Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Meat Prices

I've recently been reading that hog futures have raised to historic levels due to shrinking supply, but have started to lower in recent days because of shrinking demand (not my fault). Smithfield, the country's largest pork processor, closed a plant in Iowa which should further reduce the demand considering that 13,000 less hogs will be purchased every day because of the closing. At least our ribs won't get too outrageous.

What is getting outrageous are recent brisket prices. A recent story in the Fort Worth Star Telegram (thanks to Joseph's Riverport BBQ for alerting us) highlights what local BBQ joints have been dealing with, and how they're trying to cope with a 20% increase in wholesale brisket costs. To add insult to injury, the briskets on the market are larger with a higher fat percentage, making the meat even more expensive. Here's hoping for a swift end to this alarming trend. To think the whole reason that briskets even came to prominence in smokers across the state was due to its low demand and low cost. Don't be surprised if you start seeing chicken on special across DFW.

Hidden in that story is a little nugget about Dallas Green. If you remember, this blog reported his arrest almost exactly a year ago today when he carried a gun into his partner's BBQ establishment in Colleyville. Now we learn that he's still doing business in Hudson Oaks, but is just now back on his feet after a motorcycle accident and five weeks in a coma. We're wishing him well.

- BBQ Snob


Stillcajun said...

So true Snob. As a purveyor of the BBQ arts myself, I was alerted to this late last year by my butcher who said that not only briskets but also hamburger meat was going to go up.

I've kept watched and even picked up a few to store in the freezer. Imagine my dismay when I went to my butcher and he told me that the day had finally arrived. He was selling brisket for $1.99 lb. up .40 cents and as I checked other spots I saw it range from anywhere from $1.79 to $2.39 lb.

This is a sad day for many.

Anonymous said...

I want to say thank you for bringing this issue to the attention of your readers. I read a LOT of food/restaurant blogs and it surprises me how little space is spent on issues that restaurants deal with on a daily basis.

It's like people either don't take the time to find the info or don't really see how it directly affects them, when actually it REALLY affects them as customers. Food costs are one of the major costs of any restaurant, so any sudden changes there are bound to affect the customers, due to the limited choices restaurants have.

Basically the restaurant either has to "eat" the cost [which after the bad economy the last couple years is probably not a viable option for many] OR charge more for the food / cheapen the product, ie maybe not smoke it as long [either of which makes the food experience worse and can drive customers away, too.] So basically a no win for the restaurant or the customer.

Hope to see more articles like this in the future as an addition to your BBQ reviews. :-)

Anonymous said...

average price as of today on brisket is 1.91.. it started with there excuses being oh its pickling time up north,then the next excuse was oh its springtime..now,oh the cattle are up..they are worse than the government..the truth is everyone is cooking brisket,and its popular now,it is not going down like it was.. its to popular..and they are taking advantage of it.. there my 2 cents worth..


Each joint is judged on the essence of Texas 'cue...sliced brisket and pork ribs. Sausage is only considered if house made. Sauce is good, but good meat needs no adornment to satisfy. Each review can only be based on specific cuts of meat on that particular day. Finally, if the place fries up catfish or serves a caesar salad, then chances are they aren't paying enough attention to the pits, so we mostly steered clear.