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Quality of Pork Shoulder (Kroger)

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Joined Jun 19, 2018
Recently I found a grocery store that is charging half the price on Pork Shoulders as the other local grocery stores (1.19 per lb). I have only bought pork shoulders from higher quality grocery stores but I don't mind saving money, so I was open to trying a cheaper pork butt. I know that for Brisket it is extremely important to have a prime grade as opposed to a select grade. I was wondering if anyone has any experience with "cheaper" pork shoulders and boston butts, specifically "Kroger" brand and if they turn out as good or almost as good as more expensive pork shoulders.

Second question, does anyone notice a difference in smoking a boston butt or pork shoulder(the store I am looking at has both)? I know they are very similar but I was wondering what the difference is in the results.
 

crazzycajun

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Several members buy Kroger butts on sale for .99# myself included. I grind for my sausage as wellno complaints
 

jbellard

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I have used Kroger brand pork butts quite a few times and even used 6 in a recent competition. Got 6th place too

As far as the cut differentiation, I’m sure one of the meat cutters will come on here and enlighten us. My short answer to you is there is no real difference.
 

TomKnollRFV

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Kroger is pretty good quality, it's around me as well. They have an in house butcher <or the ones around me do>. Pretty knowledgable too from my experiences. I don't think Pork Butt is overly going to matter for where you go though. I've seen brands stocked at Walmart I've seen at other stores. I actually found that around the holidays Kroger's hams are -better- then big brand names like Hillshire. Thats just my two cents. If you see stuff at Aldis, their products are decent as well, but I've never seen any pork butts over 4 pounds there.
 

wrobs

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Biggest issue with Kroger butts (and chicken) is that they are 'enhanced' with a salt solution... usually around 8%... kind of a 'brine in a bag' as it sits on the shelf. Seems to have a mushy texture (to me, anyway) when compared to a fresh butt. Occasionally, my local Kroger will have butts that a re not in cryovac packaging and they are not enhanced. Read the labels and you will see that many of the pre-packaged butts are enhanced... it's not just Kroger.
 

zippy12

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My local Kroger sold me a butt that had 8 days before sell by date. Took it home to make brats and opened it in the kitchen sink. Wholly COW the stench cleared the house! They did take it back and gave me double my money back....
 

pops6927

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hog1.jpg


To the right of the neck is the pork shoulder blade, and underneath it is the pork arm shoulder. The pork shoulder (was called the pork butt, but in 2013 the Pork Council changed its name) to better identify it as part of the fore of the animal.
 

RiversideSm0ker

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I tend to get a lot of Farmer John branded pork picnic shoulders at my local Stater Bros. They are a lower cost chain here in So Cal. I have never had anything to complain about with this type of cut and for .99 cents a pound it's pretty hard to argue with. If you are finding your results are delicious then I wouldn't sweat it. Just enjoy being able to afford two times the meat :)

George
 

chef jimmyj

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My local Kroger sold me a butt that had 8 days before sell by date. Took it home to make brats and opened it in the kitchen sink. Wholly COW the stench cleared the house! They did take it back and gave me double my money back....
Kroger is a large chain. Most of their sales are passing on savings from train car sized purchasing. The meat is the exact same as other area chains, all coming from the same packer only the label changes.

As far as spoiled meat with plenty of time to sell by date, it is usually a single mishandled piece. It is common for customers to pick up a roast, decide not to buy it, and place the meat in whatever isle they are in. Next a cashier or clerk finds the meat and drops it back in the meat case. Meanwhile, the roast just spent several hours at a room temp and the bacteria grew rapidly. Sad but it happens. It is no reflection on the store or the quality of their meat...JJ
 

myownidaho

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Fred Meyer is owned by Kroger. I’ve never had a problem with their pork butts. I did stop buying their pork chops because they have been consistently tough.
 

pops6927

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Fred Meyer is owned by Kroger. I’ve never had a problem with their pork butts. I did stop buying their pork chops because they have been consistently tough.
The temperature has changed on pork, as it is all now Certified - chops can be cooked only to 145° (slightly pink) vs. 160° or higher, toughening them. Try their chops to that temp (145°) and see if they are more tender!
 

myownidaho

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Thanks, pops! I cook my chops to medium. Even brined they can be tough. What I buy at a local shop for about the same price are much more tender.
 

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