With today’s high beef market costs, it’s good to review the true costs of ground beef. Below is an illustration that compares cooking yield loss with product costs of 80-percent lean ground beef.
In today’s beef markets, wholesale 80-percent lean, uncooked ground beef sells for about $2.25/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:
Cooking Yield based on USDA Handbook 8 Series.
True Cost is based on all other costs such as labor for cooking, utilities, handling and waste control are not included.
As demonstrated, 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, etc. 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.
Contact your Burke representative today about the advantages of using pre-cooked meats.
Kelsey McCarty, guest writer
At Burke we strive relentlessly to produce and deliver the highest quality food possible. Many factors throughout our processes play into the quality of our products. One of these factors is the freezing process that we use at our facility.
We make products utilizing a process called Individually Quick Frozen (IQF). With this process, our products go from proper cooked meat temperatures to below 0°F in a matter of minutes. This is opposed to a slow freezing process that could take up to three hours. We obtain these temperatures via mechanical and cryogenic freezing systems.
When meat goes through a freezing process, water molecules in the product bind together and form ice crystals. With a fast freezing process, these molecules aren’t allowed much time to organize, like they would a slow freezing process, so small ice crystals are formed. Large ice crystals disrupt proteins and decrease the water binding capacity of these proteins. When
water binding capacity is decreased, there is an increase in drip loss from products when thawed. Excess purge is undesirable because it creates a watery, lower quality product.
Other advantages of IQF products include microbial control and optimal conversion of flavor, nutrition and texture. With a fast freezing process, less flavor and nutrition content will be lost after the product goes through the freeze-thaw cycle. This is because components would be leached out with the excess drip loss that a slow freezing processing brings. Texture, too, is conserved because of the minimal ice crystal formation which is a detriment to product texture. The texture of Burke products are stable from before and after it has been IQF.
The IQF freezing process is just one process that Burke employs to deliver to our customers the best quality products that we can make. We are continuously finding and developing new technology that will enhance our products from the beginning to when it reaches our valued customers.
Editor’s note: Kelsey McCarty is a student intern in Burke’s R&D Department. Currently a junior in food science and technology at Iowa State University, Kelsey is a frequent member of the ISU Dean’s List. She is the current president of ISU’s Colleges Against Cancer, the ISU Undergraduate IFT Representative, and vice president of the ISU Food Science Club. Upon graduation, Kelsey is planning on employment in the food industry or continuing her professional growth by perusing her graduate degree in either food or meat science.
It’s not too early to make your plans for the International Pizza Expo, 2014! The expo is slated for March 25-27 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The three day show is packed with demonstrations, workshops, seminars and contests. And, lots of good fun!
The International Pizza Expo is celebrating its 30th anniversary. A long time staple of the Expo, Burke Corporation has participated in all but the Expo’s first year in 1984. Celebrity keynote speakers this year include Donatella Arpaia, judge on the Food Network’s “Iron Chef”, and cousins Sal Basile and Francis Garcia from the Cooking Channel’s “Pizza Cuz”.
While attending the Pizza Expo, plan spending some time at the Burke Team and Booth #927. Experience Burke’s premier toppings and friendly sales and marketing staff. From Burke’s new coarse-ground Italian Sausages to their new line of IQF diced ham and Canadian bacon, Burke meats are known throughout the country as having the finest, best tasting and preforming products available.
Among our popular meatball and topping offerings, the Swiss American Sausage Brand is going to be emphasized at our booth this year, highlighting their West-Coast Style Pepperoni and other dry sausages.
Are you following us on Facebook, Twitter or Google+? We will be giving live updates from our booth all three days
Go to www.pizzaexpo.com to register and to learn more about this annual event.
We've been hearing that "breakfast is the most important meal of the day" for as long as we can remember. Numerous studies have given evidence that eating breakfast can result in many positive health consequences. However, this vital meal is often difficult, if not impossible, to fit into our busy schedules. In a survey conducted by Kellogg's in 2011, only 34% of adults eat breakfast every day. In order for Americans to get the most from their mornings they need to eat! Could the lack of breakfast participation be from bland breakfast options? Don't let a boring bowl of oatmeal or soggy cereal keep you from eating breakfast!
The breakfast trends for the new year are anything but boring. According to the National Restaurant Association (NRA) 2014 Culinary Forecast, ethnic-inspired breakfast items rank 16th on their Top 20 Trends list. This means consumers will be seeing lots of bold and ethnic flavors on breakfast menus in the coming year. For example, the NRA mentioned chorizo scrambled eggs as an ethnic inspired breakfast dish. The addition of this rich and flavorful protein intensifies this breakfast staple making it new and exciting. The National Restaurant Association report also included the trend of traditional ethnic breakfast items becoming more popular. Items like huevos rancheros will be making a reappearance on menus in 2014. Whether it's new ethnic creations or old standbys making a comeback, bold flavor is a big trend for breakfast in 2014.
Also in the upcoming year, breakfast will not be confined to a particular day part. Technomic reported that, "Consumers are less likely to eat according to a three-square-meals schedule." This means breakfast can be eaten at any time of the day, not just in the morning. Opening up the breakfast meal-part gives consumers more purchasing opportunities and restaurants and retailers more selling opportunities. Creative breakfast sandwiches, flatbreads and burritos are a great way to incorporate this trend. These options are familiar, portable and craveable. Late-night breakfast menus are also picking up steam, proving again that breakfast is delicious, no matter the time.
The trend of healthy eating has been a recurring trend for many years, and breakfast is no exception in the new year. One way this is being incorporated into breakfast items is by using egg whites in omelets, hashes, and sandwiches just to name a few applications. Replacing a whole egg with egg whites cuts calories, fat and cholesterol from breakfast favorites without sacrificing flavor or protein. To boost the protein of your breakfast even more, add turkey breakfast sausage. Turkey breakfast sausage is the perfect partner to an egg white omelet or breakfast burrito, and makes many delicious and healthy breakfast choices.
From bold ethnic flavors to healthy breakfast options, the new year is bringing fresh ideas to liven up the first meal of the day. If you haven't yet chosen your new year's resolution, maybe eating a balanced breakfast every morning would be the perfect way to start 2014 off on the right foot.
Turkey Scramble-Scrambled egg whites are combined with turkey breakfast sausage crumbles and chopped white onions, red and green bell peppers and seasonings, served overtop a bed of baked home fries, offering a delicious and filling breakfast or brunch.
When thinking of breakfast, one of the first foods that comes to mind is most likely pancakes. The vision of a mouthwatering short stack dripping with syrup and a pat of melting butter is the traditional image, but why not expand the pancake horizon? The simplicity of unadorned pancake batter is the perfect place to start when developing a delicious and contemporary new savory dish, featuring on-trend contrasts in flavor and texture.
The addition of unique and flavorful savory ingredients is a great way to enhance the traditional pancake. One example of an ingredient that can transform a regular pancake into a tasty and interesting breakfast is...bacon. Adding bacon pieces into a standard pancake batter incorporates just the right amount of saltiness and texture making them even more delicious. Pancakes can also transition onto your lunch menu. Consider replacing a traditional ham and cheese sandwich with a ham and cheese pancake made with aged white cheddar cheese, diced ham, and caramelized onions.
Another technique for transporting pancakes into other day and menu parts is to experiment with different types of flours and grains in the batter. Using flours such as whole wheat, potato, rye, almond or rice is a simple way to create variation. If health is important consider adding the extremely popular quinoa; when added to pancakes it adds an extra dose of protein and a filling heartiness to the dish.
Although maple syrup on pancakes is delicious, consumers are looking for an innovation and creativity in their food that is equally tempting. One way to kick-up your pancakes a notch is to add a touch of the unexpected by incorporating a savory and tasty sauce or topping, such as chili on a cornmeal based pancake.
Nontraditional variations such as potato pancakes are another creative option. Not only are potatoes inexpensive, but also they are a comfort food for many. Using ingredients already on hand in an innovative application is a great way to keep food costs down while still delighting the customer. The mainstream appetizer, potato skins, are without a doubt delicious but lack inspiration. With the same ingredients, make loaded potato pancakes using bacon, green onions, cheddar cheese and sour cream. Simple changes can make a big impact on the appeal of a menu.
A relative of pancakes, crepes are another traditionally sweet dish that transitions wonderfully with the addition of savory flavors. Using crepes as an alternative to pancakes is a great way to incorporate different proteins into a menu. Stuffing crepes with meats such as chicken or chorizo, flavorful cheeses like Fontina or gouda and fresh vegetables like asparagus and leeks make a great enhancement to a menu.
Whichever pancake variation or spin-off is incorporated into a menu, there is no doubt that customers will appreciate the addition of current culinary trends. Savory pancakes may be your next signature dish, and your ticket to a more successful business.
Sausage Pancake Benedict- A mini buttermilk pancake topped with turkey sausage, a velvety hollandaise sauce, and garnished with fresh chives.
Hearty Ham and Gruyere Crepe- A savory crepe filled with diced ham, shredded gruyere cheese, sauteed mushrooms and topped with a creamy mornay sauce.
NEVADA, IA---Burke Corporation, leader in fully cooked meat products and pizza toppings, has named Brad Beuter Product Development Manager.
In his new position, Beuter will lead a team developing precooked meat toppings for customers, matching and customizing flavor, texture and cost profiles. Beuter was previously Production Supervisor, overseeing day-to-day operations on the Burke production line.
“Brad’s experience with Burke’s production capabilities will continue Burke’s dedication to efficiency,” said Casey Frye, Vice President of Research and Development. “His knowledge of the process is critical to assuring customers that our product will always work for their applications.”
“I’m looking forward to understanding market demands and anticipate building great partnerships as we bring our customers’ ideas to fruition,” said Beuter.
A graduate of Iowa State University, Beuter received a degree in agricultural science. He has been a member of the Burke team for six years and brought more than sixteen years of food industry experience to the organization.
For more information about Burke fully cooked meat products, visit www.BurkeCorp.com.
Once an unusual and mostly unheard of food item, hummus is now widely popular and eaten frequently throughout America. According to Information Resources Inc. (IRI) in 2012 hummus sales were up to $530 million, a 25% increase from 2010. With statistics like this it's no secret that hummus is a hot trend right now.
The recent demand for hummus is generating creative variations and uses for this popular blend of chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans), tahini (sesame seed butter), olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. Hummus is being infused with ingredients like garlic, roasted red pepper, avocado, cilantro, jalapeno, and basil just to name a few variations.
Along with incorporating different flavors into traditional hummus, it's used for more than just a dip for vegetables and pita bread/chips. Hummus is being used as a replacement for mayonnaise or mustard on sandwiches or burgers, an alternative to tomato sauce on pizza, and a new and interesting topping for pasta.
Hummus is commonly associated with vegetarian or vegan diets, but hummus is a great ingredient to use in dishes containing meat. The creamy texture of hummus is a great compliment to many different animal proteins. If you are looking for someting new and creative to add to your menu, keep hummus in mind.
Grilled Vegatable and Chicken Wrap- Grilled bell peppers, onions, zucchini, and chicken breast strips fill a whole wheat wrap spread with a cilantro lime hummus.
Humble Hummus Pie-A thin layer of garlic-flavored hummus combined with all beef bias-sliced Italian-style links, black olives, green peppers and a combination of feta and mozzarella cheeses.
Request a Sample at www.burkecorp.com
Photo credit www.simplerecipes.com
It's noon, you're starving, and of course you didn't have time to pack a lunch due to a particularly early morning at the office. The restaurant across the street sounds good, but who has time to sit down for lunch in the middle of the week? You know the nearest drugstore only has candy bars and chips, and the thought of another soggy sandwich from the vending machine is almost enough to make you skip lunch altogether. You decide that having some questionably old chocolate from your desk drawer will have to do. This completely wrecks your healthy eating plan, oh well, there's protein in chocolate...right?
This is one example of a lost opportunity during the lunch day-part. Situations similar to the one above are happening every day. Many consumers are more than willing to purchase pre-made meals from gas stations, drugstores, or supermarkets, but only if they meet their set of standards. People eating on the go are not only looking for something fast and portable, they want food that is fresh, delicious, and healthy.
What exactly constitutes the freshness in fresh prepared food? Retailers are throwing around words like fresh and wholesome, but what do those words really mean when they are describing our meals? Unfortunately, there is not one set definition for fresh when it comes to food. Each merchandiser has to choose how it wants to describe fresh to its own customers. According to "Fresh Prepared Foods: A Growth Driver for Your Company", a white paper produced by ATKearney and Technomic, there are four ways to characterize fresh when it comes to prepared food.
- In-store preparation
- In-store finish
- Commissary model
- Food processor model
In-store preparation (procuring the basic ingredients and assembling the product in store) is probably what most consumers expect when they picture their grab-n-go options being prepared. Although this may be the most appealing method when making fresh prepared food, it is not always the most practical for the retailer from a management or a financial perspective. In-store preparation requires dedicated space, expertise and training. Additionally there are many costs associated with in-store preparation such as increased labor costs and increased waste from using raw ingredients.
In-store finish operations are shipped frozen food and then complete the food prep in store. The preparation typically involves thawing or reheating the food before sale to the customer. There can also be some in-store assembly, adding ingredients to a basic platform. For example, the store could add pre-cooked sausage or fresh vegetables to a pre-prepared frozen cheese pizza. The option of using some or all frozen ingredients decreases the amount of waste and can be a great solution for merchandisers offering fresh prepared food.
The commissary model uses centralized kitchens to make and deliver fresh prepared food to stores, or partners with a local fresh food provider. Using the commissary model can help resolve inventory issues that arise when implementing the in-store preparation model.
The fourth option is the food processor model. Retailers would connect with a major food processor that can produce fresh prepared meal options. This can be a good option for those wanting consistency and are willing to create a relationship with a large food processor and distributor.
Implementing fresh prepared foods into any retail foodservice establishment takes some work and lots of planning. The four methods mentioned above all have their strengths and weaknesses, but retailers must determine which strategy will work best in their own situation. It may take time before a fresh prepared food segment runs smoothly, but there is no doubt that grab-n-go options are a hot foodservice trend.
Visit www.burkecorp.com to request a sample of Burke's Fully Cooked Meats to incorporate into your fresh prepared food offerings!
Think outside the crust when using sausage pizza toppings! The convenience that fully cooked sausage brings to preparing pizza can, and should, span over more areas of your menu. Consumers know quality pizza, but why not incorporate fully cooked sausage pizza toppings into your appetizers, sandwiches, and entrees? Doing so is easy for you and delicious for your customers.
Expand Your Menu
Tired of chicken or beef nachos? Use coarse-ground sausage instead for a unique variation. Want to upgrade a typical bruschetta recipe? Add Italian sausage for a more filling and flavorful appetizer. Need a new and delicious sandwich option? Replace traditional deli meats with sausage for a creative menu choice. Using fully cooked sausage pizza topping is a great way to expand your menu, and attract customers looking for fresh and creative menu ideas.
Menu Ideas for Inspiration
2 AM Buffalo Sausage Nachos: Home-made tortilla chips layered with Monterrey jack cheese,ranch dressing, Coarse-Ground Mild Italian Sausage tossed in hot sauce, celery, carrots, blue cheese crumbles and sour cream.
Italian Sausage Bruschetta: Crusty sliced french bread topped with fresh mozzarella, chopped tomatoes, Italian Sausage crumble, fresh basil, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.
Mushroom and Pesto Sausage Toastie: Italian Sausage, and sautéed mushrooms and onions are sandwiched between two pieces of whole grain bread spread with pesto and red onion and mushroom infused cream cheese. This delicious sandwich is then toasted to a golden perfection.
Cheesy Sausage Crisps: Wonton wraps topped with a light layer of whipped cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, banana peppers and Spicy Italian Sausage. Baked right in your pizza oven.
Not only is sausage a classic and popular pizza topping, but it can also be used to create high quality, artisan pizzas as well as many other menu items. Fully cooked sausage is a consumer approved and versatile ingredient.
Request a sample here.
The craft beer category has seen healthy growth in the last few years in America. During the same time, import brands have been flat and domestic beer behemoths have experienced declines. This points to an increase inconsumers’ desire to explore new flavors and their need to find unique, hand-crafted products. Pizza operations can take advantage of this trend to offer beers that match the high quality coming out of the oven.
During the 2013 Pizza Expo, a craft beer roundtablelead by Greg Koch fromStone Brewery, Dan Kopeman from Schlafly Brewing, and Chris Sommers from Pi Pizzeria helped to explain the benefits of upgrading the beer selection at any pizza restaurant.
By offering a better beer selection, an operator makes an impression. Patrons need to know that the operation cares about quality and how that translates into great pizza and great beverages. Consumers have good taste; they just need the opportunity to be exposed to better products. And when they are, loyalty to a pizza restaurant goes up exponentially. Do all the products you offer match the quality of your pizza?
By utilizing more valuable real estate on the tap row for craft beer, operators can drive higher profits. Craft beer drinkers bring 36% higher check averages, and craft beer generally sells more quickly than the “regular” domestic brands. A pint of craft beer sells for more, and coupled with the brisk sales, a keg of craft beer will drive income that helps the operation “break even” 25% more quickly on a craft beer keg than a keg of lesser-quality beer. Would you like to attract patrons that are not only more loyal, but spend more each time they visit?
Offering craft beer as a complement to outstanding pizza will only bring positive benefits to an operation. Consumers that care about better food and want to try new things will be drawn in and will remain loyal to return again and again. The bottom line will benefit as well because craft beer drinkers equal higher check averages, and craft beer sells more quickly at a higher price than the “usual suspects”. Incorporating craft beer into your pizza business shows your good taste and will drive good profits.
To find the perfect pizza recipe to pair up with your craft beer selection and request a sample of our high-quality pre-cooked meats, visit burkecorp.com