the most likely cause of a dark cutter is.....(and I hate to tell anyone
this) is that is was a sick cow that went down at the meat plant and could not get back up. The Dark Cutters come off the side it was laying on before the plant came over with a forklift and pick it up and helped it to the kill floor."

I contacted the Rancher I purchased all of these from and let him know what others have told me. I think it truly may be a case of he is not knowledged enough in the processing part to know better. He was relaying what he heard from others so I wanted to inform him of the truth. He apologized and is replacing it ASAP.
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:02 PM   #13
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I was told long ago by cattle trader that a canner or cutter may very well have been a down cow. I didn't mention it in my above response since I did not personally know it to be true.
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmohr74 View Post
I asked around before I got some of these replies and got an interesting one from a local butcher who is a Master Butcher. Supposed that means he's wicked awesome with meat. Here is his response.

"Dark Cutter is a term we give to a piece of meat that has blood left in it from slaughter or that has been bruised It has an off flavor and where is it will not make you sick, I still would not eat it. Most butchers would not allow it out into the case let alone tell you it is very rare to get one and it's all good the most likely cause of a dark cutter is.....(and I hate to tell anyone
this) is that is was a sick cow that went down at the meat plant and could not get back up. The Dark Cutters come off the side it was laying on before the plant came over with a forklift and pick it up and helped it to the kill floor."

I contacted the Rancher I purchased all of these from and let him know what others have told me. I think it truly may be a case of he is not knowledged enough in the processing part to know better. He was relaying what he heard from others so I wanted to inform him of the truth. He apologized and is replacing it ASAP.
Highlight in red in quote absolutly not accurate. Certain breeds of cattle may be more likely to be dark cutters, and cattle that are exciteable and have been chased around (stressed) have more instance of dark cutters. I work in a commercial cattle feedlot, and do the financial settlements for the cattle sold. Some lots of cattle might have 5 to 10 head of dark cutters. Like I said earlier, it is a BIG discount when a dark cutter goes through. Also, at major packers regulations now require any animal that is not mobile to be rejected and condemned.
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:22 PM   #15
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Here is another link to help explain.

http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/agricultur...blications/dcb

You don't hear much about this any more as meat processors will cull this out of their boxed beef before it gets to the stores.
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