Owners/operators and pitmasters from throughout Texas participated in the second Texas Barbecue Town Hall meeting, which was held on Monday, December 14, 2015 in the Kleberg Animal and Food Science Center and the Rosenthal Meat Center. About 40 people were in attendance, and participants received updates on livestock and meat prices by Dr. David Anderson, quality and safety of sauces by Dr. Al Wagner, beef carcass grading by Dr. Davey Griffin, and beef cut-out yields and values by Griffin and Dr. Jeff Savell. The meeting was sponsored by the E.M. “Manny” Rosenthal Chair in the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M University, and Davey Griffin, Ray Riley, and Jeff Savell served as hosts.
Dr. Anderson presented information showing that the cattle herd is expanding and that prices were lower than at this point last year. Availability of beef, pork, and chicken should be adequate and competitively priced for the upcoming year.
Dr. Wagner discussed the Food and Drug Administration requirements for producing various acidic and acidified sauces. Several of the participants use Dr. Wagner’s lab to test their products, and he encourage others to send products to his lab to verify that their products were produced safely.
Smoked beef strip loins and top sirloin butts along with smoked blade sections of pork loins were served to the participants by Griffin and Riley. Corn salad and strawberry cake was prepared by Jackie Savell for the lunch. We enjoyed feeding the owner/operators and pitmasters as a small token of our appreciation for the work they do in making Texas Barbecue such a popular product these days.
After lunch, the participants went to the Rosenthal Meat Center for a demonstration of beef grading and beef yield and cutout values. One key observation mentioned by several of the participants was that the grade of brisket was determined by the amount of marbling in the ribeye muscle and not by some evaluation of the brisket itself. Participants were intrigued by the number of cuts that come from a beef carcass, and the range in values for these cuts.
Feedback from the participants was great, and we will likely keep having the yearly meeting as a way for those in the Texas Barbecue business to keep up with prices, supplies, and current trends in the meat sector.
— Jeff Savell (@jsavell) December 14, 2015