Has everybody else found smoking meats to be at higher than usual prices all season?  I've smoked one brisket this entire smoking season.  Haven't smoked a single pork shoulder or other big cut.  Prices are stupid high everywhere.  Haven't seen a single sale all summer.

Floods and the late snow in the MIdwest killed over a million head of cattle from what I heard second hand (talking with my nephew over 4th of July).  Particularly hard hit were the calf's in the cow/calf combos and cattle in Backgrounding Operations from what he said.  That would hit the supply side starting about June and running through next summer.

China's pig population has been decimated from swine flu.  That's doesn't effect us directly since little of our pork gets exported to China due to a particular growth hormone we use that's banded in China and the EU.   IT has put overall upward pressure on prices though.

I suspect though that demand has more to do with it than any supply side pressures.  'Junk' meat continues to grow in popularity.  It's great if you like chops and loins, because those are in lower demand, but what used to be junk is now in high demand.   I regularly see flank steak and flap meat at prices higher than New York and RIb Eye in the market.

thelostverse posted:
wineismylife posted:

Damn.  That's some serious beef.  Bet that took a long while.

Nice cook mneeley - I'll bet you had leftovers. 

Oh, yeah. Between 11 people, we only went thru about half of it. I cut the remaining portion in half and gave 1 part to my daughter and her family.

wineismylife posted:

Damn.  That's some serious beef.  Bet that took a long while.

Surprisingly, it only took about 4-5 hours at 220°.

 

thelostverse posted:
mneeley490 posted:

Nothing better than homemade bacon! Once you've tried it, you'll never go back to store-bought.

Absolutely.  Been making it for years now and there is no comparison.

The trick is, you have to be careful who you share it with. I wasn't, and now I'm making about 60 lbs. each Fall to supply all my friends and in-laws.  

" I regularly see flank steak and flap meat at prices higher than New York and RIb Eye in the market."

Like double this week.

So I had to buy the rib eye we're going to grill tonight. Way cheaper than the flank stake and flap meat. Weird.

Smoking some ribs tomorrow.

You guys who are doing bacon - where are you buying your meat? Are you only using pork bellies? And are you using a dedicated smoker? All I have is a Weber, which is fine for tri-tip, ribs, chickens, etc., but I have no clue when it comes to something like bacon.

I've never done it and it seems like a good project. Any other tips?

 

gregt posted:
You guys who are doing bacon - where are you buying your meat? Are you only using pork bellies? And are you using a dedicated smoker? All I have is a Weber, which is fine for tri-tip, ribs, chickens, etc., but I have no clue when it comes to something like bacon.

I've never done it and it seems like a good project. Any other tips?

 

Lots of great tips on this website: https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/

I usually smoke bellies, and they are plentiful at most Costcos, or at other wholesalers like Restaurant Depot or Smart Foodservice. You might find some with your local butcher. Every once in a while I'll make Buckboard Bacon, or BBB. You use a pork butt (shoulder) and cure and smoke in the same way as a belly. (Curing will take longer of course, due to the thickness.) 

Many people cold smoke, some hot smoke, but I prefer to warm smoke for about 12 hours at no more than 130°, so for that I use an electric.  It's trickier on a Weber, but I've known people who do it.

mneeley490 posted:
gregt posted:
You guys who are doing bacon - where are you buying your meat? Are you only using pork bellies? And are you using a dedicated smoker? All I have is a Weber, which is fine for tri-tip, ribs, chickens, etc., but I have no clue when it comes to something like bacon.

I've never done it and it seems like a good project. Any other tips?

 

Lots of great tips on this website: https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/

I usually smoke bellies, and they are plentiful at most Costcos, or at other wholesalers like Restaurant Depot or Smart Foodservice. You might find some with your local butcher. Every once in a while I'll make Buckboard Bacon, or BBB. You use a pork butt (shoulder) and cure and smoke in the same way as a belly. (Curing will take longer of course, due to the thickness.) 

Many people cold smoke, some hot smoke, but I prefer to warm smoke for about 12 hours at no more than 130°, so for that I use an electric.  It's trickier on a Weber, but I've known people who do it.

+1 to everything mneeley said.  As for smoking the belly on a Weber, that's what I routinely use.  I used to use my Weber Smokey Mountain, but I've replaced it with a charcoal Summit, and now I use that.  I used to try and keep the old one touch charcoal grill in the low 100's, but I just didn't notice any difference when I smoked at 100 or 200, or really anything less than 225. 

Take the plunge gregt, it truly makes a world of difference. 

Great site guys! For some reason I hadn't found it, even though I regularly peruse Meathead and a few others. I guess because I wasn't so focused on smoking so much as just BBQ.

Now I have the itch. I got to where I could get the Weber to maintain a temp in the low 200s for hours, so we've been eating lots of meat for the past two weeks. I'm giving it a rest for a while and then I'm going to try smoking something.

Never heard of doing pork butt as bacon, but my local guy will provide a boneless picnic roast, which I was thinking might be good because of the fat. Sounds like I have a good fall project in the works.

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