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Jun 17, 2013 10:20 AM


Where's a decent place to buy bulk beef/pork. Not looking for anyhting special. Just want a decent pork shoulder/ brisket that isnt too pricey. i know Costco has it but any non chain stores?

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  1. The Andrew Boss Laboratory of Meat Science at the University of Minnesota St. Paul campus sells meat at reasonable prices. (Retail shop Wednesday afternoons, and they take orders via email; have even heard they will take some special requests, but I have no personal experience with that.) Here's a link to the site and the price lists:

    I have purchased whole fresh hams from the Meat Lab and been very pleased with the quality.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cayjohan

      I know of someone who frequently gives special requests to the meat lab and is absolutely thrilled with how it works out.


    2. It really depends where you live as there are quality options all around the Twin Cities. For those in the East Metro, I've been suggesting Angus Meat Market on Highway 61 for years. They have excellent quality and their prices have always been competitive. That's the best option close to my abode.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Db Cooper

        +1. Angus sells full pork shoulders and full briskets. I've bought a handful of both over the past few years and all have been very good. I'm sure you could call about doing bulk of either or both cuts.

      2. This is not an endorsement but it appears that you can go to the Restaurant Depot if you join the Kansas City Barbeque Society. It is $35 per year but that is cheaper than Costco. Many of the top smokers in the competitions buy their meat there.

        3 Replies
        1. re: ibew292

          Interesting concept. Maybe my question is for the Home Cooking thread, but Ive been of the opinion that if you start with a quality pork product, and you do the right things, you end with a quality pork product. I can see buying bulk pork shoulder when needing feed an army, but I've been particular when it's a special occasion. To be honest, I haven't paid attention to the difference when it comes to something so heavily spiced and smoked as pulled pork.

          So the question - does the pork quality make a difference? I ask because I split a hog yearly with my father in law, and I've used those cuts to make "Nokomis" prosciutto, an awesome ham, and some very good pate. I've used the shoulder for pulled pork. Should I save the shoulder for something better, if the final pulled pork quality depends more on spicing and smoking technique? If that's the case, what is advise on getting the best cuts for hat I can do the best with at home?

          1. re: foreverhungry

            If one does the right things, then you can end with a quality product. However, I view cooking much like playing music. A good musician/cook can make any instrument/food play or taste excellent. However, a good instrument/food product in the hands of an amateur is just a waste of money.

            Just about any butcher will either have or can get you a pork shoulder or brisket without breaking the bank. Especially with pork shoulders, you don't need a high quality meat to make it work. Smoking was traditionally done with the lowest quality and toughest meats, but low and slow will make them taste fantastic. Just wield your instrument brother

            1. re: GutGrease

              That's why pork shoulder is a good hunk of meat to learn on when it comes to smoking. It's pretty much impossible to screw it up.

              Brisket on the other hand is for the graduate-level course. It is by far the most difficult.

        2. Go to the StP farmers market. You can get greta meat there at reasonable prices. Also you can often get the farmers to do custom cuts if you give them a week or two notice.

          1. So Low Grocery Outlet in N. Minneapolis. Two weeks ago they had back ribs for $0.99lb.