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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 09-25-2009, 01:43 PM   #1
Burk504
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Default Competing with Costco or Sams Club Ribs?

I am trying to decide if it is worth it for me to drive 40 miles to the nearest 'real' Butcher to get my ribs for comp in 2 weeks, or should I just buy the cryopac ribs from the Costco down the street?

Will I likely get a much better product from the butcher that will score higher?
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Unread 09-25-2009, 01:49 PM   #2
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Depends on the butcher, really.
We've won with Costco ribs, and I've seen "premium" butchers selling racks full of shiners at unbelievable prices that went sour in two days.

The Swift ribs that Costco sells are at least a fairly consistent product, so unless you have an established relationship with the butcher and know exactly what they have on offer...
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Unread 09-25-2009, 01:57 PM   #3
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most of the "real" butchers get their ribs cryovacked anyways, i dont think it would make that much of a difference, unless you knew your "real" butcher wasnt just reselling previously frozen ones
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Unread 09-25-2009, 02:10 PM   #4
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Also, most ribs will come from the same couple of pork produceers in each region even though they may be packaged or branded differently. Call the butcher and ask him where he gets his ribs and what the part number is. You might find out he sells the exact same ribs as Costco.
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Unread 09-25-2009, 02:57 PM   #5
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Agreed, most "butchers" just carve open a cryo pac like the ones you'll find at Costco.
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Unread 09-25-2009, 03:37 PM   #6
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We went to our local Butcher's ,a few weeks ago,to get a case of Ribs....I look at the date on box--ONE YEAR OLD???? When I asked about the date --He said he got them a better Price. Will dirve 50 miles to Rest. DePot.
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Unread 09-25-2009, 03:49 PM   #7
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I buy my ribs at Sam's. One time I had a pack of IBPs go sour, and Sam's replaced them with a 200% guarentee. I posted about it. Yes my back ribs to have shiners, but never more shiners than good ribs. I would not drive 40 miles. Buy an extra cryovac of ribs for the same money as insurance and eat the claim.
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Unread 09-25-2009, 04:13 PM   #8
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I've used Costco ribs and BJ's Wholesale Club ribs in comps, and for the first time, I am buying from a real butcher. We'll see how that goes...
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Unread 09-25-2009, 04:36 PM   #9
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The only issue I have with Sam's and Costco is the three pack. You can't tell anything about the middle rack and can only see the underside of the bottom rack. I end up buying two three packs just to get four good racks.
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Unread 09-25-2009, 04:58 PM   #10
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Costco or Sams both work
We have a Stater Bros Market
and the Butcher takes care of us there
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Unread 09-25-2009, 06:13 PM   #11
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Never had a problem with costco ribs; baby backs or Spares.
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Unread 09-25-2009, 06:25 PM   #12
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Last 4th of July I saw the local "butchers" truck in the parking lot at BJ's. I past him on his way out with a flatbed load of ribs. I don't know if he just ran out for the long weekend or if that's were he sources them....but I do know he gets twice the price!
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Unread 09-25-2009, 07:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
The only issue I have with Sam's and Costco is the three pack. You can't tell anything about the middle rack and can only see the underside of the bottom rack. I end up buying two three packs just to get four good racks.
That is the reason I never use Sam's any more.
3 pack only and the center one is a crap-shoot on quality.
Now, the good ones are great, but until they are single wrapped, I will pass.
I took 9 slabs one time and got 4 that I was happy with.

I know a guy who buys a boatload of Sam's ribs, breaks them open at home, re-packs the comp quality ones, and cooks the rest for vending/catering/etc.
That would work also.

I buy my ribs at a couple of local stores any time I find the quality I want. Then just keep them in the freezer for comps.
That is working just great for me, especially since I learned to cook good ribs this year

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Unread 09-25-2009, 10:32 PM   #14
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If you have access to a Rest. Depot, try them out. Usually a four pack for three money. Have been teal happy freshness and quality. Sam's seams to vary more and more. Less quality than 2-3 years back. We do the pick and sell deal with Sam's also.Steve.
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Unread 09-26-2009, 02:30 PM   #15
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At least at Cosco or Sam's club you can select your own to some degree. We have a long standing relationship with our butcher here in town. We've always placed our large meat orders plenty in advance, with instructions on exactly what we are looking for. We recently entered our first competition and set a date to pick up the meat order the day before we left. We were really disappointed when we got home and sorted out our goods to find out that the chicken pieces came from mammouth sized chickens. All the trimming they cound handle and six pieces could barely fit in the box. We had never been previously disappointed by this very experienced butcher with whom we had a great relationship. When it comes to any meat selection, you can only trust yourself. Where you buy doesn't matter, cause everyone has their own agenda and you never know what your butcher may try to pass off on you just because he dosen't want to loose the sale. Although you're talking ribs and I'm talkin' chicken, hope you get my point.
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