Meat+Poultry - June 2018 - 54
Good brisket comes
directly from quality
cattle that's been hand
picked and raised to
provide the best meat.
"It's been growing for quite a while,"
says Ryan Meyer, director of cattle
procurement at Creekstone. "As the
backyard barbecue champion thing has
come on, so has the need for products
like briskets, short ribs and smoking
items. And since it's come on, we've
been able to step in and do well at
some of the competitions."
Personal endorsements from
pitmasters with celebrity status also
help. Meyer adds, "Really, once Aaron
Franklin grabbed Creekstone and was
public about it, it started spreading like
wildfire. That was a big piece of it." But
independent of the endorsements from
well-known pitmasters, the brisket
itself must be a consistent and quality
product or the endorsements will
eventually mean nothing.
"You think about what that
competition barbecue guy is looking
for," says Jim Rogers, senior vice
president of sales at Creekstone.
"Consistency; consistent sizing;
consistent marbling, just an overall
Annella Kelso, meat maven and
business development manager at Agri
Beef's Snake River Farms agrees with
Rogers' assessment of why competitors
are brand loyal when it comes to
brisket. "Consistency and quality. It's
that simple. It truly is," she says.
Except for some Texas competitions,
most people that cook Snake River
Farms' brisket are sold on the attributes
of wagyu-bred beef . The unique and
heavy marbling give the meat a distinct
taste that most other breeds don't have.
The company couples that with an
integrated supply chain to ensure the
consistency of the products.
"We are a pasture-to-plate
organization. We own our cattle, and we
own the feed company that makes the
feed that feeds the cattle," Kelso says.
"We source all of our products within
150 miles of our feeding operation, and
we feed our wagyu on a long feeding
program. They're fed up to five times
longer than traditional cattle."
Kelso says Snake River Farms also
reaped the benefits of an endorsement
that created the surge in popularity
of the company in the competitive
"We've been fortunate that there