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VIDEO-Intro to Certified Angus Beef with John Stika, President

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  • Clint Cantwell
    AmazingRibs.com's Senior Vice President
    • Apr 2016
    • 55
    • Memphis, TN

    VIDEO-Intro to Certified Angus Beef with John Stika, President

    In the latest addition to our ongoing AmazingRibs.com Pitmasters Club Video Series, I sit down with John Stika, President of Certified Angus Beef (https://www.certifiedangusbeef.com/).

    During the interview and in the article below, we discuss the CAB brand including its history, the various steps that go into labeling beef with the Certified Angus Beef logo, and how that beef differs from other angus beef in the market.



    CERTIFIED ANGUS BEEF: THE EVOLUTION OF BEEF QUALITY AND TASTE

    Growing up, steak night at my house meant paper-thin cuts of beef that were sold at a bulk rate discount from a Styrofoam tray at the market.

    Comprised of a 60/40 blend of meat and gristle, said steaks were completely devoid of beef flavor and became bone dry as soon as they hit the grill. While cost was certainly a part of the equation, the bigger issue was a general lack of beef knowledge among consumers.

    Take a look, for example, at the Better Homes and Gardens® Meat Cook Book from 1968 and you’ll find zero reference to beef grades, internal marbling, grass or grain finishing, or various other criteria used to judge beef quality. Instead, the entire education portion of the book’s “beef steak” section is comprised of a brief steak identification chart and a steak broiling chart (a 1 1/2 inch thick steak should broil for 14 to 16 minutes for rare in case you were wondering). Further hampering the consumer’s ability to turn out a great steak was the temperature guide, noting that a rare steak should reach an internal temperature of 140°F, 160°F for medium, and 170°F for well done.

    Thankfully, we as consumers have come a long way since those days. Whether it’s education-rich cookbooks such as Meathead: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling by our very own Meathead Goldwyn, the wealth of today’s food related television programming and websites, or cooking forums such as AmazingRibs.com’s Pitmasters Club, the amount of useful information now available has exponentially increased the home cooks’ ability to create restaurant quality steaks .

    You’ll still find those budget cuts of yesteryear in most grocery stores today, but you’ll also find labeling and signage designed to help step up your steak grilling game.

    Among the leaders in the beef education process is Certified Angus Beef® (“CAB”). Introduced in 1978 as a means of promoting beef with consistent quality from black Angus cattle, CAB is the only brand owned by the American Angus Association® and its farmer members. In order to earn the Certified Angus Beef ® brand name, cattle must first be Angus-influenced with a predominantly black coat. According to the brand’s website, “this black hair trait is a strong indicator of Angus genetics and has become the USDA standard by which cattle are considered for all Angus brands and products. Beef that qualifies for any Angus brand, including CAB, is determined not by pedigree, but rather by traits, like hair color, that are highly associated with the Angus breed.”

    But unlike the various generic Angus labels found at some retailers, meat marked with the Certified Angus Beef ® brand seal goes far beyond the breed by ensuring 10 exacting specifications have been met. Among those are the following:

    Marbling and Maturity
    1. Modest or higher marbling– total amount of overall fat marbling for the taste that ensures customer satisfaction
    2. Medium or fine marbling texture– distribution of the white "flecks of flavor" in the beef that ensure flavor and juiciness in every bite
    3. Only the youngest classification of product qualifies as "A" maturity– for superior color, texture and tenderness

    Consistent Sizing
    1. 10- to 16-square-inch ribeye area
    2. 1,050-pound hot carcass weight or less
    3. Less than 1-inch fat thickness

    Quality Appearance and Tenderness
    1. Superior muscling- to restrict the influence of dairy cattle in the breed
    2. Practically free of capillary ruptures- to ensure the most visually appealing steak
    3. No dark cutters- again, to ensure the most visually appealing steak
    4. No neck hump exceeding 2 inches- to safeguard against cattle with more variability in tenderness

    So where does CAB branded beef lie in comparison to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) beef grades such as Select, Choice, and Prime?

    While there is overlap between those grades of beef and premium brands like CAB, many of the standards above go beyond what the USDA looks for in beef. When monitoring beef processing, the USDA first inspects the meat for wholesomeness and safety, regardless of the grade or brand it may earn. From there, most beef is graded in order to provide consumers with an indication of its quality. USDA grades are primarily based on the amount of marbling – the small flecks of fat that melt during cooking and deliver flavor and succulence.

    CAB branded beef, on the other hand, must not only have at least as much marbling as the very best of USDA Choice or Prime, but must also meet the additional standards related to sizing, appearance, and tenderness.

    In all, the primary objective of the CAB brand and the ranchers it represents is to ensure that you are using the very best Angus beef each and every time you fire up the grill.
    Last edited by Clint Cantwell; December 7th, 2017, 12:51 PM.
  • BBQCentralShow
    Greg Rempe
    • Jul 2014
    • 363

    #2
    CAB is HQ'ed in Wooster...40 min from my house...STILL no invite!! LOL!!

    Comment

    • FireMan
      Charter Member
      • Jul 2015
      • 6780
      • Bottom of Winnebago

      #3
      Once again the superb value of this site rears it’s head. Thanks much Clint.

      Comment

      • Troutman
        Club Member
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        #4
        Video went blank when I tried to run it. I assume the article is the same information. My local butcher only sells CAB, always get premium cuts of meat, I'll remain a loyal customer.

        Comment


        • Clint Cantwell
          Clint Cantwell commented
          Editing a comment
          Give it another shot. I think I corrected the issue.
      • Huskee
        Pit Boss/Manager
        • May 2014
        • 14059
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          Want a free bottle of whiskey? Check out my link to Flaviar.com, you join with it, we both get a $50 bottle free.

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        #5
        Video not working for me either.

        Always had excellent results with CAB and Angus Pride myself.

        Comment

        • kmhfive
          Club Member
          • Mar 2017
          • 3003
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          #6
          Thanks for putting this information together. I always wondered, but never took the time to dig in like you have!

          Comment

          • DWCowles
            Founding Member
            • Jul 2014
            • 9760
            • Smiths Grove, Ky
            • Hi, my name is Darrell. I'm an OTR truck driver for over 25 years. During my off time I love doing backyard cooks. I have a 48" Lang Deluxe smoker, Rec-Tec pellet smoker,1 Weber Genesis 330, 1 Weber Performer (blue), 2 Weber kettles (1 black and 1 Copper), 1 26" Weber kettle, a WSM, 8 Maverick Redi Chek thermometers, a PartyQ, 2 SnS, Grill Grates, Cast Iron grates, 1 ThermoPop (orange) and 2 ThermoPens (pink and orange) and planning on adding more cooking accessories. Now I have an Anova sous vide, the Dragon blower and 2 Chef alarms from Thermoworks.

            #7
            Thanks Clint

            Comment

            • Jerod Broussard
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              #8
              If I'm doing pulled Chuck, from Wolly World it has to be Certified Angus or some variation. If I'm just doing a pot roast in the oven, any ol' chuck roast will do.
              Last edited by Jerod Broussard; December 7th, 2017, 09:00 PM.

              Comment

              • Danjohnston949
                Former Member
                • Dec 2014
                • 4437
                • 1410 9th. St. N, Fargo ND

                #9
                The NDSU BBQ BOOTCAMP this Past Summer Was Held at The NDSU BEEF RESEARCH CENTER FEEDLOT❗️ Considerable Efffort is Expended to the Development of BLACK BALDIES (50%/50%) Black Angus/Hereford Cross Breeds❗️ Typically the Baldy has Higher Meat Yielding Carcus than either the Black Angus or the Hereford‼️ The Baldy also has a Better Feed to Weight Gain Ratio thus Lower Cost Beef Productin‼️ The Baldy is Marketed as a Certified Black Angus‼️ At a Live Weight of 1250 Lbs‼️
                From a Backyard Cremator in Fargo ND, Dan

                Click image for larger version  Name:	image.jpeg Views:	1 Size:	1.86 MB ID:	424115Click image for larger version  Name:	image.jpeg Views:	1 Size:	2.49 MB ID:	424116Click image for larger version  Name:	image.jpeg Views:	1 Size:	1.32 MB ID:	424114Click image for larger version  Name:	image.jpeg Views:	1 Size:	1,021.1 KB ID:	424113Click image for larger version  Name:	image.jpeg Views:	1 Size:	1.59 MB ID:	424117
                Last edited by Danjohnston949; December 16th, 2017, 05:40 AM.

                Comment

                • Skip
                  Founding Member
                  • Jul 2014
                  • 2559
                  • Blue Earth, Minnesota
                  • Memphis Pellet Grill, Large BGE, Weber Kettle with SnS, Weber Gasser, Pit Barrel Cooker, Cast Iron Pans & Griddle, Grill Grates

                  #10
                  Danjohnston949 you bring up an interesting subject on the Black Baldies. My Brother in Law fed cattle for many years (50 or more?) and he often talked about them. If I remember right he liked BB a lot.

                  Comment


                  • Danjohnston949
                    Danjohnston949 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Skip, My Dad was as Well! In the Late 60's - Early 70's, Mom and He Had a Small Town Meat Market (Rolla ND) and a Feedlot❗️ I recall Dad going on at Length that the Black White Faced Cattle were the Most Profitable from Both the Carcus Yield and Feed to Weight Conversion Standpoints❓
                    8th Grade Education and No Computer❓
                    🎄🎄 Happy Hollidays‼️ 🎄🎄
                    From a Backyard Cremator in Fargo ND, Dan
                    Last edited by Danjohnston949; December 16th, 2017, 09:20 AM.

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