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Ground meat prices ???

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Bearcarver, Oct 16, 2010.

  1. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    This has been bugging me for awhile now, so I gotta ask WTF ?

    I can grind my own Beef & Pork now, but sometimes I get lazy or don't have the time.


    The cheapest whole Beef I can usually find is about $3 per pound, Maybe $2.49 for a Chuck roast, now & then, but I can nearly always buy Ground Beef 80/20 for $1.99 (this week---$1.59).


    I can always get a Pork shoulder for $1.49 or less (this week---$0.99), but everybody wants about $3 per pound for ground Pork.

    Just exactly what is it that I'm missing here.

    Confused Bear
  2. mrsb

    mrsb Smoking Fanatic

    ITs just the man trying to keep us down!!![​IMG]
  3. squirrel

    squirrel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Bear - it is my understanding from my butcher friend that the pre-ground beef that you are seeing so cheap does not come from a nice chuck roast, it's the scrap stuff from the chuck after it has been trimmed. Just plain old ground beef is any of the beef scraps. So when you buy a nice chuck roast and grind it yourself you are getting the best of the best so to speak.
  4. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    I figured that, but how about the other side of the equation. When I can get a Pork shoulder for $0.99 per pound, why the $3 per pound for ground pork? If you substitute values, if they use Pork scraps, the ground Pork should come in at about $0.65 per pound (LOL).

    Like this:

    Whole Beef on sale=$3 per pound.

    Ground Beef from scraps=$2 per pound.

    Whole Pork on sale=$1 per pound.

    Ground Pork from scraps should be 65 cents per pound, not $3 per pound.

    See my point?

  5. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I guess I had not noticed. I can't remember the last time I bought ground beef or pork. Ever since we started making our own ground venison way back when we never buy ground meat any more. Well except for Jimmy Deans for smoking stuff. Yea Bear I understand where you are coming from the ground meat should be cheaper than that especially if it is the scrap meat and not the prime stuff you would get if you got a butt or chuck roast. Doesn't make sense. The man always wants to stick it to us little guys.
  6. pandemonium

    pandemonium Master of the Pit

    Well be happy you can get pork buts for .99$ lb there never that cheap here, usually 169lb minimum and no ground meat of any grade for a dollar and change, hell they want 299lb for ground chicken, What has been bugging me is the price of mayo!! What is in it that is causing the price to keep rising like gold? Oil has come down so why not mayo? Unless there is a sale i buy all my meat at sams club anymore, Publix is just way too high
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2010
  7. squirrel

    squirrel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Oh, I see what you're saying Bear, I missed that earlier. I wonder if it has to do with fat ratio/content? There's alot of fat in a butt and when I grind that I don't use it all. I prefer to grind the tenderloin and add in unsalted fat back. We'll sometimes have butts for 99 cents a pound but they go quick! Usually they are 2.49 a pound. I don't think I have ever seen ground pork on sale come to think of it. Also packaging could be an issue too, if you think about it they are putting 1 lb. of ground pork per package. I think most grocery stores receive the ground beef in bulk and they package it themselves (some, not all) but I don't think they do that with the pork. They only other thing I can think of is that there's alot more meat to a cow than a pig? Just throwing stuff out there. Good point papa Bear.
  8. que-ball

    que-ball Smoking Fanatic

    Some smaller grocers may buy bulk ground beef and repackage it, but all those around here grind their own from unsold chucks and other cuts from the past week.  They will also get in 3# chubs of ground beef from one of the big packers like Excel and sell it by the chub.

    Somebody usually has pork butts for .99 this time of year, and I try to stock up then for all of my sausage making to come.  Ground pork from local grocers is also locally ground from other pork cuts or sold in the 10# chubs the packer supplies it in.
  9. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Thanks for the replies.

    I'm still not understanding why ground pork is three times as valuable as whole meat pork, but ground beef is worth less than whole beef.
  10. meateater

    meateater Legendary Pitmaster SMF Premier Member

    It's called union labor. Three times as long to get it done so three times the price.
  11. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Here is some information I dug up that everyone might be interested in...  Be sure to notice what grade Wal-mart Sells...

    This is from "Ask The Meatman". http://www.askthemeatman.com/answers/answer_to_different_grades_of_gr.htm

    There are 8 USDA Grades of Beef:

    1st.[​IMG]USDA Prime [The BEST]
    *Less than 2% of all the beef in the U.S. is graded Prime*

    My Butcher.com offers the top USDA grade of beef: USDA Prime Beef, plus Premium Black Angus, and more - so you can buy exactly the kind of meat you want! 
    ONLY 2% of ALL beef is graded USDA Prime!

    We were lucky enough to receive a USDA Prime Hind Quarter this January, 2009.
    Below are some pictures of this Prime Beef to give you an idea of what Prime looks like!

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    2nd.[​IMG]USDA Choice

    Most higher quality grocery stores sell this grade.

    3rd.[​IMG]USDA Select

    This grade is not as tender as USDA Choice.  USDA Select is the usual grad that Wal-Mart sells.

    4th. USDA Standard

    5th. USDA Commercial

    6th.  USDA Utility

    7th.  USDA Cutter

    8th.  USDA Canner [The WORST]

  12. pandemonium

    pandemonium Master of the Pit

    I just made burgers with that 73-27 which i would never buy but thats all walmart had and it made for some tasty burgers, just figure 2 burgers per lb after shrinkage
  13. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    there is not much demand for ground pork........so why put the labor into it.
  14. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I think the low ground beef price is a "loss leader" to get you in the store and hopefully buy a bunch more.

    The ground pork on the other hand is a money maker. There's a small demand for it and they jack up the price to make a big profit, since most people don't own a grinder to grind there own.

    Maybe Pops or SOB can shed some more light on it.
  15. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    There is a far more profitable outlet for ground pork instead of a pure grind - it's called sausage.  Toss in some ingredients and double your money.  Plus, there are zero waste dollars with pork as it is brought into wholesale as primals, not whole with trim (stores buy pork loins, ribs, butts, shoulders that require little or no trimming, and what is trimmed is mostly fat, so to accumulate lean pork trimmings you have to use whole muscle to do so - you have to process a butt into leaned-out pieces and grind it.  More work, more labor, raises the cost vs. selling the whole butt @ .99 lb).   
  16. pandemonium

    pandemonium Master of the Pit

    I just looked at a 6.89$ lb of bacon yesterday, WTF is going on??? it said 7.39 normally, are you kidding me? This was oscar meyer brand. Its getting bad.
  17. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Thanks Dan,

    You and Pops took my confusion away best!

    Thanks Pops,

    I can always count on you!

    Must be why it says "Trusted Authority" beside your name.
  18. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Thanks Paul,

    Great info there.

    If I buy ground beef, I usually buy 85/15 (sometimes on sale for $1.99) for burgers, and 80/20 (usually on sale for $1.99) for beef sticks, summer sausage, etc.

  19. squirrel

    squirrel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Makes sense!
  20. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    I just looked. Giant has bacon on sale for $3.99 (regular $4.49). That's "Giant" brand, but if I would have to buy store bought bacon (heaven forbid), I don't think I'd care whose it is.