Author Topic: Bone-in vs Boneless meat cost  (Read 3566 times)

kimmarg

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Bone-in vs Boneless meat cost
« on: October 24, 2018, 08:44:09 AM »
I was de-boning some chicken thighs I bought on sale today and it lead me to wonder what is the break even point between bonless and bone-in. I bought bone in chicken thighs on sale for $0.88/lb.  I had 2.5lbs of bone-in thighs and got 1.6lbs of boneless skinless meat (I'm guessing someone a bit better at butchering could do slightly better) So that works out to $1.36/lb for boneless skinless thighs.  In general then,

If the cost of boneless is less than 150% of the cost of bone-in it's cheaper to buy boneless chicken thighs.

Has anyone else looked into this for other cuts? Obviously I'm not going to be able to know the yield for everything without trying it, so I'm just sort of looking for a rule of thumb for shopping.

Sugaree

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Re: Bone-in vs Boneless meat cost
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2018, 08:58:38 AM »
I was just thinking about this today while considering if it was worth it to go out of my way to get chicken cheaper at a different grocery store (it's not).  I don't mind breaking down beef roast into stew meat since the difference is usually pretty significant.  And I often break down boneless chicken breast into smaller pieces to freeze.  But I HATE butchering/deboning chicken.  I suck at it and I don't see how it saves money unless I get it at a super, super low price.  One thing I have done in the past is get chicken leg quarters at stupid low prices (under 50 cents a pound) and cook them in the crockpot.  Once they're cooked and cooled I can pick them bones clean and end up with a decent yield of pre-cooked chicken that can be frozen in portions. 

Lews Therin

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Re: Bone-in vs Boneless meat cost
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2018, 09:03:08 AM »
If you're making broth with the bones, that's also extra usage of the cut, and less wasteful to be 1/2 bone.

Cooking and eating the skin works too!

The exact % would depend on the size of the meat compared to the bones. (chicken wings terrible, thighs, excellent)

Fishindude

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Re: Bone-in vs Boneless meat cost
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2018, 09:28:33 AM »
Not such a big deal on something like chicken thighs, but it can be significant on expensive cuts of beef such as T-bones, Porterhouse or bone in ribeyes where you are buying a significant amount of bone.  I think chicken is much better cooked with on the bone vs boneless, particularly breasts. 

nereo

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Re: Bone-in vs Boneless meat cost
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2018, 12:24:45 PM »
If the cost of boneless is less than 150% of the cost of bone-in it's cheaper to buy boneless chicken thighs.

Has anyone else looked into this for other cuts? Obviously I'm not going to be able to know the yield for everything without trying it, so I'm just sort of looking for a rule of thumb for shopping.

The restaurant terminology for this is 'edible yield' - basically the amount of food you get per pound purchased.  Lobster in Maine might seem cheap at $8/lb live in shell, but you get about 25% edible yield, which means per oz it's still more expensive than a $12/lb t-bone steak (edible yield of roughly 80%).  You can find charts that estimate the edible yield on everything from t-bone steaks to whole Salmon.

..and to echo the other posters, the bones and skin have value in-and-of themselves.  Many dishes taste better using bone-in thighs, and you can use the bones and scraps to make broth or stock.

Another approach is simply to compare how many servings you can get per pound of various ingredients.  For example, with 1.25-1.5lbs of bone-in chicken thighs I can get four servings of most braised chicken recipes plus a quart of stock for soup or risotto later.

rdaneel0

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Re: Bone-in vs Boneless meat cost
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2018, 12:43:41 PM »
I love bone-in meat, so much more flavor and it stays so moist! I don't even care about the price difference, though I have noticed bone-in goes on deeper discount, I think because people don't want to deal with bones?

Cranky

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Re: Bone-in vs Boneless meat cost
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2018, 01:07:26 PM »
I figure that most people will eat two chicken thighs per serving, bones or not, so lookfor the cheapest per serving, not necessarily per pound.

kimmarg

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Re: Bone-in vs Boneless meat cost
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2018, 10:12:53 PM »
If the cost of boneless is less than 150% of the cost of bone-in it's cheaper to buy boneless chicken thighs.

Has anyone else looked into this for other cuts? Obviously I'm not going to be able to know the yield for everything without trying it, so I'm just sort of looking for a rule of thumb for shopping.

The restaurant terminology for this is 'edible yield' - basically the amount of food you get per pound purchased.  Lobster in Maine might seem cheap at $8/lb live in shell, but you get about 25% edible yield, which means per oz it's still more expensive than a $12/lb t-bone steak (edible yield of roughly 80%).  You can find charts that estimate the edible yield on everything from t-bone steaks to whole Salmon.

..and to echo the other posters, the bones and skin have value in-and-of themselves.  Many dishes taste better using bone-in thighs, and you can use the bones and scraps to make broth or stock.

Another approach is simply to compare how many servings you can get per pound of various ingredients.  For example, with 1.25-1.5lbs of bone-in chicken thighs I can get four servings of most braised chicken recipes plus a quart of stock for soup or risotto later.

"edible yield" Thanks I knew there had to be information out there. Lobster is a good example it's closer to $5/lb in Maine but I guess that equates to $20/lb which is probably part of the reason I don't buy it often.

I do often use the bones and skin to make stock, etc. I just happened to need boneless for today's recipe which got me thinking. If what you need is boneless for a specific purpose then its good to know the cost and edible yield so you can compare. Also, of course, the effort of deboning.

nereo

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Re: Bone-in vs Boneless meat cost
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2018, 07:30:35 AM »
If the cost of boneless is less than 150% of the cost of bone-in it's cheaper to buy boneless chicken thighs.

Has anyone else looked into this for other cuts? Obviously I'm not going to be able to know the yield for everything without trying it, so I'm just sort of looking for a rule of thumb for shopping.

The restaurant terminology for this is 'edible yield' - basically the amount of food you get per pound purchased.  Lobster in Maine might seem cheap at $8/lb live in shell, but you get about 25% edible yield, which means per oz it's still more expensive than a $12/lb t-bone steak (edible yield of roughly 80%).  You can find charts that estimate the edible yield on everything from t-bone steaks to whole Salmon.

..and to echo the other posters, the bones and skin have value in-and-of themselves.  Many dishes taste better using bone-in thighs, and you can use the bones and scraps to make broth or stock.

Another approach is simply to compare how many servings you can get per pound of various ingredients.  For example, with 1.25-1.5lbs of bone-in chicken thighs I can get four servings of most braised chicken recipes plus a quart of stock for soup or risotto later.

"edible yield" Thanks I knew there had to be information out there. Lobster is a good example it's closer to $5/lb in Maine but I guess that equates to $20/lb which is probably part of the reason I don't buy it often.

I do often use the bones and skin to make stock, etc. I just happened to need boneless for today's recipe which got me thinking. If what you need is boneless for a specific purpose then its good to know the cost and edible yield so you can compare. Also, of course, the effort of deboning.

Didn't realize you and I were in the same state ;-) (I still haven't changed my location to reflect 'Vacationland'...)

misshathaway

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Re: Bone-in vs Boneless meat cost
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2018, 08:05:07 AM »
I love bone-in meat, so much more flavor and it stays so moist! I don't even care about the price difference, though I have noticed bone-in goes on deeper discount, I think because people don't want to deal with bones?

Recently tried boneless pork butt in the crockpot. Cooked the same amount of time, same ingredients. Not as good as bone-in.

rdaneel0

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Re: Bone-in vs Boneless meat cost
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2018, 09:30:48 AM »
@misshathaway  Right?! Love your username btw, haha.

misshathaway

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Re: Bone-in vs Boneless meat cost
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2018, 06:55:01 AM »
@misshathaway  Right?! Love your username btw, haha.

:) The Beverly Hillbillies endorse bone-in meat.