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$2.99 prime packer vs $6.99 choice flats

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    $2.99 prime packer vs $6.99 choice flats

    So this is what my local CostCo usually has on the floor (in vacuum packs - $2.99 prime packer vs $6.99 choice flats). Aside from the effort of trimming everything by hand, is there any reason to buy the pre-cut flats for 2.5x the price?

    My local Costco has a similar difference between Prime packers and Choice flats.


      You're the only one that can answer that. Is the time saved worth extra money? I would also have to add the loss of the brisket point into the equation, so for me it's a hard no.


        Nope, no question. Go with those whole briskets.


          I wonder the same thing every time I walk past the Choice brisket and put a Prime packer in my cart at Costco!

          *Someone* must buy those things...just not sure who. Even if you only wanted the flat...it’s cheaper to buy the whole packer, and it can’t possibly be that much effort to cut it in half!

          (Actually, I know it’s not that much effort, since I cut all my briskets in half to fit in my vertical offset!🤦🏽)


            Prime vs. Choice is one decision.

            Then there's the waste involved with purchasing a whole packer.

            You have to factor in the fact that for the whole packer, by the time you trim, you've lopped of 3 to 5 lbs of fat, depending on the cut. The prime flats that I see are pretty well trimmed. So, for example, when I look at at a pretty fatty 15 lb Prime packer, I conservatively compare it pricewise to a 10 lb Prime flat.

            Not your exact question, I know, but the same decision process goes into Choice packers vs. Choice flats and factors in to the Prime vs. Choice decision.

            The advantage with the packer is that you get the point (oh those burnt ends ) and you can render the trimmed fat into Beef Love for future cooks.

            Last edited by fzxdoc; December 15, 2020, 07:57 AM.


              Same here, we still only see 4 or 5 packers at most and there is always a bunch of flats.


                I usually grind the flat end for burgers since the point is so much better smoked.

                I would never buy a flat at a higher price.
                Plus the trimmed fat can be rendered and has lots of uses.


                  Just to try to help with this thought process (as usual fzxdoc has a very good grasp) here.

                  As paying members of The Pit, you self identify as the outlier (dare I say oddball?) when compared to the bulk of society out there. Our positions on food perspective, process, and preparation are very different from "the norm".


                    The whole packer runs in the $50 range. It's a very large hunk of meat for a fairly high price. I have no idea, since I never look at them, what the hunk o' flat price tag is. But I'm guessing it's going to be $30-$40 depending on the size of the flat. So, a bit lower price tag and a much less intimidating look hunk of meat. The average home BBQ guy or gal is going to buy that choice flat because of those reasons, in my opinion.


                      I look at those flats and wonder "what happens to all those points?" I personally would just buy brisket points if it was an option. The flat always turns out a little dry for me. Because that’s not an option, I always go whole packer. The trim doesn’t bother me because I throw all the fat in a crock pot to render it and strain it through coffee filters into ramekins. It makes these wonderful little pucks of beef tallow.


                      • jhapka
                        jhapka commented
                        Editing a comment
                        ecowper say it ain’t so. I wonder if I asked the meat dept if they would wrap me a point or two and price it with the whole packer SKU. Unless the flats are processed off site and shipped as is

                      • ecowper
                        ecowper commented
                        Editing a comment
                        jhapka they might do that. I've asked for special stuff and as long as they could figure out a SKU, they were happy to do it.

                      • PBCDad
                        PBCDad commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Ground beef is selling for $5/lb or more, slightly less at Costco but still probably does better than brisket at $3/lb. Plus with the flats being used for more dishes, they probably don't have much appetite for setting out the points. Unfortunately.

                      I agree with Uncle Bob. Before I came here I had never cooked a brisket, now the only reason I would buy a flat would be to make pastrami. All because of my membership here. On the original post, I say get the packer.


                        I may be wrong but the impression I got from a meat processor at Costco was the increased price of trimmed meat covers the cost of labor.
                        I have had better success cooking/smoking with whole packer briskets than just the flats.
                        Both so paired well with PBR.
                        On the Traeger website, the beginner brisket is the brisket flat.


                          A couple weeks ago I found whole prime packers for $2.59 a pound at the Costco we visit and 6.99 for choice flats too. I guess the way I look at it is if I trim 1/3rd of the weight off that prime packer I'm still way ahead not only on price but also in quality of meat.
                          I was just excited to see brisket prices below $4 again!!


                            I think ecowper and fzxdoc nailed it really. A full packer is a big hunk of meat, there's a lot of waste and most people are not like us (to @Uncle Bob's point). We might render the fat but many people won't know to do that.

                            Additionally, not everyone smokes brisket. If I wanted a flat for, say, ropa vieja I might go for the flat alone, especially if I didn't want to or know to render the fat and didn't have a use for the point.

                            Now, ME? Even if I wasn't going to smoke it, I'd get the packer because I could grind the point for burgers, pastrami the flat and still be way ahead of what deli pastrami and supermarket ground beef would cost.
                            Last edited by rickgregory; December 15, 2020, 12:33 PM.



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