Meat market or grocery???

Discussion in 'Pork' started by bamagator, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. bamagator

    bamagator Newbie

    Just curious, is it better to purchase ribs, pork shoulders, ect at the local meat market or can you get descent meat at the local super market or Sams?
    I've purchased ribs and pork shoulder at the super market and Sams in those heavy duty plastic wraps. The food for the most part turns out pretty good but I never really compared. I have on occasion smelled the meat after cutting away the plastic and it does have a bit of a funky smell but I thought maybe it was the wrap. Obviously, the reason for purchasing at the grocery store or Sams is convienance and price. However, if some of you have tried both and feel it's worth the extra price getting the meat at the local meat market please let me know.
    I've always been a bit curious as to buying ribs on sale in a 3 pack that may have been already frozen then thawed. Appreciate your comments...
  2. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    IMO no contest, the local butcher will offer a better cut of meat.
  3. chisoxjim

    chisoxjim Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I prefer going to a couple local butchers, a meat packing plant in Chicago, or a couple small local grocers who actually employ butchers.

    I do this for the following reasons:

    1) quality
    2) many times knowing where the pork came from
    3) better service
    4) supporting local businesses and farmers
    5) I dont like Sams/WalMart, and what they stand for

    Cryo packs dont bother me, as long as they havent been injected with god knows what. As for the funk, that is normal, and I rinse my cryo pork in vinegar after taking it out of the cryo.

    like anthing its up to the individual, their wallet, and their choice. whatever works
  4. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Bingo, nailed it!

    Don't know what area you are from, but a local butcher will have greater access to locally raised hogs, and therefor a closer eye into the quality of the meat.

    Guessin' by your bamagator nickname, you should have plenty of access to fresh pork in that area of the South. Find a good store that has friendly, helpful butchers and most of all, is CLEAN. Those are your best indicators.

    Good luck!
  5. I deal with my local Butcher. They are Amish, and you can't get much fresher meat than they have. I also get some good advice from them, as for what cuts are best for the type of processing that I am going to do.
    I may pay a little more up front, but my butcher steers me right for quality and quanity. The Amish know thier stuff!!!!
  6. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    We are working with our local 4H group to purchase some meat from the kids for a couple of reasons. One is we know that they are raising it correctly with no hormones and secondly we can support the local kids. If you have a freezer and a 4H group in your area you can buy anything from a whole animal to a portion in most areas.
  7. azrocker

    azrocker Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I prefer the meat market when I can get there!
  8. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have a good, local butcher shop where I go when I want to go all out. They carry prime beef and thier back ribs have a GENEROUS portion of loin on them. Best selection of meat within a decent range. The price is way more than the grocery store by far. The stuff in the cryo is good but ya have to watch the prices. I will not pay more than 2.99 a lb for three and under ribs.. Grocer chains get the most out of the bulk and alot of thier meats come pre-cut so there isn't much the cutter on hand can do. a just have to shop around and know what kind of meat you are buying..
  9. nickelmore

    nickelmore Smoking Fanatic

    I agree with everyone above, local butcher. I have found once you get to know them they will clue you into when they will have good prices coming up. My local will even call around to his suppliers if I need a large order.

    Its always nice to have a place you can run to on Saturday afternoon for some extra pork fat or a nice cut steak. Try that at Wall Mart

    Now for the other side, I have seen some other local stores (not walmart or Sam's) that discount meat products after a big holiday or such. I know some folks that work at these places and they call me when they reduce the price.

    I have never seen any enhanced product at a good butcher shop, I think that is the only way WalMart sells meat.
  10. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    For important meals, and expensive cuts I use my local Meat shop. But he isn't cheap. Rips and pork butt I use Costco or Sams, though I just bought two butts from Winco. I cooked one last week and thought it lacked flavor, and I did inject it which I always do and just my standard rub and procedures, it just wasn't the impressive flavors of past butt.

    Ribs from Costco has always been good for me, why spend another $1.50 a pound for the same thing from my local meat Shop.

    Brisket is another thing, so far the best flavored brisket has been from the meat shop. But again I have to pay, there are no deals there.

    Our local meat shop is a busy little store. I like to go there when they don't have a line at the counter and they can take a minute to answer questions. They once closed on Saturday (normally open Sat. till 1pm) I had already paid for a $140 New York Strip Loin, they were just holding it for 3 or 4 days since I had zero room in either fridge due to holidays. Except we agreed to get it on a Saturday and they forgot me and closed for that day. Since they do deer for the hunters they have a deer hotline. I was able to get a call back and they drove down and opened the store so I could get my piece of meat for a Big Sunday special family dinner. I really try to give them business when I can.

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