Strong demand for Texas BBQ

Continued strong dem& for Texas barbecue will help fuel the need for steady supplies of beef in 2019, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service livestock economist.

“I definitely think barbecue dem& is driving the dem& for beef,” said Dr. David &erson, who gave an outlook presentation on a variety of meats on barbecue restaurant menus at the Fifth Annual Texas Barbecue Town Hall Meeting recently at Texas A&M University in College Station.

&erson said the overarching themes going into 2019 are increased consumer dem& & growing beef supplies from an exp&ing cow herd.

“I think we will have more beef cow production next year with growing beef supplies, yet continued dem&,” he said.

U.S. cow inventory was at 31.7 million head for 2018, up 1.6 percent for the year, he said. Steer dressed weights did not show increases as they have in years past.

“Animals aren’t staying in feedlots longer & getting heavier, they are being pulled on through,” he said. “What it means is dem& for beef is there & those cattle are moving, not st&ing there adding more gain in the feedlot.”

Another trend &erson said is fewer cattle grading

USDA choice.

“There were fewer graded choice in about the June period of this year,” he said. “Fewer are grading choice compared to this time a year ago. There’s a relationship between weights & grade.”

The faster they bring those animals through, the less time they have to put on weight, &erson said.

“We’ve actually had larger supplies of prime meat than choice from a year ago. I think over the long term, we’ve got a lot of consumers wanting a higher quality product. Not only are we producing that, we are producing what people want at the same time.”

Daniel Vaughn, Texas Monthly magazine barbecue editor, discussed several ways for barbecue restaurant owners to market their menu items through social media. Vaughn has traveled extensively throughout Texas, visiting barbecue restaurants to compile the magazine’s annual top restaurants in the Lone Star State.

During those travels, he has sampled countless slices of barbecue brisket, ribs & side dishes. From serving barbecue s&wiches on Texas toast to offering customers a specialty line of in-house smoked sausage, Vaughn offered several suggestions to help restaurant owners make customers want to drive hundreds of miles to experience their food.

A beef grading & pork cutout demonstration was led by Dr. Davey Griffin, AgriLife Extension meat specialist, & Ray Riley, manager of the Rosenthal Meat Center at Texas A&M.

The meeting was sponsored by the E.M. “Manny” Rosenthal Chair in the department of animal science at Texas A&M University. Dr. Jeff Savell, Rosenthal Chair, served as host with assistance from students Brogan Horton, Eric Hamilton, Jason Shamburger, Ty Robertson, Devon King, Steven Mancillas, Holly S&ers, Kenna Turner & Wilsey Windler.

Lunch was cooked onsite by John Brotherton, Brotherton’s Black Iron Barbecue, & Russell & Misty Roegels, Roegels Barbecue. The group prepared beef steaks, pork chops, sides & dessert for the participants.

“We greatly appreciate everyone who helped prepare & serve the lunch for the town hall meeting,” Savell said. “We thank everyone who came to the town hall meeting, & we look forward to working with the great folks who prepare Texas barbecue.”

For more on Texas A&M barbecue educational programs, visit bbq. tamu.edu.

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