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Kocher's Continental Specialty Meats


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Kocher’s Continental Specialty Meats

634 Bergen Blvd

Ridgefield, NJ

(201) 945-7086

I enjoy living in the New Jersey suburbs, but I envy Manhattan and NYC residents for their easy access to top specialty meat purveyors, such as Lobels, Dean and Deluca, Citarella and Pete’s Meat (in the Arthur Avenue Retail Market). I thought we Jersey residents were seriously deficient in that department until my recent first time visit to Kocher’s Meats in Ridgefield, a long-established quality meats purveyor.

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Kocher’s is a German-style butcher and makes ALL of its sausages and charcuterie onsite.

They’ve got many varieties of sausages, including their own hot dogs, bratwursts, weisswursts, kielbasas, and also Italian-style sausages as well. Everything is made in-house.

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Kocher’s makes its own hams, bolognas, salamis and other cold cuts under the Continental brand. Oh yeah, their own bacon too.

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In addition to top quality pork, Kocher’s also carries Prime beef cuts.

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If the cuts on display don’t exactly fit your specifications, Kocher’s will cut your meat to order. Here are some thick-cut Pork Chops I bought for tonight’s dinner.

Edited by Jason Perlow (log)

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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I cooked up some of the bacon for BLTs for lunch. I was going to suggest to Jason that next time he ask for it to be cut thicker, but I see from the fist picture, above, it is pre-sliced, pretty thinly. That's fine for pan frying, but whenever I try to cook trays of bacon in the oven, when it is cut very thin it sometimes burns and sticks. It was a nice bacon though, not too smoky or salty or sweet. Just right.

We had a sampling of their sausage for dinner last night. I particularly liked to big white "roaster" bratwurst, shown in the center of this picture. Mmm.

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I'm pretty sure you can get the bacon custom sliced from slab bacon they have there, you just have to ask for it, like I asked for the pork chops to be cut thick instead of the ones they had in the case.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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I particularly liked to big white "roaster" bratwurst, shown in the center of this picture. Mmm.

Yeah, the roaster bratwurst is pre-cooked (like the hot dogs and kielbasas) and is a veal and pork mix, the traditional German style. The fresh, uncooked bratwurst is smaller and is a pure pork sausage, like an Italian sausage but with different spicing. I liked that one as well.

I also liked the "Grill Kielbasas" which were the hot-dog sized sausages. They had a nice smoky flavor to them.

Can't wait to try their frankfurters and Italian sausage too.

Edited by Jason Perlow (log)

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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  • 3 weeks later...

I made an interesting discovery today. I was out with the Star Ledger Munchmobile S.W.A.T. dog team and one of our stops was Karl Ehmers in Hillsdale. Having been there once previously, I knew I would enjoy the hot dogs. They serve an all beef as well as a traditional German style beef and pork dog. I found out that the beef and pork dog, which I rate as one of the top 3 that I've sampled in this style, is actually made by Kocher's of Ridgefield. The beef dogs sold there (to take home, or eat at the cart) are packaged by the pound and made by Karl Ehmer's, but the pork and beef dogs are sold loose and were labelled Kocher's. I asked about this, but the people working there seemed confused. Someone appeared from the back and confirmed that these dogs are made by Kocher's. I highly recommend them. Fresh, nice casing, mild, but flavorful in the German style. Just an excellent hot dog. I'll call Kocher's tomorrow and see how long they have been supplying Ehmer's.

John the hot dog guy

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  • 7 months later...

Just wanted to add to this post. Kocher's is so awesome! Got gorgeous and delicious filet for our easter dinner and thick sliced bacon. And they are so nice and helpful! It's one of the great foodie places we love about this part of NJ.

Kocher's Rocks!

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  • 5 months later...

As a hot dog fanatic, I really enjoy Kocher's homemade frankfurters as I mentioned in a previous post. I live quite a distance away, so I don't get the chance to go there often. On my last visit, I found out that they supply between 30 and 40 different establishments with their hot dogs. The butcher I spoke with wouldn't reveal the identity of the places because each place pays a lot for these dogs and enjoys the reputation of selling an excellent quality hot dog. They wouldn't want some of their customers (who may live a distance away) to go elsewhere to get the same franks.

These are so good that Karl Ehmer's in Hillsdale sells them and serves them from their cart rather than their own German franks. As you might expect, the people at Karl Ehmer's main office in College Point are not happy. I spoke with someone there who told me that they don't like it, but there's nothing they can do about it. The beef franks, brats, and other sausages sold out of the Hillsdale Karl Ehmer's are in fact Karl Ehmer's brand produced in College Point, N.Y.

Recently a friend told me about a frank from John's Meat Market in Scotch Plains, N.J. John's has a reputation as one of the finest meat markets in the state. In fact, they won an award for small business of the year from either N.J. Monthly or a N.J. business publication. My friend didn't know if this frank was made by John's or just sold by them. I called and found out that the frank are made for them by a small butcher shop. They refused to reveal who the butcher was.

I drove down to buy a few. I had a sneaking suspicion that these franks might have been made by Kocher's. I asked the guy who waited on me and he admitted that they were supplied by Kocher's and have been for over 30 years. It was nice to make this discovery because now I can get these excellent hot dogs without having to travel to Ridgefield Park or Hillsdale. I called Kocher's and got to speak with the guy who actually makes the hot dogs. I asked if there was a place near me even closer that sells his franks. I found out that there isn't. He named one or 2 German restaurants that carry them (I forget their names) but was reluctant to identify too many places. He did tell me that he learned his craft from his father, and that the franks are in the German style containing 70% beef and 30 % pork. I mentioned that most German franks are either 50/50 or more than 50 % pork. He agreed but told me that Kocher's franks are in the German style as they are mixed meat (not all beef) and are milder, containing neither garlic nor paprika like kosher or kosher style franks. By any means, a great frankfurter and one of my 3 favorites in this style out of dozens sampled. My other 2 favorites are Thumann's (the griller in the blue and white package) and Sahlen's out of Buffalo, N.Y.

John the hot dog guy

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Someone, either here or on another food BB, recommended Kocher's. Having lived near the GWB for my entire adult life, and spending so much time in NYC, most of my shopping was in NYC -- mostly at the places mentioned, and others as well.

Anyway, I had been going to Karl Ehmer's for a very long time, and several other "pork stores", butchers, etc. So, someone recommends Kocher's and I've been going there a great deal since then. I have several clients in the meat business, both in NY and NJ, and I without question should have known about this place sooner. I've passed in a thousand times, LOL.

I mentioned it to my parents, and they've been shopping there for many years, and many of my friends as well. I can't tell you how many friends have told me I've been to their BBQ's and everything came from there. The place is top notch in everyway. It will appeal to the many different tastes, likes, dislikes, etc. that many of us have.

They'll do most anything you want to suit your needs, wants, etc. -- and yes, they will cut the bacon how you like it right from the slab -- it's very good! They also have some special stuff once and a while.

Enjoy!

Eric

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