How to keep the summer grilling season going while some stores limit meat purchases

Local butchers like Red Apron can help you get meat for your summer cookouts. (Courtesy Red Apron)

The unofficial start to summer is here, and that means many people will be firing up the grill, but as some grocers limit meat purchases due to the coronavirus pandemic, consumers are turning to other options for select cuts.

That could trigger a revival for traditional butchers, like Nate Anda’s Red Apron in Virginia and D.C.

Anda said his stores have not been affected by some of the well-publicized shut downs of meat processing plants due to the pandemic. In fact, it’s business as usual.

“We’re not dealing with major factory farms,” Anda said. “We’re dealing with the same hog growers we’ve been dealing with for the last 10 years, as well as the same beef.”

Anda said demand caused meat prices to rise, but even still, he hopes more people will continue supporting their local butchers even after some of the supply problems ease.

“This has really gotten people to come back and see what we have to offer.”

If you’re worried about shopping at large grocery stores, and concerned that if you go, you might not be able to find what you want, some butchers are offering a CSA-style butcher box.

At Red Apron, for example, monthly butcher box shares cost $95 or $140 through their website and come with instructions for cooking cuts that may not be familiar to some subscribers.

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Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

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