Shopping Discussion

Creating a Grocery Meat Cheat Sheet

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  • Jun 9th, 2017 6:29 pm
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WHO wrote:
Mar 9th, 2017 9:47 am
I just buy a cow and have it slaughtered. Then I get a butcher to cut it all up for me and vacuum-sealed + flash frozen. Averages to a little over 3$/kg over all the different types of cuts and the meat is significantly higher in quality, being locally growned and slaughtered.

Of course, only if you have a decent-size freezer to put your cow in.
And bonus, you get to name the cow before you eat it.

In very small print, store-made ground pork value pack at Metro is also $1.77/lb. That's my pick.

Sobeys also has pork picnic shoulder roast, blade, or shank portion for $1.44/lb. Anyone want to advise the best value on those cuts. Heck, I am not even sure that really means there are three choices.

BTW, Loblaws in Toronto has those skinless, bone-in chicken breasts not for $1.99/lb but for $2.44, I guess premium for living here.
Last edited by beachlover on Mar 10th, 2017 6:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Kevinck wrote:
Mar 9th, 2017 1:18 pm
I looked around southern ontario farms/meat places. A side of beef (about 360lb dressed weight... before aging or removal of bones) you will usually pay around $6/lb dressed weight which averaged out around $10/lb delivered to you.

Not expensive but also not cheap.
Hmmm, yeah half a cow will usually be anywhere around that weight, but why the 4$/lb extra for delivery? That doesn't sound right or reasonable.

death_hawk wrote:
Mar 9th, 2017 3:56 pm
Sure, but now you get a butt ton of cuts that are terrible.
I think everyone by now knows my hatred for round and over half the weight of the animal is round.

Plus $6/lb is approaching steak territory during the low months.
Well, to each their own, I like the challenge of finding receipes for cuts I wouldn't usually be tempted to buy.
And, also you have to be selective with the butcher you choose. Some are more attentionate than others and give you better cuts.

But, steak for 6$/lb? Not sure I ever even saw that price locally for steak, hmmm, maybe grocery store steak that comes from the West and was frozen, poorly stored, refrigerated, than frozen again, but certainly not the same quality of meat.
beachlover wrote:
Mar 10th, 2017 6:51 am
And bonus, you get to name the cow before you eat it.
Yeah, that was nice :D Last one was named Charlene.
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WHO wrote:
Mar 10th, 2017 9:10 am
Hmmm, yeah half a cow will usually be anywhere around that weight, but why the 4$/lb extra for delivery? That doesn't sound right or reasonable.
I'm just talking about the hanging/dressed weight vs Boxed weight. Everyone sells based on hanging/dressed weight.

live weight = weight of live animal

hangin/dressed weight = after it's been slaughtered, the skin, head, non usable organs, and hooves are removed and the carcass is split down the middle and weighed. Usually about 60% of live weight. This is the weight advertized by people selling beef

boxed wegith = The two “sides” are then hung in a cooler for 10 days to two weeks to age. This improves tenderness, enhances flavor and also further reduces weight due to evaporation. It is then cut into cuts with a bunhc of fat/connective tissue/bones removed. After evaporation and all the excess cut away you get the boxed weight which is the amount you physically receive. It's usually about 60% of the hanging/dressed weight.

Copied from google.
"As an example let’s say you are ordering a side of beef from an animal with a live weight of 1,000 lbs and a hanging weight of 600 lbs. The hanging weight of the side you are receiving is 300 lbs. Your total cost, assuming a $6/lb of hanging weight would be $1,800, (300 lbs x $6). Assuming a yield of 60% the actual weight of the beef you would receive would be 180 lbs (300 x .60) = $10/lb. "

So to compare buying a side of beef vs buying from the grocery store you can't use $6/lb. You use $10/lb.
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beachlover wrote:
Mar 10th, 2017 6:51 am
In very small print, store-made ground pork value pack at Metro is also $1.77/lb. That's my pick.
Good eyes, excellent price!
beachlover wrote:
Mar 10th, 2017 6:51 am
Sobeys also has pork picnic shoulder roast, blade, or shank portion for $1.44/lb. Anyone want to advise the best value on those cuts. Heck, I am not even sure that really means there are three choices.
Blade is the top of the shoulder and shank is the upper arm. (Rear of animal would be butt and shank). I like the blade/butt. The pieces of muscle are wider than on the shank. The shank usually weighs a pound more or so than the corresponding butt/shoulder. The actual bone in each portion is about equal though (about 1-1/2 lb, the shank bone is slightly larger.)
beachlover wrote:
Mar 10th, 2017 6:51 am
BTW, Loblaws in Toronto has those skinless, bone-in chicken breasts not for $1.99/lb but for $2.44, I guess premium for living here.
They are actually skin-on here! It did not say anything about skin and I made an assumption. At 50% skin/bone, that makes the breast material $3.99/lb so a regular sale price in the end. Thanks for the extra eyes/corrections.
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lecale wrote:
Mar 10th, 2017 12:03 pm
They are actually skin-on here!
I missed that myself. Now I don't feel so cheated.
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Kevinck wrote:
Mar 10th, 2017 11:26 am
I'm just talking about the hanging/dressed weight vs Boxed weight. Everyone sells based on hanging/dressed weight.

live weight = weight of live animal

hangin/dressed weight = after it's been slaughtered, the skin, head, non usable organs, and hooves are removed and the carcass is split down the middle and weighed. Usually about 60% of live weight. This is the weight advertized by people selling beef

boxed wegith = The two “sides” are then hung in a cooler for 10 days to two weeks to age. This improves tenderness, enhances flavor and also further reduces weight due to evaporation. It is then cut into cuts with a bunhc of fat/connective tissue/bones removed. After evaporation and all the excess cut away you get the boxed weight which is the amount you physically receive. It's usually about 60% of the hanging/dressed weight.

Copied from google.
"As an example let’s say you are ordering a side of beef from an animal with a live weight of 1,000 lbs and a hanging weight of 600 lbs. The hanging weight of the side you are receiving is 300 lbs. Your total cost, assuming a $6/lb of hanging weight would be $1,800, (300 lbs x $6). Assuming a yield of 60% the actual weight of the beef you would receive would be 180 lbs (300 x .60) = $10/lb. "

So to compare buying a side of beef vs buying from the grocery store you can't use $6/lb. You use $10/lb.
Oh I see thanks for the explanation, but when I said I paid 3$/Kg I meant what I paid vs the weight of the finished product I received.

I have about 100 Kg and paid 300$ and change. We split Charlene in four so we each got a quarter of cow.
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WHO wrote:
Mar 10th, 2017 9:10 am

Hmmm, yeah half a cow will usually be anywhere around that weight, but why the 4$/lb extra for delivery? That doesn't sound right or reasonable.



Well, to each their own, I like the challenge of finding receipes for cuts I wouldn't usually be tempted to buy.
Personally I don't, especially when it's the round that makes up the bulk of the weight you're getting with a whole animal.
The only thing I really use round for is jerky and even then I've moved on from it.
But i'm apparently well known for hating on round around here.
But, steak for 6$/lb? Not sure I ever even saw that price locally for steak, hmmm, maybe grocery store steak that comes from the West and was frozen, poorly stored, refrigerated, than frozen again, but certainly not the same quality of meat.
What's wrong with the West?
Alberta has the best beef in the world.
Also it's AAA and fresh, vac packed in cryovac assuming you're buying a primal.

Speaking of quality, since you don't really get to select your animal (unless you're raising it yourself) you never know the marbling characteristics nor can you choose one with better marbling.
Buying a whole primal means I can select the best specimen in the lot.
lecale wrote:
Mar 10th, 2017 12:03 pm

Good eyes, excellent price!



Blade is the top of the shoulder and shank is the upper arm. (Rear of animal would be butt and shank). I like the blade/butt. The pieces of muscle are wider than on the shank. The shank usually weighs a pound more or so than the corresponding butt/shoulder. The actual bone in each portion is about equal though (about 1-1/2 lb, the shank bone is slightly larger.)
Actually the butt is the shoulder. It's a weird naming scheme. Blade, shoulder, picnic, etc would also be acceptable.
The ass end of the animal would be tip.
Shanks are literally the shank. The meat between the tip and the shank would be the ham (same name as the cured stuff but usually prefaced with "green" or "fresh" to denote the difference)
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death_hawk wrote:
Mar 10th, 2017 3:40 pm
Actually the butt is the shoulder. It's a weird naming scheme. Blade, shoulder, picnic, etc would also be acceptable.
The ass end of the animal would be tip.
Shanks are literally the shank. The meat between the tip and the shank would be the ham (same name as the cured stuff but usually prefaced with "green" or "fresh" to denote the difference)
I use an Ontario Pork chart, and from that I get...

The butt is literally the butt like my butt on my chair. It's the top of the rear leg (no shoulders on the back end.) When you buy a whole leg you just get the butt and the shank. They don't give you any tip.

Natural ham, you can get in butt and shank portions. Ham just means it has been cured. Ham as a cut is a US term I think.

Front 1/3 of the pig everything qualifies as shoulder. Two big roasts come out, though, picnic and blade. Hock is the front-end equivalent of shank.
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Quebec has some good deals:

Provigo Pork Chops for $.99/lb this week and $12 whole Chickens for a 2 pack
IGA QC whole young turkey (Cat A) for $.99/lb

[correction] Pork Chops are on sale for 4 days only.
Last edited by peli33 on Mar 10th, 2017 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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peli33 wrote:
Mar 10th, 2017 7:04 pm
Quebec has some good deals:

Provigo Pork Chops for $.99/lb this week and $12 whole Chickens for a 2 pack
IGA QC whole young turkey (Cat A) for $.99/lb
Yes, those are good prices. However, I hate it when a deal forces you to overbuy, such as the two whole chickens. Similarly, most bread deals this week, are for two loaves. Meaning you eat from one loaf as the other one just sits there getting older. Of course, you can freeze, etc, but I would just prefer to buy fresh twice. It's not like selling two chickens or loaves together is any easier for the store, such as bulk value packs of meat might be.

My trick around this lately, is to price match, because most stores are allowing me to price match at $2.50 if the sale is 2 for $5. So the store with the sale, is actually losing my business, by pushing product this way.

Just noticed the store I am going to today for pumpkin seeds for $3/lb also has duck wings for $1/lb. Any connoisseurs have any opinions of whether that's a good deal or not? Read that they don't have as much meat as chicken wings, but that people like the skin.
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beachlover wrote:
Mar 11th, 2017 7:11 am
Yes, those are good prices. However, I hate it when a deal forces you to overbuy, such as the two whole chickens. Similarly, most bread deals this week, are for two loaves. Meaning you eat from one loaf as the other one just sits there getting older. Of course, you can freeze, etc, but I would just prefer to buy fresh twice. It's not like selling two chickens or loaves together is any easier for the store, such as bulk value packs of meat might be.

My trick around this lately, is to price match, because most stores are allowing me to price match at $2.50 if the sale is 2 for $5. So the store with the sale, is actually losing my business, by pushing product this way.

Just noticed the store I am going to today for pumpkin seeds for $3/lb also has duck wings for $1/lb. Any connoisseurs have any opinions of whether that's a good deal or not? Read that they don't have as much meat as chicken wings, but that people like the skin.
FYI in QC the law states that they have to sell you at the rebated price "per unit" (so,a 2 for 5$ deal is automatically 2.50$ ea). Of course the marketing geniuses sometimes divert it buy doing a "BOGO" (so you only get the free item if you buy the first one, forcing you to buy 2) or a 2 for 5$ deal where they clearly advertise "or 3.99$ea" . But, for the most part, they just let you buy just the 1 item for the same price.
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lecale wrote:
Mar 10th, 2017 5:47 pm
I use an Ontario Pork chart, and from that I get...

The butt is literally the butt like my butt on my chair. It's the top of the rear leg (no shoulders on the back end.) When you buy a whole leg you just get the butt and the shank. They don't give you any tip.

Natural ham, you can get in butt and shank portions. Ham just means it has been cured. Ham as a cut is a US term I think.

Front 1/3 of the pig everything qualifies as shoulder. Two big roasts come out, though, picnic and blade. Hock is the front-end equivalent of shank.
That's the "butt end" of the ham.
But a "Pork butt" is technically a shoulder.

Although that could be US naming. I had a look at Ontario's chart and shoulder is listed as shoulder.

The tip is separated from the leg, but it's what would touch a chair on you or me.
The butt end is more like the thigh.
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death_hawk wrote:
Mar 11th, 2017 4:24 pm
That's the "butt end" of the ham.
But a "Pork butt" is technically a shoulder.

Although that could be US naming. I had a look at Ontario's chart and shoulder is listed as shoulder.

The tip is separated from the leg, but it's what would touch a chair on you or me.
The butt end is more like the thigh.
The problem is the Americans. There are too many American recipes, websites, charts, texts out there and they just make everything confusing.

I have the poster of this in my kitchen http://www.ontariopork.on.ca/Portals/16 ... t_mar8.pdf so those are the terms I tend to use - they also tend to match the store.
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That too.
Then you get the Chinese calling things differently too.
Try finding beef fingers in North America...

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