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View Full Version : Serious question about enhanced meat and an apology.


Mo-Dave
06-12-2012, 01:58 PM
I should probably have made this two different topics but I feel bad and need to apologies for a comment I made in a previous post. After reading it I realized how condescending it sounded of me and I am sure others here may have viewed it that way. It was a reference I made about, "no such thing as bad/tough meat just cooks that don't know how to prepare it". This just did not come out as I had intended and was not directed at anyone, just a stupid statement on my part and I have not felt right about it. Please accept my apology.

Just to show you, I don't think I know all there is to know about meat or any food for that matter, I have a question about enhanced meat.

I know when I want to make a pastrami I will soak and rinse the corned beef repeatedly to remove a lot of the salt same goes for buckboard bacon. My question, could I do the same with enhanced meat to remove at least some of the solution. for instance like a previous post talks about ribs tasting hammy because of the solution injected, could this procedure work for that as well?

I can't personally remember any enhanced meat tasting like that but I do worry about the salt content and how I use my rub on them. Any thoughts on doing this.
Dave

landarc
06-12-2012, 02:01 PM
Yes, soaking will remove additional sodium, not all of it though. I suppose the issue is can enhanced meat be avoided or not. I suspect that at a certain price point, it cannot be avoided, as sodium is such a good tool for extending the meat's shelf life.

caseydog
06-12-2012, 02:06 PM
There are different levels of enhanced meat. I have purchased ribs that were enhanced "up to 8-percent" and I didn't notice any difference. I've also cooked pork that was enhanced "up to 15-percent" and I did notice a minor change in texture.

As for soaking it out, I don't know if it would help, even if it worked. It depends if the changes in the meat happen before or during cooking of the enhanced meat, if that makes any sense.

CD

nthole
06-12-2012, 02:17 PM
I was buying some ribs and butts this weekend and noticed it said nothing about being enhanced. So I assumed it's not 'enhanced'. But then, to CDs point about the different levels of enhancement, is there a certain amount of enhancement (sodium/water) that can be done without labeling the meat as enhanced? Just wondering.

Mo-Dave
06-12-2012, 02:17 PM
Yes, soaking will remove additional sodium, not all of it though. I suppose the issue is can enhanced meat be avoided or not. I suspect that at a certain price point, it cannot be avoided, as sodium is such a good tool for extending the meat's shelf life.

For me, I can't remember the last time I came across ribs, brisket, pork butt or chicken along with many other meats that were not enhanced unless I buy from a butcher shop doing its own butchering. As said I have never encountered an off taste with these but do worry about excessive amounts of salt and thought about soaking and rinsing for that reason and not so much taste.

Now lets throw the subject of organic products in the mix. It would seem, due to pour government regulation, organic does not in most cases really mean organic but it can be labeled as such. Ok I just put that out for a heads up to those that think they are getting the real deal, even if bought from a local farm.
Dave

MS2SB
06-12-2012, 02:24 PM
The USDA requires that any meat that has been enhanced be clearly labeled on the front of the package along with the ingredient list.
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Factsheets/Water_in_Meats/index.asp#2

Mo-Dave
06-12-2012, 02:26 PM
I don't remember seeing more than 12 % and don't know what % can be used with out it being on the label or if it has to be on the label no matter how much is used. Maybe someone in the industry can address this.
Dave

Mo-Dave
06-12-2012, 02:29 PM
The USDA requires that any meat that has been enhanced be clearly labeled on the front of the package along with the ingredient list.
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Factsheets/Water_in_Meats/index.asp#2

I did not read the sit but it will probably answer my question about %.
Dave

MS2SB
06-12-2012, 02:30 PM
According to the USDA fact sheet it has to be labeled regardless of the %. Best advice is that if you're meat has an ingredient list than it has been modified to some extent by the producer.

Bludawg
06-12-2012, 02:34 PM
While it will remove some of the sodium the texture will still be Mush. Much easier to let the retailer know he can keep it and why and go else where.

Lake Dogs
06-12-2012, 02:34 PM
Dave,

I've had really bad luck getting enhance meat to be like unenhanced; even soaking... The only ribs/butts I've ever had close were Smithfields with a red label "All Natural". Not ANY of their others, just the "All Natural". They weren't terrible. I rinse the butts, and I soak the ribs overnight in AJ, water, and woosy....

Now I pretty much get them from a local butcher, fresh.

Lake Dogs
06-12-2012, 02:35 PM
I don't remember seeing more than 12 % and don't know what % can be used with out it being on the label or if it has to be on the label no matter how much is used. Maybe someone in the industry can address this.
Dave

I've seen some Smithfield brand stuff labeled 25%...

ssbbqguy
06-12-2012, 02:45 PM
Farmland, Tyson both can be pretty high on the percentage also. We've been finding a few unenhanced spares, not BBs though. As mentioned if it is part of the process, it must be listed. When I cook high percentage numbers, I season within an hour of cooking and lessen the hamminess effect. Ones with a salty rub will have that over brined effect when rub is left on for longer periods of time. Steve.

Mo-Dave
06-12-2012, 03:14 PM
I've seen some Smithfield brand stuff labeled 25%...


That just sounds really really bad and if I noticed it I am sure I would not go there.
Dave

Mo-Dave
06-12-2012, 03:17 PM
While it will remove some of the sodium the texture will still be Mush. Much easier to let the retailer know he can keep it and why and go else where.

I wonder if you let them sit in a fridge and air dry for what ever time it took, would they firm up and not be as mushy. Just thinking out load.
Dave

MS2SB
06-12-2012, 03:20 PM
I've been thinking that for those without access to non-enhanced meat it may be best to make rubs without salt. That way you can add your spices with the same generosity that you normally would and adjust the salt used based on the amount of enhancement.

pueblo
06-12-2012, 03:24 PM
For me, I can't remember the last time I came across ribs, brisket, pork butt or chicken along with many other meats that were not enhanced unless I buy from a butcher shop doing its own butchering. As said I have never encountered an off taste with these but do worry about excessive amounts of salt and thought about soaking and rinsing for that reason and not so much taste.

Now lets throw the subject of organic products in the mix. It would seem, due to pour government regulation, organic does not in most cases really mean organic but it can be labeled as such. Ok I just put that out for a heads up to those that think they are getting the real deal, even if bought from a local farm.
Dave

That's right. Twenty years ago I owned a large (20,000 s.f.) health food store. We were very diligent about our organics, including meat. The government wasn't involved in "certifying" then. Now, the government's certified organics are NOTHING like what we sold in the day ... not even close.

landarc
06-12-2012, 03:45 PM
On the other hand, at least around hee, many of the products are produced by growers who put their name behind their produce and meats, that you can actually go and meet them and see their operations. Often they use seperate certifying organizations to prove their worth.

In a lot of ways, it is easier than ever for me to get good clean foods.

Mo-Dave
06-12-2012, 03:49 PM
That's right. Twenty years ago I owned a large (20,000 s.f.) health food store. We were very diligent about our organics, including meat. The government wasn't involved in "certifying" then. Now, the government's certified organics are NOTHING like what we sold in the day ... not even close.

I am not totally up on it. It seems there are several different levels of what can allow a product to be labeled organic, from completely organic or just some small procedure taken, that will allows the producer to label it organic. Most see organic and never realize it is not as organic as they are led to believe
Dave

landarc
06-12-2012, 03:54 PM
Once the USDA got involved there were two things that really changed.

1. The term organic on food became regulated, and for the first time, it became clear what the label meant, if you were willing to study it.

2. What became clear, was that large companies were able to influence what was not to be considered 'organic' and some loopholes were put in that allowed non-organic methods, which allowed for larger scale factory farming to occur.

Mo-Dave
06-12-2012, 03:57 PM
On the other hand, at least around hee, many of the products are produced by growers who put their name behind their produce and meats, that you can actually go and meet them and see their operations. Often they use seperate certifying organizations to prove their worth.

In a lot of ways, it is easier than ever for me to get good clean foods.

Yes if you can get up close and personal with a grower, then it should be much easer to know what is going into the products you are putting into your body. Many don't have the time or good fortune to do that and must depend on honest advertising. I admit, in my case I could do this but color me lazy I guess.
Dave

pueblo
06-12-2012, 04:13 PM
I still buy chicken from the supplier we used when I had my store, and I know where all the local organic farms are for produce ... real organic produce. Beef and pork? Still looking. Not that easy.

dadsr4
06-12-2012, 04:23 PM
My local gordon food service has started carrying fresh unenhanced ribs and other meats.You might try looking there. I've also found them at Save-A-Lot.

ButchB
06-12-2012, 04:46 PM
Are the ribs from Restaraunt Depot enhanced?

Pitmaster T
06-12-2012, 04:58 PM
The only thing I have to say is there is no such thing as bad or tough meat; just cooks that don't know how to prepare it right. Now knowing what it is you are getting goes a long way to knowing how to prepare it. So I would like to add, there is no such thing as a bad meat, just people who are not experienced enough to know how to tell good meat from bad and enhanced meat, being what it is, is elementally "bad" so it all would be bad by default and not capable fo being "good." In the case of enhanced meat there is no such thing as a bad enhanced meat; just people stupid enough to actually use it, not recognize it, and or not a cook enough cook to prep these meats to the zenith of their ability (the meat's ability).

That being said, I was fooled once... bad occurance and I was never stupid enough to let it happen to be again. There is a rule everyone that caters BBQ should make sure is their rule or they will eventually get burned. Thats the day someone talks you into being a pitmaster for an event, and also talks you into approving that they will get the meat for you. What a freakin nightmare. I prepped 80 slabs of damn enhanced ribs that they had already unpackaged. Enhanced look and smell different than non enhanced and it only took that ONE time to learn. Once the ribs are done you cannot generally blame the meat even if it is enhanced. No one will let you off the hook. Luckily my customers, yankees mixed with a few Northern KCBS eaters thought they were gold. But that was because I cooked them hot and fast and without foil to get rid of most of that crap. But I knew... hammy. I wish I had of soaked them.

Mo-Dave
06-12-2012, 06:31 PM
The only thing I have to say is there is no such thing as bad or tough meat; just cooks that don't know how to prepare it right. Now knowing what it is you are getting goes a long way to knowing how to prepare it. So I would like to add, there is no such thing as a bad meat, just people who are not experienced enough to know how to tell good meat from bad and enhanced meat, being what it is, is elementally "bad" so it all would be bad by default and not capable fo being "good." In the case of enhanced meat there is no such thing as a bad enhanced meat; just people stupid enough to actually use it, not recognize it, and or not a cook enough cook to prep these meats to the zenith of their ability (the meat's ability).

That being said, I was fooled once... bad occurance and I was never stupid enough to let it happen to be again. There is a rule everyone that caters BBQ should make sure is their rule or they will eventually get burned. Thats the day someone talks you into being a pitmaster for an event, and also talks you into approving that they will get the meat for you. What a freakin nightmare. I prepped 80 slabs of damn enhanced ribs that they had already unpackaged. Enhanced look and smell different than non enhanced and it only took that ONE time to learn. Once the ribs are done you cannot generally blame the meat even if it is enhanced. No one will let you off the hook. Luckily my customers, yankees mixed with a few Northern KCBS eaters thought they were gold. But that was because I cooked them hot and fast and without foil to get rid of most of that crap. But I knew... hammy. I wish I had of soaked them.

I think I agree with most of what you said, since that is what I basicly said originally, I just thought it was in pour taste to post that remark were I did.

If I did not eat enhanced meat I would be limited to fish most of the time in my area. Both butchers in my area are not very knowledgeable. I actually had to explain what a St Louis cut rib was. I even trimmed one for both of them to show what I met, they had no clue. I have given up on trying to get a decent brisket from them, they just did not understand what it is.

I have always known I would not let someone else buy meat they wanted cooked by me, for them, now if they want to go to a shop with me and let me pick it out and they pay for it fine. Heck I don't like it much when I have been given meat just for me to use for myself.
Dave