The cost of beef—from lowly ground chuck to the most tender ribeye—has reached an all time high, with prices averaging around $3.26 per pound for ground beef (up from $2.99) and $4.81 for steak (up from $3.51). First the beer and now the burgers.
States with the highest cattle production numbers have suffered long-term drought conditions over the past decade, meaning ranchers have been forced to cull their herds rather than pay exorbitant prices to bring in feed from elsewhere. Subsequently, the cost for certain cuts of beef has been steadily rising. "In the last three weeks, it has really jumped," Darin Edwards, owner of Colorado-based Edwards Meats, revealed. "Most of our prices have gone up at least a dollar a pound or more."
While barbecue-friendly items typically see an uptick in cost when the weather gets warmer, this year's grilling season looks to be more expensive than ever. Cattle distributors like Edwards have been absorbing some of the cost to help consumers, but that's all likely to change. "If it doesn't come back down in the next couple of weeks, we'll have to adjust our prices accordingly," he says. "We just kind of bite the bullet for a little bit."