Skip to comments.Beef: Itís Whatís (Expensive) for Dinner (Dad will be lucky to get a hot dog)
Posted on 06/15/2012 7:22:09 AM PDT by Hojczyk
Planning a Father's Day barbeque this Sunday?
Throwing a few steaks and burgers on the grill, you might have noticed, has gotten more expensive as the cost of beef has climbed over the past year. And it's only going higher, say economists.
The average retail price of beef from January through April this year is 7.7% higher than the same period a year ago, according to the USDA's Economic Research Service data, while it's remained steady over the past few months, says John Michael Riley, an assistant professor in Mississippi State University's department of agricultural economics. And the average price in 2011 was 9.8% higher than in 2010.
Higher Prices Will Continue
Shoppers are going to continue to see higher prices at the meat counter and not just for beef. Chris Hurt, a professor of agricultural economics at Purdue University, says he expects the average price of beef to rise to about $5.30 a pound next year. So far this year through May, retail prices have averaged $5.03 a pound a record high for this time period (it was $4.72 a pound for January-May 2011 and $4.83 for all of 2011). The latest Consumer Price Index for all food is projected to increase 2.5% to 3.5% in 2012.
Two main factors have contributed to the rise: a drought that devastated parts of the U.S. last year and a shrinking supply of cattle.
The extreme drought states such as Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico suffered last year forced ranchers "to liquidate a lot of cattle," says John D. Anderson, senior economist at the American Farm Bureau Federation. That's brought production down, which means less available beef and therefore higher prices, he says. In fact, beef cow numbers today are at 29.9 million head in the U.S., down 9%
(Excerpt) Read more at finance.yahoo.com ...
Apples went up here from $1.99/lb to $2.19.
Sirloins and such were on 2-for-1 sales last year as stock was liquidated. Now the pendulum is swinging the other way.
We are DRIVING on what we feed or food. Who thought that might be a problem?
Yep, I go to the market in Arcadia on Wedensdays, and for months been seeing our Florida calves go for over $1000. When these calves that are $2.40/lb on the hoof get to the grocery store, yikes.
"..hey?...waz tinkin bout lunch, double Italian hotdog wit 20 oz coke sounds good"
“Eating a hot dog” is very American.
“Eating hot dog” is not...
Beat me to it.
And said it better.
We are about to take delivery of a 1/4 beeve. Should last the family through the year. We bought a side and split with my SIL and MIL. Good grass fed Nevada beef. It’s aging as we speak and I’ll pick it up in about two weeks all prepacked and ready to cook. Lot of good steaks and chili in the future....of course even buying in bulk we paid close to $3.50 a pound. Hay to feed out West has been outrageous due to diesel prices and of course drought..
—When these calves that are $2.40/lb on the hoof get to the grocery store, yikes.—
Yep. When we bought our last two calves, they were around $1.25 a lb and we put 800 extra pounds on them before they were slaughtered. We’ll have to pay more for the next two, but it’s still a lot cheaper than the store.
An acquaintance raises goats and sells them for a buck a pound on the hoof. You get about a pound of meat for every four pounds of live animal, but the meat is really good for you.
There’s lots of ways to mitigate this, but it does take some planning and preparation. It also helps if you have a large freezer.
To start with, there are surges of meat availability around the year. For example, during the spring holidays, after the holidays, packaged corn beef is often on sale. Importantly, different cuts have different prices, but it tastes the same. It freezes well.
Whole and spiral cut ham is often reasonable after Easter. The best bet there, is to take or cut off the best slices, then vacuum pack and freeze them. The butt end and bone can be used in soups now, or grind some of the meat for ham salad, or to use mixed with ground beef in a “ham loaf”, which is very yummy.
Beef roasts are sometimes sold as a buy 1 get one free deal (still pricey, but less painful). So roast one as you would for roast beef dinner and dry roast the other, grind it with hard boiled eggs and dill pickles, then add salad dressing and some mustard for delicious “potted meat”, which is wonderful on sandwiches.
Try to avoid buying diced stew or finely diced soup or chop suey beef. You can dice it yourself and save a dollar a pound or more. If you have a meat slicer, you can buy a large, cheaper cut on sale, paper thin slice it, then fry it for use in many beef recipes.
Ground beef made in the grocery store is usually cheaper and fresher than packaged ground beef. Sealed ground beef often has a small amount of carbon monoxide added to keep it bright red longer. While not harmful, it is deceptive about the age of the meat. 20% fat hamburger usually has the best flavor, even though you should also pour off the tallow during cooking.
Tougher cuts and older beef, chicken and pork can be freshened and tenderized with a Chinese restaurant trick.
First thin slice it, then put it in a container with enough water to cover, with a teaspoon of baking soda mixed in. Then let sit for an hour. No more, or it will turn to mush.
With beef, the first thing you will note is that gray beef becomes bright red again. Then fat will rise to the surface and look curdled. The downside is that you have to rinse the heck out of it when it is done to eliminate the baking soda flavor. A vinegar-water soaking rinse helps.
But it will turn real shoe leather, or like sliced London Broil, into very tender meat.
Speaking of which, London Broil is often an unloved cut, but works fine when thin sliced as jerky. Of course brisket is best, but the secret is in the marinate, as long as the beef is tough.
A big jump in the price of beef is also because of the bad PR surrounding pink slime beef, which has put the biggest maker of pink slime out of business. Another trick they use is called “meat glue”, which is what it sounds like, and is used to glue together cheap cuts to look like expensive ones, like Filet Mignon.
Every cut of beef can be ground, so we grind our own. It’s far better in fat content, texture, and flavor than the ground beef in the bins at the grocery store.
I have no real explanation for that other than the grocery using perhaps some kind of additive that affects flavor....anything from water to intestines/organs.
I just don’t know the answer.
We sold six heifers Sat brought $4,865.00
Cow & calf were bringing over $2,000.00
Getting up a big load to take off tomorrow
Never have seen these kind of prices in my lifetime
Best time to be a farmer in my life
Apples went up here from $1.99/lb to $2.19.
Big whoop. Eat a pear..
As far as beef flavor goes, I’ve picked up a few interesting tidbits.
To start with, a small amount of inexpensive liquid “steak flavoring” added to less flavorful beef really improves its quality a lot. It is a lot less intrusive than liquid smoke.
Worcestershire sauce does as well, because of its one-two punch of anchovies, for their ‘savory’ (umami) flavor, and the acidic sourness of tamarind. Along with its other ingredients, it forms the perfect complement to Tabasco sauce, as far as flavor goes. The 1:1 combination of the two is now being called “the master sauce” by some chefs.
Oddly enough, other than MSG, about the only major sources of savory are anchovies and bacon (which is why bacon and bacon fat improve beef as well.)
At Safeway, I bought NY Strips for $4.99 a pound today. If you buy $50 worth you get $12 off your next grocery order.
This is in the SF Bay Area, check your flyers before I end up steering you wrong. My checker was actually unaware of the deal, but my $12 coupons sprung up out of the cash register.
Always buy big roasts on sale at 2.29. Take it home and cut 6 steaks out the of a big hunk of meat. I love my steak.
hey, I thought we were friends.
You feeling alright? I was just commenting on food going up. I will still buy apples.
” You feeling alright?”
No, actually I’ve been sick as a dog for over a week. Worst flu ever. Z pack and an inhaler.. excuse my rudeness.. I just feel like being nasty. I’ve lost a week of work...
And of course we are friends. I value FRiends. Im just bitching before I go to bed... I thought it was a funny stab..
oh yuck, I am sorry you’ve been feeling awful. I completely get it, wanting to be snappish, I feel that way a lot actually. well, for the last 4 years anyway. Still, I prefer snappish people to fake happy and snappish to passive aggressive.........lol
Hope you get to feeling better.
Ah... why else do we freep?? To incite others of course. Freepers are fighters and lingual battlers..
We entertain a lot down here in southern Utah. Last summer when we were honored to have Jim Robinson came to our picnic, we went to the wholesale meat place in Kanab, Utah and bought a full NY strip. We were able to get about fifteen very fine choice steaks.
I think we paid about $8/pound if I remember correctly. That means we had choice/prime NY steaks for about $3-4 each. And they were fabulous!
Also the price of beef is certainly tied to supply/demand. As people stop buying the finest cuts we will most certainly see the prices begin to drop. That is certainly what the free market is all about, lest we forget.
Burgers and Dogs and everybody you can get for Michigan NASCAR on Sunday, right after praise to our Lord.
pork chops on the grill....we have steak about 3x a month and get a little tired of it frankly....I’d rather have pot roast...
I’ll have to try that baking soda trick on venison...
HyVee out of Iowa sells some Amana branded tenderloin filets. They are very consistently good. Hit them an hour early with some good rub and then a good hot grill and I and Sweetie are happy.
Burned a couple off just now.
I’ve had better but not as simply acquired.
The first time I did it I was amazed at how much washing was needed to get the baking soda flavor out. That’s why I came up with the vinegar water rinse as well, which seems to help.
A little more about the Tabasco and Worcestershire perfect sauce:
The two together are the western equivalent of Chinese
Five Spice Powder, which is supposed to be a perfect blend
of Yin and Yang.
Except it is a near perfect blend of sweet-sour-salty-
bitter-savory(umami)-spicy(piquance), so when added to
recipes that have fats (fatty or oily taste), it covers
most the taste spectrum, except for coolness (minty,
menthol or camphor), astringent (alum or lemon), heartiness
(as from alcohol), and numbness (such as from nutmeg or clove).
Much of being a really good cook is just figuring out which of these are particularly good blends for a particular dish, and what other blends in other dishes complement them.
Bacon is just beloved because it has half a dozen savory tastes in it. While most meat has a little, most foods have none at all. This is why some vegetarians say that if anything can “break” their vegetarianism, it is bacon.
Imagine any of the other tastes, and imagine what it would be like not to taste that particular one for years. Then how delicious it would be once you broke your taste fast.
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