Buying Meat

Buying Meat


Flash Freezing – Flash Freezing is changing the whole equation. Flash Freezing is being seen as not damaging the meat at all. Regular Freezing does have a lowering of quality. Mail Order Brisket, Fish, now Pork, Ribs, and Chicken is good. Go Mail Order on your meat and get the same quality as a fresh market. It has to be Flash Freezing tho. The fibers in the meat are preserved very well in this process.


Buying Chicken-

  • the first test is smell. Get the pack and smell it to see if there is an odor. If it smells foul it probably is.
  • thickness of the skin. If there is an excessive amount of fat on the skin its over fat steroid anti-biotic  chicken. Your children will develop fast and you going to gain weight.
  • Organic chicken what is the price how much meat are you really going to get.
  • How may people are you going to feed? One chicken will feed Aproximately 3 1/2 people. 8 pieces 2.5 pieces a person.
  • Are the wing tips big and well jointed. If the chicken has small wing tips it probably doesn’t have as much meat on it as you expect.
  • Thighs, are they square, triangle shaped thighs don’t make a good presentation.
  • Thighs if you want to separate Leg Quarters you going to have an extra bone on the end of the thigh that will hurt your presentation.
  • Legs- well covered by skin will allow you to inject.
  • Legs- What kind of cut do you have at the top knuckle. Smooth cut makes a great presentation.
  • Wings- the bigger the better.  Watch out for Chicken Feathers
  • Breast- decide bone in or bone out first.  Bone in are cheaper. The bone definitely adds flavor and helps with drying out.
  • Organic Breast- How much meat are you really getting for 4.99 a pound. It is healthier.
  • Roasting Chickens 6-10 pounds do better on a beer can.
  • Small Chickens hold flavor better.
  • The price on chicken is going up.  You need more chicken than other cuts. You may not be saving money.
  • Have a plan to roast the bones and skin for Chicken Stock.  The Best Chicken Stock is home made.

Pork Butts

  • How big is the money muscle? Doesn’t matter what your using it for. A big money muscle is a better Butt.
  • How thick is the Fat Cap? You paying the equal amount for that fat also and I suggest you take it off before you start cooking. Its a waste of money unless you making Lard or Soap.
  • Has it been frozen? IBP has some great Butts. Fresh Hydrated and ready for prep. Why buy a cheaper Butt that has been frozen several time. Ask your butcher how many times a questionable Butt has been frozen.
  • Give it the smell test to make sure it is fresh.
  • Does it have a bone in it? If your not competing get bone in it tells you when its done and you get more meat than a boneless.
  • Look for excessive fat between the horn end and the main body. Look for excessive fat in the marbling. You can’t eat excessive fat and it will affect your flavor.
  • Look for bones on the outside of the butt. Butts can have bone chips on the outside. If you see bones in plain view move to the next one.


  • Always buy spare rib you get a lot more for your money.  I seen a vendor try already trimmed St Louis Style Ribs and lost a lot of money because there was very little there for the price he paid. Get spare ribs and trim them 
  • Baby Backs have a lot of meat on them consider them for you next back yard cook.
  • Is the meat the same thickness across the ribs.  If one end is a lot thicker than the other its going to draw up on the thick end. It will make your presentation look bad.
  • If you get the ribs that are varying thickness trim them to even and use the trimming for something.
  • Watch out for excessive fat on the end it can cost you 3-5 ribs per rack.
  • How much do they weigh- anything over 3 pounds is good. They have 5 pound St Louis Cut Ribs now.
  • How many bones does the ribs contain? 13 is good cut down to 10 bones. Starting off with 10 bones will cost you rib bones at the end of the cook.
  • IBP has the best ribs on the retail market. Hatfield is a great competition rib.
  • Baby Backs have smaller bones in length but have thicker meat.


  • Hold it up and bend it in the center. Hold one end and let it bend in the center. The more flexible brisket will be more tender.
  • Look for the thickness of the fat cap
  • The thickness of the point fat.
  • The thickness and size of the kernal of fat on the side of the point.
  • The width of the flat. That is where people are expecting to get the classic brisket.
  • How much meat is in the point? You can lose a lot of area quick with a huge amount of fat on the point end.
  • The thickness of the flat. If you can get a 2 inch flat you got a winner.
  • Wagyu has been touted as the best brisket but Creekstone Farms is being used a lot. Raider Red Meat out of Lubbock is a top company.  There are some Angus Certified Beef Companies in Texas that are #1 quality.
  • The going rate for Brisket soon will be $15 a pound across the board. Get ready.

Whole Hog

  • If you gonna cook a whole get one over 175 pounds the meat is just better quality
  • Its about the skin. A big part of cooking the Whole Hog is the presentation. Make sure the hog has good skin and a Department of Ag Stamp on it.
  • The Hams and Shoulders need to be about the same size.
  • The bigger the pork loins are the better.
  • Is its jaw locked or can you unlock it apple in the mouth help presentation
  • Has it got good ears. Ears and face burn first. It helps to start with good ears
  • Excessive fat like a Berkshire can be a problem. Yorkshires are the best Hogs in my opinion, Compart Duroc has the best Hogs in the world.
  • Wild Hogs have to be brined a while to get the game out of it.


  • There are 4 classes of Fish, Soft meat, Medium Meat, Solid Meat, Course Meat.  It broken down by how it falls apart on the grill. Soft meat fish has to be cooked in a help device to make sure it does break apart and fall into your grill.
  • Course meat is Sword Fish, Salmon, and fish that are like steak in consistency.
  • Experiment with fish. Buy it and try it. You never know till you try.
  • Smell fish it goes bad fast. Its hard to believe its sold so many places with the problem of getting it there.
  • Kind of skin, Catfish can be hard to skin or prepare. If its excessively soft cook with skin on to hold it together.
  • Bone in fish can have a lot of bones in it and you’ll never get them all out.
  • Whole fish may be a problem to prepare. Never cook a fish whole how do you even tackle a fish laying there looking at you.
  • You’ll have get training to cook a whole fish to handle the bones and meat well winging it will present a lot of problems.
  • Publix has some great fish. Its a great place to start for straight fish.


  • 95-5 Less Shrinkage, Holds Flavor better, Hold and indention in the top better. Best hamburger for the money.
  • 85-15 acts a little better than 75% Hamburgers.  Hold flavor fairly well.  The indention comes out of it also.  Make sure it looks like 85-15. If it has a lot of fat in it. It’s not 85-15.
  • 75-25  excessive fat, max shrinkage, may be 60-40 if its wrapped in plastic.  Hamburger wrapped in is a mystery.
  • Buy 1 pound of 75-25 to every 5 pounds of 95-5 and cook it along side the 95-5 to get the flavor you may miss.
  • Color – if its dark its set to long. If its bright read it may have had water pumped into it.  If its too pink looking it may have excess fat in it.
  • If its got strands it came straight out of the grinder into the package no hands handling it.
  • It it is like a solid piece its had hands handling it. More chance of contamination.
  • How much juice or liquid is in the package. To much liquid says who ever was working the hamburger probably doesn’t know what they are doing
  • Sealed package. If the plastic is loose on the package move on air has got to it and it may be decomposing at a faster rate.
  • Look if it looks like its been frozen. Different colors across the back and the stands seem to run together. Fresh Hamburgers make better sandwiches.
  • 95-5 will mix better with Chipolte Peppers, Green Chili’s, and Salsa or other things you may want to mix in your burgers.