Brisket prices down? (july 2020)

Brad S

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Was walking through the meat dept at Sam's club and found USDA prime brisket for 2.73 a pound. This a fluke or are you guys seeing this too?
 

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Was walking through the meat dept at Sam's club and found USDA prime brisket for 2.73 a pound. This a fluke or are you guys seeing this too?
Right now there is a glut of USDA Prime beef in the market. I suspect it is due to the backlog of processing beef at the slaughter houses during the early days of the pandemic.

I looked at the ones at Sam’s club and they looked good. However, I Just ordered and received a packer brisket 20# untrimmed, from my local butcher for $3.99 a pound and was able to select size and how I wanted it trimmed.

From experience, the availability of USDA Prime at low prices varies seasonally and by demand — right now many fine dining restaurants are closed or running at reduced capacity due to the COVID-19 impact— so I always order, vacuum seal and freeze Porterhouse, Strips, Ribeyes and tenderloins when opportunity knocks.
 
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Brad S

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Right now there is a glut of USDA Prime beef in the market. I suspect it is due to the backlog of processing beef at the slaughter houses during the early days of the pandemic.

I looked at the ones at Sam’s club and they looked good. However, I Just ordered and received a packer brisket 20# untrimmed, from my local butcher for $3.99 a pound and was able to select size and how I wanted it trimmed.

From experience, the availability of USDA Prime at low prices varies seasonally and by demand — right now many fine dining restaurants are closed or running at reduced capacity due to the COVID-19 impact— so I always order, vacuum seal and freeze Porterhouse, Strips, Ribeyes and tenderloins when opportunity knocks.
Interesting. Is it possible that prime is cheaper than choice? I went back to Sams today and all they had was choice at twice the price. Was disappointed. Also, how well does vacuum seal preserve the steaks for long-term? I'm thinking about getting one if it makes that much of a difference.
 

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Interesting. Is it possible that prime is cheaper than choice? I went back to Sams today and all they had was choice at twice the price. Was disappointed. Also, how well does vacuum seal preserve the steaks for long-term? I'm thinking about getting one if it makes that much of a difference.
As I said, timing is everything. Given that only about 2% of all beef is rated Prime, it is not surprising that places like Sam’s and BJ’s vary on when and what amount they have it; especially since most of Prime beef ends up in high end restaurants and hotels, and they need to compete on price.

Even my sources — a wholesale meat processor and a local meat market that specializes in high-end protein — have periodic shortages...

Just keep checking and meanwhile the good news is that even USDA Choice Brisket will come out fine on a SmokeFire IF It is done low and slow.

BTW, I can vacuum seal USDA Prime Steak for 6 to 9 months and it is virtually indistinguishable from fresh. Hence I buy when available and the price is right.
 
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Brad S

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As I said, timing is everything. Given that only about 2% of all beef is rated Prime, it is not surprising that places like Sam’s and BJ’s vary on when and what amount they have it; especially since most of Prime beef ends up in high end restaurants and hotels, and they need to compete on price.

Even my sources — a wholesale meat processor and a local meat market that specializes in high-end protein — have periodic shortages...

Just keep checking and meanwhile the good news is that even USDA Choice Brisket will come out fine on a SmokeFire IF It is done low and slow.

BTW, I can vacuum seal USDA Prime Steak for 6 to 9 months and it is virtually indistinguishable from fresh. Hence I buy when available and the price is right.
Agree - USDA Choice works out just fine. Thanks for info on vac seal. I see that costco is putting them on sale starting tomorrow (8/6/2020). Might have to pick one up.
 

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I’ve used a vacuum sealer for years. I would recommend freezing a steak first and then vacuum sealing. That keeps the meat from becoming ”crushed” by the sealing process.

Works great for everything from whole tenderloin sliced into filets to pulled pork.
 

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I’ve used a vacuum sealer for years. I would recommend freezing a steak first and then vacuum sealing. That keeps the meat from becoming ”crushed” by the sealing process.

Works great for everything from whole tenderloin sliced into filets to pulled pork.
I agree about “pre-freezing” unless, like my unit, it has a “ Gentle” setting that slows the vacuum sealing process.
 

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I paid a whopping $6.99 a pound yesterday for two briskets at Wegmans (NE grocery chain).

Didn’t have time took look elsewhere.
 

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A few weeks ago our local Kroger guy bought half a truckload. I bought 4 weighing between 16-18# each and not one of them was over $30. Cooked one and it was quite good. Not prime grade of course but more than adequate.

it’s better to be lucky than good I suppose.
 
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Brad S

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Ughh I messed up. Bought a choice 2 weeks ago and let it go bad. Didn't have room to freeze so I kept it in the fridge until 2 days ago. let it sit in garage yesterday (on ice but still warm in there) to thaw 1 section that my crappy garage fridge froze, opened it up to prepare it and it was spoiled. Lesson learned-keep frozen as long as possible. But providence smiled upon me today at Sams. No primes where they were supposed to be but found a prime brisket hidden away with the choice for 2.64 a pound. Oddly all the choice it was sitting with were almost twice the price. Another lesson learned...keep your eyes open when looking for brisket at sams.
 

Dassman5

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Ughh I messed up. Bought a choice 2 weeks ago and let it go bad. Didn't have room to freeze so I kept it in the fridge until 2 days ago. let it sit in garage yesterday (on ice but still warm in there) to thaw 1 section that my crappy garage fridge froze, opened it up to prepare it and it was spoiled. Lesson learned-keep frozen as long as possible. But providence smiled upon me today at Sams. No primes where they were supposed to be but found a prime brisket hidden away with the choice for 2.64 a pound. Oddly all the choice it was sitting with were almost twice the price. Another lesson learned...keep your eyes open when looking for brisket at sams.
Smart shopper!
 

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