Best place in LA to get a pork butt or pork shoulder?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by duggy, Aug 14, 2014.

  1. Hello all!

    It's been a while since I've been on here and I was recently inspired to smoke a pork butt or shoulder (to be honest i don't know the difference, I'm still new to this). I've been avoiding doing long smokes because I did not want to wake up super early to start it and get it ready for dinner and I wasn't confident enough in myself to do it overnight while I slept. I didn't want to burn the house down and California has enough fire dangers without me.

    With that being said, can people living in los angeles suggest to me a good place to buy this meat? What would be even better would be if you knew of a good butcher I can go to for all my meat smoking needs.

  2. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Read up on pork and beef cuts online.  It is good information. Read up on beef grades too.  Also good information.  Pork isn't graded like beef but there is one level called "acceptable" that is sold to the public and a lower level that is marked "utility." 

    I'm not in LA though I grew up there.  Take what I say as personal experience you can use or discard.  I buy on average 8-20 lbs of meat per week and use it fresh.  I rarely freeze fresh meat.  I will not buy low quality meat.  I learned that lesson long ago and only shop grocers with quality protein.    

    1. My local grocer, a chain throughout northern California and northern Nevada is one of the a better grocery chains; not a high end chain but distinctly better than a low price, low quality chain.  They have a reputation for quality meats, fruits, and vegetables.  I buy 90% of my meat weekly from them.  The beef is all Choice grade, plus the pork and poultry are always in great shape.  When the meat cutters see me walking around the store they all say "hi" and point out the best buys.  They know I like to buy what's on sale.  

    2.  When my local grocer doesn't have what I want, they'll get it in a day, but should I decide I don't want to wait, I head to Costco.  They sell Choice and Prime grade beef.  I'm not crazy about their steaks but I've starting buying briskets and whole pork shoulders there.  Always excellent and their price is really no different than my local grocer.  I find I have the best selection at the meat counter on Wednesdays or Thursdays. 

    3.  I'll go to high end grocers (Whole Foods) only when I can't find what I want at the first two places mentioned.  25-50% higher price, quality similar to above.  I can count on one hand the number of times I've been there in the last year for meat.     

    4.  A local butcher shop, one with an established reputation for quality and variety, charges twice what the grocer charges for the same quality of meat.  Purchased meat there once when in a bind.  Never again......unless I can't find what I want anywhere else.     

    5.  I avoid grocers who stock mostly Select grade beef or who rename their beef with a fancy name without identifying the grade.  If they do that it is Select grade.  Since I don't shop there I can't comment on their pork quality but I'd probably buy pork there if the price difference was substantial from my grocer because the quality of pork is pretty standard across the market.     

    Bottom line, don't discount your better local grocer for quality meat.  You'll get a good price and reliable quality.           
  3. thanks for your insight! I'll definitely take it into consideration and check out some more of my local grocers

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