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Upstate NY, Oneonta area. I've been looking to purchase a packer brisket now for about two weeks. Aside from Walmart My only three options are BJ's, Price Chopper, and a Hanaford grocery chain. In each case the price for a Choice brisket was $3.99 per pound or even higher.
Walmart was selling a below select grade for $1.49 (Yes the meat manager actually said it was a bit above dog food grade)
Anyway, talk about sticker shock. What's strange is that they are all selling choice corned beef at a much lower price. Go figure?
Is this price indicative of the rest of the country?
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During the last week to ten days of April, one of the local Walmarts here had choice for $1.27 lb. I managed to get nine and tossed them in the freezer. The first three were also marked Black Angus for what that's worth. That should last me for the few comps I can enter this summer. I haven't looked at the price since. I have two thawing for the Electra Goat Cookoff this weekend.
Man I wish I had low price beef options like others on this board do!

And I don't think the Texas argument flies since we're a pig state and my damned pork is as high or higher than other folks! Mad

Anyway, to answer your question Axel, yes. That's about the same prices I have here. Although finding select grade anything is very difficult. The folks around here mostly have nothing but choice. The trick is that some have VERY low grade choice while others have higher grade.
I paid $3.99/lb for a trimmed select cut brisket from Walmart and like $1.60/lb for an unknown packer cut from Walmart (probably below choice). As expected, the packer cut wasn't near as good as the select cut, but made good pulled sandwich meat.

Unfortunately, in my area, getting brisket or pork butts is limited to Walmart. I have one more smaller grocery store with a butcher shop in it to check out yet.
The secret is to find out where the stores are getting them and eliminate some of that cost.

Try some of the Food Service suppliers. You'll have to buy in quantity, but just freeze them up.

Most of them have "will call" windows and will let you order anything they have. I buy brisket by the case that way and paid $1.60 a pd of some great stuff. Out in stores it can be a dollar or more higher.
Axel,are these guys near you?

101 Leo Ave
Syracuse,NY 13206
(315) 463-4547

Like Smokin says,call and see what you can work out with them.

Some wholesalers have a minimum three piece order,others will do a light case of about 60 lbs.

They keep well,if you have a cold refrig and will freeze for a year.

Many have a will call window,where customers can pick up several days a week.

As far as Wallyworld goes,they don't know much,and they often don't know what they have.

Packers may be the only thing that comes to the meat dept,not injected.

They could receive norolls/cutters,select,choice,and up to CAB s.

They only have one price code and that is select.

If they don't have a code,they may put them out for just over $1/lb,to get rid of them..

If they have a case out,look through them.

Look for big,some interspersed fat,not just on top,even rectangular flat,flexible.

At the speed hanging carcasses are graded,it is not science.

Certainly not for packers.

A packer will be better to learn on than flats.

We have to start someplace.
Originally posted by Miguelito:
Everyday price at my local Kroger is $1.99 for Excel Choice packers.

Update: Last couple of months I've found it increasingly harder to find any packers at all, and Kroger is now charging on average $3.49 for Excel Selects.

Major bummer!

Costco has good meat, but only small flats that have all the fat trimmed off 'em. Wal-Mart will occasionally have an unmarked Excel laying around for about $1.99, but I suspect it's that just north of dog meat grade.
Originally posted by SmokinOkie:
Call a food service company, ask if they sell whole packers by the case. I buy them for about $1.69. You can certainly freeze them and unfreeze/smoke them later.

Ask the local BBQ guys where they get theirs?

That's the way to go!
I just picked up a case of CAB packers in Panama City, FL for $1.89/lb.
Turned out to be a case of 5 which averaged 13.4 lbs each! Honkers--I love it!

Gorgeus hunks of meat in the aging fridge till mid July.


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