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Covid-19 and Meat Pricing

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    Covid-19 and Meat Pricing

    Thought I'd get some feedback on meat pricing around the country since we're all scattered to the four winds. I have not shopped at Costco or Sam's of late, I really don't like the Costco policy of tenderizing their beef. Most of my meat comes from my local grocer, HEB, or from my butcher. My butcher's pricing has gone through the roof. I think the guy is piling on, but that's a different subject altogether.

    We seem to have plenty of beef, pork and chicken products. Talking with several sources I have not heard of any product shortages or availability as of this date. Chicken and pork seem to have inched up some but are holding pretty steady versus pre-covid prices. Beef, on the other hand, has gone up at least 20% (or more for Prime). How do these prices compare to your neck of the woods?

    80/20 ground chuck - $4.50/lb
    90/10 ground chuck - $5.00/lb
    Select skirt - $7.00/lb
    Chuck shorties, pre-cut - $9.50/lb
    Select flank - $10.50/lb
    Select ribeyes - $10.00/lb
    Prime ribeyes - $16.50/lb
    Prime NY strips - $13.50/lb
    Prime T-bones - $15.50/lb
    CAB picanha (butcher shop) - $10.99/lb
    CAB ribeyes (butcher shop) - $20.99/lb


    #2
    Prices have been about the same here. Some cuts have gone up at some stores but nothing I have really noticed across the board.

    But I was at Costco over the weekend and they had a few packs of ground beef but no other beef or pork of any kind. There was a lot of chicken breasts and a few packs of wings but that was about it.

    Comment


      #3
      ^^^^Same around here, with the exception of beef which has always been a precious metal here anyway.
      Haven't seen the storages here like we did in March considering the majority of meat plants are closed or running at reduced capacity.
      Reports are there's plenty of meat on the hoof/claw here its the ability to slaughter and dress that's the problem.
      Farmers are having to sit on finished animals longer and losing money doing it to the extent of possibly having to cull product.
      I don't pay attention to the price per pound/kilo, if the tag has a price on it I can live with into the cart it goes.

      Comment


        #4
        I was chatting with my butcher friend a couple of days ago and what he said matches up that 20%. He also said wait till August or so after all the plants come back on line and we'll see prices fall a lot.

        Comment


        • Troutman
          Troutman commented
          Editing a comment
          I was hoping for the same thing. 20% is a big jump, definitely pushes me toward cheaper cuts of beef. With picanha and tri-tip around $10/lb, I can damn near do as well, if not better, than ribeyes and NY strips anyway !!

        #5
        Ok from another corner of this here place.
        I really haven’t noticed much of a difference in prices. There also seems to be a good supply of meats as well. Only when we shut down was there a shortage. Especially chicken. But that only lasted a week or so.
        I also don’t do the Costco thing. Chicken and pork from local grocery stores. Beef either local butcher or mail order.

        Comment


          #6
          Up around 20% here too. On everything. We noticed it earlier in the week when we bought stuff like TP (we actually found some), paper towels and detergent. Bill that should have been around $80 was over $100.

          Comment


            #7
            Just up the road aways from you we saw an odd mix of messages at Sam's last Tuesday (senior hours). In general, the cut/packaged individual portion sizes were $1-2 a pound higher, but the large packages were still the same as earlier. We picked up a prime, rib roast, 18 lb. for just over $10 per. I portioned it out in 2" steaks and vac packed. Seafood was almost non-existent and no chicken except for their rotisserie packages. Just a one day window in time, but partly in line with the HEB observations.

            Comment


            • Troutman
              Troutman commented
              Editing a comment
              Yea I need to buy a primal or subprimal hunk of something and cut out steaks for myself. That's even more important now then ever, good point !!

            #8
            Just made a Costco meat run. I was hoping for some BB ribs. Yup. They had them and STL spares too. Both at the usual everyday price. 👍. $2.99 for BB’s, 2.79 for the STL’s.

            Otherwise, the cases were full albeit with less variety of cuts. A lot of the pricier cuts there. No chuckies, very little ground beef, and so on. What was kind of weird was there was a ton of chicken. Two weeks ago when I was there no fresh chicken of any kind available. Anyway, BB ribs for dinner tomorrow! 😋

            Comment


              #9
              Troutman A couple things I've noticed with Costco. I'm not sure if they are starting to move away from blade tenderizing everything, but I was seeing cut steaks about 50/50 on whether they are tenderized or not. I usually will not buy the blade tenderized steaks either, unless I'm certain I'm going to Sous Vide them. We picked up some filets a couple months ago that were not blade tenderized. I saw ribeyes that were not as well, but the sirloins and strips those couple trips still were.

              I usually just by the subprimals there and cut them myself. I was picking up Prime strip loins for $5.69-5.99/lb. Then I don't have to worry about the tenderizing.

              All being said, I drove by Costco the first week of this craziness and it was the busiest place around by far, cars were spilling over into 3 or 4 neighboring stores' parking lots and I'd never seen Costco's lot even 3/4 full before that. I haven't even thought of trying to go there since. Luckily I wasn't after Costco that day, but Lowes next door. They only 'necessity' we get there that we can't find reasonably priced somewhere else is a generic seasonal allergy medication and luckily it comes in 350 count bottles and we still have an unopened one.

              Last week our local grocery chain (Fareway) had whole boneless ribeye loins for $6.99/lb. They sold out quickly all over. Luckily the wife snagged one, but it was only 12 lbs. I swore they gave her a strip loin because it was shaped like that than any rib roast I've ever gotten, until I got it out of the cryovac and could really see it. This week they have no fresh meat in their weekly ad, and that's what the chain is known for.
              Last edited by glitchy; May 12, 2020, 01:50 PM.

              Comment


              • glitchy
                glitchy commented
                Editing a comment
                mgaretz Please educate me on not wanting to Sous Vide blade tenderized meat. My thought process was that you really don't want to just grill it to medium/medium rare due to bacteria risk, but if you Sous Vide (longer than minimum recommended time) that it would have a pasteurizing effect on the bacteria keeping you from needing to take it to well done to kill any bacteria pushed to the center by the blades.

              • glitchy
                glitchy commented
                Editing a comment
                Troutman, I thought they had to specifically label when they blade tenderize and I've never seen subprimals labeled around here that way. I also thought the packer did the cryovac packaging, so I was thinking they were sold exactly as they received it.

              • mgaretz
                mgaretz commented
                Editing a comment
                The thought is the blade pushes the outside nasties way inside and while they are coming up to temp they can grow a lot. Yes, if you heat long enough they will eventually die, but before they die they can create toxins that are not denatured unless you really get the heat high,

              #10
              I got us some nice rib eyes for mother's day at our local Food Lion for $6.99. Now these were very high end highly marbled choice and not prime, but I have had prime that eat worse than these, no limit but only took 6. They were cutting them to the thickness you wanted. They also had pork butts for $.99, got a couple at that price.
              Last edited by mountainsmoker; May 12, 2020, 02:30 PM.

              Comment


              • Troutman
                Troutman commented
                Editing a comment
                Yea pork remains fairly steady, but no way you touch choice ribeyes for that price around here. You got a good deal. And I do agree, choice is really all you need in ribeyes anyway,

              #11
              I have noticed my Smart n Final (SoCal chain), Sprouts and Ralph’s (Kroger) have been LOADED though less at Ralph’s.

              Those meat prices seem about right although vac packed skirt and flank are 10 bucks a pound.

              Tenderloin has crashed. I just ordered from a place for the first time and am thrilled with my fresh delivery of steak, a whole Filet and cleaned prime tenderloin at almost 4lbs for 67 bucks I think.

              some ground wagyu at $9/10 lbs frozen.
              I am Very happy with my first order.


              Edit: oh good gracious me though... The price of Wibs es no bueno man! Thievery.

              Click image for larger version  Name:	9CC95DDA-EFDF-44B8-8821-CA63DAE64D74.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	2.88 MB ID:	845214

              Click image for larger version  Name:	0B8C9572-AF9C-4B63-AF4D-0CBF813587AF.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	1.51 MB ID:	845213


              Last edited by HouseHomey; May 12, 2020, 07:29 PM.

              Comment


              • mountainsmoker
                mountainsmoker commented
                Editing a comment
                I will make you jealous. Picked up some St. Louis for 1.99 when I got the pork butts above.

              • Mr. Bones
                Mr. Bones commented
                Editing a comment
                Wibs have been purty stable, as has pork, in general; we even gots butts on sale Hormel @ ¢97/lb.
                Ground beef seems up ~ 20-25%...
                Generally, selection still remains largely available...

              • Troutman
                Troutman commented
                Editing a comment
                We get the Mishima Reserve Wagyu briskets here. They are superb.

              #12
              My local grocery store has ground beef 80/20 for $5.49, goes up from there, was under half that couple months ago. They have the tubes of 80/20 for $12.99 for 3lbs which is a better deal so I've been getting that. This past Friday, Sam's had only 90/10, limit 1, at $4.79 or thereabouts...no thanks. Briskets had gone up from $3.49/lb to $5.98 in one week. Thankfully the week prior I bought brisket #6 "just in case"....glad I did. I now have 4 wet aging and 2 frozen. Brisket is by far my favorite BBQ meat if you could never tell.

              Comment


              • Mr. Bones
                Mr. Bones commented
                Editing a comment
                Last time I went, week or so back, both stores were like $4.99 fer 85-15. Like ya said, 3# chubs're cheaper. But their meat counters was both all outta Ground Chuck, which is what I was really after. (always)
                But
                Dillon's has chuck roasts on sale ontil Wed $4.99; might be th time to git my grinder, an vac sealer out, huh?

              #13
              I haven't been to HEB in over a week but I was after chicken and not beef so I didn't pay much attention to beef prices. I did notice that the brisket prices were unchanged and I picked up some lamb steak for a little cheaper than choice ribeye prices. They did have less beef in stock, some of the meat coolers had sliced deli cheese and premade side dishes such as mac 'n cheese and mashed potatoes. I just looked at HEBs online pricing and noticed their grassfed stuff is all over $20/lb - not sure if that is similar to pre-Covid pricing since I don't buy grassfed from HEB but that is substantially higher than what I pay from a local rancher ($15/lb for ribeyes).

              Last month me and a friend went in on a whole prime boneless ribeye roast from a local butcher: $12.50/lb. I got 10 lbs of it and cut it into 6 steaks.

              I talked with a good friend who runs a grass fed beef operation near Austin. With the news reporting processing plant closures and thus reduced auction prices I was wondering how he was affected. Since he does a farm to home business with processing done at a small mom and pop processor I figured he would be ok. I was right: he is sold out through June, no financial issues for him. Between him and the local grassfed producer here in SE Texas I have plenty of ground beef, tenderized cutlets, and other cuts in the freezer (ate the steaks months ago).

              Comment


              • Troutman
                Troutman commented
                Editing a comment
                No offense to your friend but you can have the grass fed stuff, I just didn't like the flavor. Especially at $20/#.

              • 58limited
                58limited commented
                Editing a comment
                Yeah, grassfed is not for everyone. I never buy grassfed in the store. When I buy a quarter from my friend, the price for everything - steaks, roasts, ground beef, ox tails, etc. averages out to $7.99/lb. My other friend here is SE Texas has land on the salt grass prairie and her beef is really good, not as strong as some that you run into. She sells directly but also has a freezer at a local paleo restaurant where you can buy individual cuts, that is what I do. Her ribeyes cost the same as HEBs

              #14
              No idea other than briskets, which are largely unchained melodies . I am buying more food at a small grocer in town to avoid the masses at wolly world since I can no longer shop at 230 in the morning. Their ground meat is done with a fine grind, not that course crap wolly world uses.

              Comment


                #15
                I am not seeing any huge increases but I am seeing less meat available. I look for specials each week to stock up always and for chicken there are plenty of specials, for beef not so much. Local farmers are slammed in anticipation of shortages. I have ordered a side of beef that will be ready in July so we can be prepared. I just have no idea who to believe. Do I think this is being fabricated? No clue, I can just say it is getting to the place where we can trust no one....Well other than the good folks on the Amazing Ribs Forum

                Comment

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