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View Full Version : Are St. Louis ribs the new wings?


Funky D
06-30-2011, 09:27 AM
I'm old, and cheap. That said...

Remember buying wings in the grocery store 10, 15 years ago? I used to pick up chicken wings for 29 cents a pound... hell, occasionally even cheaper! It's like the stores couldn't give them away...

Now, with so many different wing eaterys making them popular, here in Texas, I can barely get wings cheaper than boneless, skinless chicken breast (once considered the prime rib of the chicken).

Now, I'm sad to say, it's looking like St. Louis and full spares may be heading down that same road. Spares used to be on sale all the time, and by extension, St. Louis (the most popular "competition" rib). Now, they seem to rarely be on sale, but baby backs can be bought almost every other week for $1.99 a pound.

Is everyone seeing the same in their regions of the US? (International Bretheren, what are things like there?)

My cheapness is worried that with BBQ growing quickly in popularity, grocers are going to start charging through the nose for the cheap cuts of meat we work our magic on... I'm quickly becoming tired of baby backs, but gotta follow my wallet.

(Don't get me started on brisket either... used to be $.39 / pound, and now I'm paying 3 times that.. if I'm lucky)

Ashmont
06-30-2011, 09:43 AM
If and when gas prices go down the spares will go down. We are also in the begining of summer when they are at the highest. I usually stock up last week in Jan or first two weeks in Feb when pork is at the lowest and fewer people are BBQing. JMY2cents

SteerCrazy
06-30-2011, 09:47 AM
I always buy spares, I prefer them over baby backs plus they're cheaper. It's hard buyin 3 racks of spares for about $10 a rack but I have noticed the spares are A LOT meatier than last year, I don't know if anyone else has noticed that or I'm just gettin lucky :becky:

Randbo
06-30-2011, 09:52 AM
A friend in the meat business told me spares and bb would go up as summer goes on. Here on the southern Oregon coast BB are $3.99 and SR are $2.99. I don't get tired of BB though but I think that is because after two years I am just starting to get to some really good ribs so I need to do more spares to check them out again. A packer brisket 11 lbs was about $27.00 two weeks ago so OUch on learning how to cook them very often.

Funky D
06-30-2011, 09:52 AM
I always buy spares, I prefer them over baby backs plus they're cheaper. It's hard buyin 3 racks of spares for about $10 a rack but I have noticed the spares are A LOT meatier than last year, I don't know if anyone else has noticed that or I'm just gettin lucky :becky:

You may be getting lucky... the cheap spares in my area have been looking a little sickly. The odd thing is, pound for pound, I'm now getting more rib meat buying baby backs on sale (1.99 a pound vs 1.29 a pound for an untrimmed spare).

It's all seeming crazy to me. A cut of meat is cheap, someone learns how to turn it into something fantastic, and once that trend goes far enough, it's at boutique prices. aka, the "Skirt Steak" phenomenon. :P

ksmoker
06-30-2011, 09:53 AM
I feel ya...

I have one butcher with 45 min of me here in South Florida, they are a dying breed. He too charges way to much IMO. Too make matters worse, the only grocery chain around now is Publix after Albertsons and Winn Dixie closed down so now Publix is charging outragous prices!

2.99 per lb for spares
1.99 per lb for wings
4.99 per lb for flat cut brisket!!!
15.99 per lb for the worst looking lamb chops I have ever seen.

The list goes on...

I have complained to corp publix on several occassions.

SuperQue
06-30-2011, 09:56 AM
I've noticed the high prices too and I constantly check the newspaper ads for deals. I haven't bought any spare this yr because of that. I found spares last yr for $.99/lb but can't find it cheaper than $1.99/lb this yr. Usually the stores will go low on Memorial Day and the 4th to get you in the store and that's when I stock up. Not this yr I guess.

Q-Dat
06-30-2011, 10:10 AM
I guess its always been a cat and mouse game between the stores and BBQers. People take lesser cuts of meat and through trial and error learn how to make them wonderful! So then others learn how to do it and these cuts become popular. The market notices this and sees dollar signs and the price goes up.

I guess we have to find some even lesser cuts to Q. Problem is we're running out of cuts. I've been planning to see what I can do with Pork Neckbones.

chad
06-30-2011, 10:14 AM
Gotta watch the "sales" too. They'll hammer you. Alberton's likes to do a buy 1 get 2 "free" thing. Only thing is, they jack to price up to something like $9 per pound so they are still getting $2.99 per pound on the three slabs. :-D

wildflower
06-30-2011, 10:40 AM
Pork Neckbones

they go for $3.99 a pound here!!!!

Q-Dat
06-30-2011, 10:43 AM
Pork Neckbones

they go for $3.99 a pound here!!!!



Seriously??? That is nuts! I see them for $0.99 per lb here often!

che22879
06-30-2011, 10:48 AM
Spares are always cheaper her in so cal. I can get them at sams club for $2.50 a pound. Always nice quality meat! I can get them cheaper sometimes when they go on special at local supermarkets but the quality wont be the same.

Funky D
06-30-2011, 10:49 AM
I guess we have to find some even lesser cuts to Q. Problem is we're running out of cuts. I've been planning to see what I can do with Pork Neckbones.

Flash forward 7 years....

"Where are we going for dinner tonight dear?"

"Pack up the kids, we're going to Q-Dat's Neckbone emporium! 40 different flavors of BBQ neckbones! God... I hope they are running a special, or I'm gonna have to mortgage something."

Q-Dat
06-30-2011, 10:52 AM
Flash forward 7 years....

"Where are we going for dinner tonight dear?"

"Pack up the kids, we're going to Q-Dat's Neckbone emporium! 40 different flavors of BBQ neckbones! God... I hope they are running a special, or I'm gonna have to mortgage something."



Ya gotta wait and come on Tuesday night. Thats $0.50 Neckbone Night!

leanza
06-30-2011, 11:04 AM
Spares, $1.47lb at Stater Bros. right now. Normaly between two to three dollars a pound. BB's are always a lot more than the spares like around 3.50lb. Those currently on sale at 2.47lb.

Wampus
06-30-2011, 11:09 AM
I think this is attributed to a few things.....

1. It's summertime. More people are likely to do BBQ in the summer.
2. The law of supply and demand. More and more people are picking up this hobby. When they can't move a cut of meat, it's cheap. When more people buy it, it goes up.
3. Government regulation and the recent "Food Safety Bill" are going to make this ONLY get MUCH worse. Grocery prices in general are gonna skyrocket soon (IMHO). It's part of the Progressive agenda to "fundamentally transform" the US. Corn prices have gone up because they're burning it for farkin alternative fuel, so when corn goes up, so does the meat it feeds.

kingsnob
06-30-2011, 11:15 AM
Hmm, I may be mixed up here, but it is just he opposite here in Cleveland. I can get untrimed Spares for $1.99 a pound. St Louis Spares for $2.99 a pound, and baby Backs are like 3.99 to 4.99 a pound.

One thing to look out for. Yesterday I saw one of the local chains advertising Spares for $1.99 a pound for Cryo packs of three racks. Drove down expecting to stock up like I did over Memorial day.

Get there and the sign says prevously frozen ribs. I grabbed one and it was thawed!:doh: I guess no stocking up now.:evil:

John

jestridge
06-30-2011, 11:46 AM
Also all those cooking shows people are watching. I have notice pork butt have gone up also, but corn prices are coming down so that might help the pork prices some.

JD08
06-30-2011, 12:52 PM
I feel ya...

I have one butcher with 45 min of me here in South Florida, they are a dying breed. He too charges way to much IMO. Too make matters worse, the only grocery chain around now is Publix after Albertsons and Winn Dixie closed down so now Publix is charging outragous prices!

2.99 per lb for spares
1.99 per lb for wings
4.99 per lb for flat cut brisket!!!
15.99 per lb for the worst looking lamb chops I have ever seen.

The list goes on...

I have complained to corp publix on several occassions.Publix has spares on sale for $1.99 per lb this week.

Funky D
06-30-2011, 01:00 PM
Being a natural born cheapskate, I'm finding all this fascinating.

On another front, I feel guilty, as sale prices around here are roughly...

$1.29 for spares and brisket
$1.99 for baby backs
$0.99 for shoulders

I worked out a deal with my local butcher to take the spares, trim them into St. Louis, and charge me $1.99/pound for the resulting ribs. (granted, buying 20 racks).

God bless my garages deep freezer!

D

jestridge
06-30-2011, 01:23 PM
Cheap here also/old

Whitfield
06-30-2011, 03:03 PM
We are getting crushed on the retailer side too. If we want to provide a quality product we have to pay a premium for it. I own a small butcher shop and some of you guys are paying less for retail than we are for wholesale. :shock:

Cris
06-30-2011, 03:30 PM
I finally found a butcher deep in the country that will sell brisket at $2.97 \lb. IF you can find it around here, it is in the 4-5.00\lb range. Love brisket, but I can't afford too many $40-50 experiments to perfect my cooking of said brisket.So I get my brisket jones taken care of at a restaurant that is an hour away.

I am also envious of the prices you guys pay for charcoal. Home Depot, Lowes, etc have never had the two for one sales you guys expect. Kingsford is about .75\lb and it goes up from there. I was in a Loblaws store near my house, they wanted $9.10 \lb for babybacks!

flyingv4me
06-30-2011, 03:31 PM
Prices are so all over the board in Richmond that it's crazy! Sams or Costco usually have the meatiest and lowest prices. Our local Martins' prices are twice the price! I don't know how they sell anything.

jemezspring
06-30-2011, 04:33 PM
My local store has spares for $1/lb but they are huge and very lean. I can never get those things tender. Regular price for good st louis cut is $1.99/lb. Pork neck bones go for about .49/lb. They are very tasty and good for trying out different rubs/temps/sauces.

smokeyokie
06-30-2011, 06:55 PM
Ya gotta wait and come on Tuesday night. Thats $0.50 Neckbone Night!
That is just too Funny!!!! dont forget the turkey tails!!!!

Soybomb
06-30-2011, 09:06 PM
All food prices are going up between the corn & energy costs.

Last year good deals:
butt $.99
spares $2
brisket $2
loin $1.68

this year the best deals are:
butt $1.19
spares $2.19
brisket ...its rare to see anything under 3
back $3.50
loin $1.99

The sales seem to happen less this year too. I'm cooking more chicken breasts this year than last year, thats for sure. I used to get much better steak deals last year too.

BIGBrandon2785
06-30-2011, 09:54 PM
Spares are on sale for 2.99 at my butcher right now,still kinda expensive in my book but with out a doubt the best and meatiest spares ive found in STL.

LoneStarMojo
06-30-2011, 10:38 PM
Sometimes (and not always) it does really pay to watch the ads....Memorial Day weekend I picked up 4 butts at 69 cents a lb and 2 weeks later 2 more at 88 cents a pound....I just keep lookin....Tri-tips here in MO are usually 4.99 to 5.99 a lb....a lot of times I catch em at 3.19-3.49 a lb....I hear in Cali they are cheaper tho

caliking
06-30-2011, 11:00 PM
I'm old, and cheap. That said...

Remember buying wings in the grocery store 10, 15 years ago? I used to pick up chicken wings for 29 cents a pound... hell, occasionally even cheaper! It's like the stores couldn't give them away...

Now, with so many different wing eaterys making them popular, here in Texas, I can barely get wings cheaper than boneless, skinless chicken breast (once considered the prime rib of the chicken).

Now, I'm sad to say, it's looking like St. Louis and full spares may be heading down that same road. Spares used to be on sale all the time, and by extension, St. Louis (the most popular "competition" rib). Now, they seem to rarely be on sale, but baby backs can be bought almost every other week for $1.99 a pound.

Is everyone seeing the same in their regions of the US? (International Bretheren, what are things like there?)

My cheapness is worried that with BBQ growing quickly in popularity, grocers are going to start charging through the nose for the cheap cuts of meat we work our magic on... I'm quickly becoming tired of baby backs, but gotta follow my wallet.

(Don't get me started on brisket either... used to be $.39 / pound, and now I'm paying 3 times that.. if I'm lucky)


Go to HEB... now. I'm in Pearland - STL outrageous at $3.60+ per lb... but spares at $0.97 per lb. Score! I would have stocked up but don't have my chest freezer anymore :mad:

fedex
07-01-2011, 02:48 AM
Stater Bros: http://www.staterbros.com/Top-Menu/WeeklyAd.aspx