What Is A Chub Of Ground Beef? A Simple Guide

Are you a fan of ground beef? Do you often shop at Costco for your meat needs?

If so, you may have heard of a “chub of beef” before. But what exactly is it? And why should you consider asking for it the next time you’re at the meat department?

In this article, we’ll explore the world of chubs – from what they are, to how they’re packaged, and why they might just be the perfect option for your next meal.

So sit back, relax, and let’s dive into the world of chub ground beef.

What Is A Chub Of Ground Beef?

A chub of ground beef is a cylindrical package of lean ground beef that is sold in various weights, typically ranging from one to ten pounds. It is also known as a “meat tube” or “chub wrap” and is commonly used for packaging ground meats such as beef, turkey, sausage, and chorizo.

The name “chub” may not sound very appetizing, but it simply refers to the shape of the package. Chubs are vacuum-sealed and tied at each end with metal twists, making them easy to store and freeze.

Chubs are typically leaner than the ground beef that is packaged and sold on the floor. The ground beef sold on the floor is usually 88% lean, made up of trimmings from portioning steaks and roasts plus some leaner meat. However, a chub of beef can be as lean as 92-95% and is often sold at a discount compared to the regular ground beef.

How Are Chubs Of Ground Beef Packaged?

Chubs of ground beef are packaged using a specialized packaging process that involves a tube of flexible packaging material. The packaging material is typically made of multiple layers of films such as polyethylene, polyvinylidene chloride, nylon, and polyethylene terephthalate, which provide sealability, puncture resistance, and barrier properties to help extend the shelf life of the product.

The automated chub packaging process begins with rollstock, which is fed around a cylinder and sealed longitudinally via hot air, radio frequency, extrusion, or cohesive to form a continuous tube. A pump then fills the tube with ground beef until the appropriate fill volume is reached. Once the tube is filled with product, rollers compress the tube to squeeze the product away from the clipping area so that the film can be gathered for clip application.

Clips are applied in pairs, one at the trailing end of one package and one at the leading end of the next package. The clips are pre-formed or produced on demand from less expensive rollstock. After clips are applied, a knife cuts between the clips to separate individual chubs.

Chubs come in various sizes, typically ranging from one to ten pounds. The film can be marked with cut points to help divide portions for preparation or freezing. Chub packs also can be equipped with easy-opening features for added convenience.

Benefits Of Using Chubs Of Ground Beef

Using chubs of ground beef has several benefits for both retailers and consumers. One major advantage is the longer shelf life that chubs offer. Chubs are vacuum-sealed, which reduces exposure to oxygen and helps maintain the freshness and quality of the meat for a longer period of time. This is especially important for retailers who need to keep their products fresh and appealing to customers.

Chubs are also easy to store and transport, making them a convenient option for retailers. The cylindrical shape of the package allows for easy stacking and arranging in display cases. Chubs take up less space than traditional foam tray and PVC overwrap packaging, which means retailers can store more product in the same amount of space.

Another benefit of using chubs is the lower cost compared to traditional ground beef packaging. Chubs are less expensive to produce, which means that retailers can offer them at a lower price point to customers. This makes chubs an attractive option for consumers who are looking for an affordable source of protein.

Finally, chubs of ground beef are a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes. The leaner meat in chubs makes them a healthier option compared to traditional ground beef, while still providing the same great taste and texture. Chubs can be used in burgers, meatballs, tacos, chili, and many other dishes, making them a staple in many kitchens.

How To Cook With Chubs Of Ground Beef

Cooking with chubs of ground beef is simple and easy. Here are some tips to help you get started:

1. Thaw the chub of ground beef in the refrigerator overnight before cooking. This will ensure that it is fully thawed before you start cooking.

2. When you’re ready to cook, remove the chub from the packaging and place it on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut the chub into smaller portions, depending on your recipe.

3. Heat a skillet or pan over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add a small amount of oil or butter.

4. Add the ground beef to the pan and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the beef has browned on one side, flip it over and continue cooking until it is fully cooked.

5. Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature of the beef has reached 165°F for food safety.

6. Once the beef is fully cooked, remove it from the pan and drain any excess fat using a colander or paper towels.

7. Use the cooked ground beef in your favorite recipes, such as tacos, spaghetti sauce, or chili.

Remember that leaner chubs of ground beef may require additional oil or butter to prevent sticking to the pan. Additionally, be sure to store any leftover cooked ground beef in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Comparison Of Chubs To Other Ground Beef Packaging Options

When it comes to packaging ground beef, there are several options available in the market. One of the most popular options is tray packaging, which involves placing the ground beef in a plastic tray and sealing it with plastic wrap. However, tray packaging can be expensive due to the cost of materials and the need for secondary packaging.

Chubs, on the other hand, offer a cost-effective alternative to tray packaging. They require less material and do not need secondary packaging if the film is printed. Additionally, chubs are vacuum-sealed, which helps to preserve the freshness and quality of the meat for a longer period of time.

Another advantage of chub packaging is that it allows for customization of the package’s appearance and labeling. Chub films offer a large surface area for printing compared to other forms of food packaging that may only allow for a small label.

In terms of sustainability, chubs have an edge over tray packaging as they require less material and can be recycled after use. The latest chub packaging machines also reduce costs and enhance sustainability by conserving film, more efficient cleaning, and lower energy consumption.

Tips For Buying And Storing Chubs Of Ground Beef.

If you’re interested in purchasing a chub of ground beef, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here are some tips for buying and storing chubs of ground beef:

1. Ask the meat department: Chubs of ground beef are not always on display in the meat section. You may need to ask the meat department specifically for a chub of beef. Some stores may not even carry them, so it’s best to call ahead and ask.

2. Check the fat content: As mentioned, chubs of ground beef can be leaner than regular ground beef. However, the fat content can vary from store to store, so be sure to check the label or ask the meat department for more information.

3. Use within 21 days: Chubs of ground beef can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 21 days. However, it’s important to use them within that time frame to ensure freshness and quality.

4. Freeze for longer storage: If you’re not planning on using the chub of ground beef within 21 days, it’s best to freeze it for longer storage. You can keep it in its original packaging or transfer it to a freezer-safe bag or container.

5. Label and date: Whether you’re storing the chub of ground beef in the refrigerator or freezer, be sure to label it with the date so you know when you purchased it and when it needs to be used by.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your chub of ground beef stays fresh and delicious for as long as possible.