The true cost of ground beef can be confusing. As is well known, there is substantial cooking loss when cooking ground beef. Below is an example that compares cooking yield loss with product costs. The example uses 80-percent lean ground beef and the true cost of each based on cooking losses per cooking methods used.
In today’s beef markets, wholesale 80-percent lean, uncooked ground beef sells for about $1.85/lb. Based on various cooking methods, the USDA (USDA Handbook 8 Series) rates the following cooking yields and thus its consequential true costs are as follows:
1 cooking yield based on USDA Handbook 8 Series
2 all other costs such as labor for cooking, utilities, handling and waste control are not included
As illustrated, the product loss due to cooking and cooking method adds substantial costs to raw meat, aside from other costs that are harder to identify such as labor, handling, waste, and so on. Not to mention product liability, quality and food safety integrity.
When considering meat toppings and fillings for your recipe development projects, select pre-cooked meat toppings and fillings. Their perceived costs are higher when compared to the costs of uncooked ground beef, but the reality is that if your operation is cooking, you are already paying for these cost, plus much, much more.
The advantages of pre-cooked meats are multifold. Using pre-cooked meats is tremendously more food safe than having to deal with uncooked meats. Precooked meats are convenient to use and you won’t have to deal with waste. When maintained under proper storage conditions, precooked meats will last longer than uncooked meats.
Casey Frye is the Vice President of Research and Development for Burke Corporation.
A timed test of pre-cooked vs. raw meat which showcases one of the key advantages of pre-cooked meat toppings – time savings at the make-table.
Timed Raw vs. Pre-Cooked Competition Video | Full Script
We’d like to demonstrate one of the key advantages of pre-cooked pizza toppings– speed at the make-table–by conducting a timed competition to top a pizza using pre-cooked vs. raw sausage.
Let’s get started, ready—set—go.
We are starting with two partially prepared pizzas—and have asked Jamie & Amy to simply add the meat. On your left, Amy is pinching 6 oz of raw sausage onto the pizza. While Jamie is topping her pizza with 4.5 oz of pre-cooked. Remember we need less pre-cooked because of the shrinkage of the raw sausage.
While we wait for Amy to finish; I’d like to remind you that it’s not just about speed, but also about quality; and fully cooked Hand-Pinched Style® toppings hold their own in side-by-side comparisons with raw on baked pizza – the look, bite and flavor all compare very favorably to the raw.
They are both done. The pre-cooked sausage topping took about 15 seconds; while the raw took 35. If you add an additional 20 seconds for proper handwashing, the raw required an extra 40 seconds per pizza. Better throughput means more pizzas and more to the bottom line. This can really add up over an evening.
Have you ever found yourself asking “what is the cost difference between using raw meat and precooked meat in my recipes?” If so, we have a calculator that can help you analyze the impact of your ingredient purchasing decisions on productivity and profitability.
The true cost of using raw meat includes not only shrinkage, but also other back-of-house costs–labor, training and added seasonings. In fact, while it may seem like you are saving only time by buying precooked meats, it can also save money. You may be surprised at the bottom line comparison!
With just a few clicks, you can see how your choice of ingredients can affect your bottom line. Calculate the true cost of using raw vs. precooked meat at www.BurkeCorp.com/TrueCostOfRaw.
After answering a few simple product and operational questions, the profitability calculator will provide you with an estimated per pound cost of the raw meat after it has been cooked. Make sure to use this cost in a side-by-side comparison to a precooked meat product. And don’t forget to take into consideration the following ways that precooked meats can make your job easier as you manage your back-of-house operations:
||Never worry about the microbial dangers and cross-contamination problems associated with raw meats.
||With IQF precooked meats, simply open a bag, measure or weigh the amount you need, and add to your recipes. And there’s no waste or grease to dispose.
||With precooked meats, there’s no extra labor, additional training and clean-up, or unnecessary equipment.
||Less time at the make-table means quicker pizza production and faster table turns.
||No matter what recipe, shape, texture, it will be the same, every order, every store, every time.
||Cooked meat has a much slower oxidation rate than does raw, resulting in longer shelf life and less worries about rancidity.
If you would like to learn more about how using precooked meats can make your job easier, while boosting your bottom line, please contact us. And be sure to check out our other profitability calculators at www.BurkeCorp.com/Tools
To continue this conversation, please leave us a comment at the bottom of this post or email us at BurkeBlog@BurkeCorp.com.
Amy Thielking is the Marketing Specialist of Burke Corporation.