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Costco ground beef

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Costco ground beef

greygarious | Dec 7, 2009 06:36 AM

I used to buy it on occasion in the past but got out of the habit, since I am cooking for one. I'd break it down into freezer packages that were sometimes too old by the time I used them. But after reading the scary NY Times article, I decided to go back to Costco's ground beef because their inspection/testing policies are better than most sellers'. I was there a month ago. The price per pound was the same for patties and solid packages of the same fat percentage, so I bought the patties (although I later realized that at an average of 7 oz they were far larger than I'd use for a burger.). When vacuum-sealing them 3 to a package, I noticed a considerable amount of juice being siphoned out, but this was my first time sealing patties so I thought it might be the increased surface area per pound. Last week, before making pasta sauce, I defrosted a package in by submerging it in cold water. A huge amount of bloody water was produced. I didn't measure but am guessing 2/3 cup, and certainly a far larger volume than I'd see if defrosting the same amount from my supermarket.
There was no leak in the bag. The meat was close to room temp when it hit the hot chef's pan, yet was still so wet that it stewed rather than browned. It didn't have much flavor, either (I'd already noticed that when making burgers from it). Although I applaud their safety protocols, I am reluctant to buy Costco ground beef again.

I've read recommendations to look for ground beef that retains the tubular shape of the extruder dies, because that shows that no water has been added while the meat is being ground. Trader Joe's ground beef qualifies in that regard. The first time I bought it I noticed that it made a delicious burger, even with 90+ % lean. I know it was included in a recent recall so I am pondering whether or not to go back to it.

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