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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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Unread 05-06-2009, 03:23 PM   #1
comfrank
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Default Berkshire pork -- worth it?

One of the ways we're trying to get our competition scores up is to improve the quality of our meat. My wife has been wanting me to try Berkshire pork (the black pigs). I'll have to get it online. The place I'm looking at sells 7lb bone-in butts for $32. That's kind of pricey. But I googled "Berkshire pork and BBQ" and discovered that Mike Davis of Lotta Bull BBQ uses Berkshire pork exclusively. If someone with that much pit cred uses it, I have to at least consider it.

Is there anyone out there who is using or has tried Berkshire pork? What are your experiences? Is it worth the cost difference?

Thanks,

--frank in Wilson, NY
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Unread 05-06-2009, 03:28 PM   #2
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Check out Rod Grey's blog, he has some comments about that question...
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Unread 05-06-2009, 03:52 PM   #3
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http://pelletenvy.blogspot.com/search?q=berkshire

This the site? Can't find the post, please share if you have a direct link.

I can't speak to using it for competition cooking, or even bbq in general. But from the limited experience I've had with Berkshire (and other heirloom hog breeds) I would definitely think it is something worth investigating.
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Unread 05-06-2009, 03:56 PM   #4
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We've had this discussion on here before, and in the past it has been pretty good. My opinion is that if you start with a superior cut of meat is increases your margin for error with everything else, thus increasing your chances of winning. Is Berkshire and other heritage breeds superior meat compared to the "other white meat"? That is up for debate--my opinion is yes. If you assume the above--is that worth the cost (usually double)? That depends on your budget and how much you believe in the above. For every Mike Davis out there there is a Rod Gray or Johnny Trigg whom, though equally, if not more successful than Mike, have never even considered it.

Btw-You can apply this same debate to the subject of Wagyu Beef. It has also been discussed before on this forum.
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Unread 05-06-2009, 06:02 PM   #5
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It was from march 30th, he says he cooks with regular meat, no wagu, berkshire, etc...
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Unread 05-06-2009, 08:43 PM   #6
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When I took his class he said the same thing. Basically the judges aren't used to it. I used Berkshire butts last year and kobe briskets. Not enough of a difference to pay the extra. Luckily last year with the price of meat the cost wasn't too much different. The brisket cooked much faster.
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Unread 05-06-2009, 09:16 PM   #7
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i have used berkshire, duroc, and a few other small brands. if you are in a grilling comp and want to use it for chops or loins, there is a huge difference. when we did ribs and butts, by the time they smoked out for 4 and 10 hours, it was a waste of money. the big name teams that use it have sponsors and do not pay for the meat. try it once and judge for yourself, i stopped because investment verse results were not worth it. i bought ribs from bjs and took 1st out of 92 teams two weeks ago, there was a great team there with the same basic cokking style that used bershire and they were in the bottom half. remember who you are feeding! sorry if there a lot of typos i am using a mini lap top.
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Unread 05-06-2009, 09:18 PM   #8
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Mike gets paid to cook that stuff and gets it for free.
He just started cooking with it recently, but his bigs wins have all come with out it.
Buy what you want, but don't think you'll win just because you are using magic pork.
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Unread 05-06-2009, 10:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neal View Post
Mike gets paid to cook that stuff and gets it for free.
He just started cooking with it recently, but his bigs wins have all come with out it.
Buy what you want, but don't think you'll win just because you are using magic pork.
In other words its the cook, not the meat that will win you competitons?
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Unread 05-07-2009, 07:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Pulin' Pork View Post
In other words its the cook, not the meat that will win you competitons?

Its actually the sauce and the rub you buy!!!!
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Unread 05-07-2009, 09:28 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OC PIG ASSASSINS View Post
Its actually the sauce and the rub you buy!!!!
And the trailer you have, color of thermapen, and if you use a Cambro...
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Unread 05-07-2009, 02:32 PM   #12
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ive tried it and think Berkshire produces a more moist end product. The butts from IBP, etc.are way too lean nowadays IMO (which necesitates products like Fab P or Butcher BBQ injections for comps).
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Unread 05-07-2009, 03:45 PM   #13
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I cooked Birkshire ribs in a KCBS contest two years ago and lost, but it was to Myron Mixon and Jack McDavid.

Got really good scores for our dog & pony show but I think the difference in flavor hurt a little. Definitely a porkier taste. And they were fattier than what I normally cook so they got almost too tender fast. I love Birkshire pork shoulders, just not sure I'd use them in competition.
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Unread 05-07-2009, 10:25 PM   #14
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dont think its worth it
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Unread 05-07-2009, 10:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokeInDaEye View Post
I cooked Birkshire ribs in a KCBS contest two years ago and lost, but it was to Myron Mixon and Jack McDavid.

Got really good scores for our dog & pony show but I think the difference in flavor hurt a little. Definitely a porkier taste. And they were fattier than what I normally cook so they got almost too tender fast. I love Birkshire pork shoulders, just not sure I'd use them in competition.
"Dog and Pony Show" at a KCBS event?!?!?!?
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