Meat selection Jul 5, 2005 20:45:40 GMT -5
Post by Wayne Copeland on Jul 5, 2005 20:45:40 GMT -5
A few days before my very first cook-off, I went to my local Albertsons grocery store and picked out my ribs, chicken, pork butt and the biggest brisket I could find. Well, I did place 5th in chicken, but the rest of my meats did not fare as well in the contest. I hung around after the contest and asked a couple of the other guys (that did very well in the contest) where they had gotten their meats from...both said from small meat markets! It seems that the smaller market butchers are very familiar with competition cookers meat preferences, and prepare/trim the ribs, butt and brisket the way competition cooks want it. Before my second contest, I went to one of these markets and talked to the head butcher, Sally. I introduced myself and told her I was new in the BBQ circuit and asked her if she cut meats for competition cooks...she laughed and said that she regularly cut meats for several of the top competition teams in the State of Oklahoma and she would be happy to help me out. I think I ended up paying about $5.00 more for her meats than I did at Albertsons, but have been consistantly placing in the top percentage of cook-offs ever since. And besides the slightly higher costs, the meat is fresher, trimmed to perfection and saves me alot of time in preparation. The moral to this story is to talk to other cooks, find out where they get their meat, and then go talk to the butcher at the market....they are helpful and will often save the better cuts for you if they know you are cooking in contests. Besides, its just good business for them...they sell to more folks and chances are you will start buying all your meats from them..not Albertsons!!! Remember to call ahead as far in advance as possible though, as they may have to order extra meat if alot of cooks all order for the same contest on the same weekend!!!