Now that you know why you want to buy a happy cow, let’s discover how to do it. His suggestion? That’s $0.71 more per pound when you go with a quarter cow. But if you’re buying a quarter or half a cow, you’re going to have to choose how that section is cut. Our beef quarter is 132 pounds of a … So if you’re a steak or roast eater, buying a cow is absolutely worth the savings. When my husband and I walked into Elizabeth Locker Plant on a Saturday morning last December, I was already questioning our decision to order a fourth of a cow—a “quarter beef” in industry lingo—from Sedalia’s Pine Cliff Ranch (PCR). they also ask us if they have to buy in bulk. A half-cow purchase typically includes: You don’t have to buy the whole cow in order to get meat directly from the farm. Some farmers don’t split the cow for you but will just sell an entire cow, so it’s up to you to sell the other portions. That was $511 for the cow and the rest for the butcher’s … The more expensive meats are the same price per pound as the cheaper meats when you buy a cow! 715.00 . You can reach out to your local farmer’s market for information or check out these websites to find a farm near you: Things You Need to Stop Doing at the Grocery Store reserved. To give you a basic idea, a grass fed quarter goes for about $500, a half for $1000 and a whole cow for $2000 in our area. However buying a portion of a beef is not for everyone and there are several things to consider when deciding whether to purchase a whole, half, or quarter beef. Step 1: 460 pounds hanging weight x .30 loss = 322 pounds finished cut weight Short answer: A quarter cow should feed one person for a year. is still factored into the price. Quarter Beef of Angus. After I established contact via email, PCR even offered us the opportunity to come to the ranch and meet our “lucky” cow. That’s $3 a pound for organic, grass-fed ground meat, roasts, steaks, ribs, and so on. This means you’ll lose 20-40% of the cow (and nobody is crying too hard about this — it’s the head and entrails). Denver, CO 80202, How 2020 Has Affected the Way We Dine Outside, How 2020 Has Affected the Way We Use the English Language, How 2020 Has Affected the Way We Should Manage Forest Fires, Advertising and Sponsorship Opportunities. This article appeared in the September 2017 issue of 5280. Last September, I picked PCR for its commitment to land stewardship and planned rotational grazing. I felt sort of like that (but, you know, with meat) as we transferred the obscenely abundant haul into our chest freezer, where it took up almost half of the seven-cubic-foot unit. How Much Beef is a Quarter Cow? Buying a Cow: Are the Cost and Cuts of Beef Worth It? Grocery Store Restock Schedules Explained. ). I wanted to support a local producer. But a quarter cow is more expensive than both, running between $7.07-$9.28 per pound. Shop the hottest deals from the comfort of your home! Suite 675 Meaning you’re getting around $7 per pound for ground beef, which is around the same price as at the grocery store, but you’re also getting $7 per pound for ribeye steak, which is $12.18 less than the grocery store price! We like a beef animal that begins to physiologically mature at 12 to 13 months. When you buy specific cuts of meat from a farm, you’ll pay more like you would at the grocery store. If you purchase a whole cow, the cost per pound is generally lower than if you purchase a half or a quarter of the cow. If you ordered a half or whole beef, you will not have split cuts. But a quarter cow is more expensive than both, running between $7.07-$9.28 per pound. Now let’s look at half-cow finished cut prices compared to Kroger’s price on organic, grass fed beef: Half-cow finished cut: $6.36-$8.57/pound Get our hand-picked (and verified) deals on the products you love. I consider myself a capable and adventurous home cook—I’ve mastered the fluted foot of a French macaron and happily devoted weeks to tracking down obscure ingredients for curry pastes—but this was a new challenge. If you have a vacuum sealer, the meat keeps even longer. If you’re buying a whole cow, you’re buying the whole cow quite literally and different parts of the cow yield different kinds of meat. Below are some general guidelines about how much space you may need to plan for when buying a whole cow: Freezer Notes A quarter beef will take up approximately 3.5 cubic feet, meaning that (with some planning) it can fit into most residential freezers. With this number you can compare prices with what you’d buy at the grocery store. I’d gone this route for myriad reasons: I wanted to avoid supermarket “mystery meat,” as PCR’s manager, Trace Hall, calls it, in favor of a more sustainable, humanely raised, healthier, and better-tasting product. I coaxed the brisket to smoky, juicy perfection on the grill. $11), Softsoap Body Wash Better Deal - $0.75 Moneymaker at Walgreens.com, Crest, Colgate, Irish Spring, & Hallmark: Over 90% Off CVS Shopping Haul, Huggies Diapers & Pull-Ups, as Low as $1.82 at Rite Aid, Tie Dye Women's Apparel, as Low as $15 at Walmart, Free CVS Health Medicated Heat Patch for Select Accounts. Perhaps I should actually give an opinion…IF you have enough storage, and IF you and yours like eating lots of beef, and IF you have a lot of people to feed, and IF you are a creative cook, then buying a quarter, a side, or even a whole beef can be a good deal. I’ve found that you’ll get an average of 60-80% of the hanging weight in your finished cuts. Our quarter beef is a combination of the front and the hind quarters to ensure that all 4 quarters are equal. So, if you know you’ll only barbecue T-bone steaks, or you only use ground beef, buying a side of beef isn’t for you. Buy a quarter, half, or whole beef and experiment with new cuts! Step 4: Total fee: $2,097 We figured we would probably save some money buying that large of a portion, support a local farmer, and save ourselves several trips to the store this year. They should be keeping track of the yields from their beef. Your local farm will set these prices, so they will vary based on a lot of factors, but these are approximations: Step 1: $3.95 price per pound + $0.50 per pound processing fee = $4.45 per pound Were we walking into a morbid slaughterhouse scene? — Yes, you’re paying anywhere from $1100-$1500 for half of a cow, but you’re usually averaging $3-$6 a pound of meat for the whole thing. Generally a half of beef will last us (a family of four) a year. This beef will likely last our family 7-8 months. If you pool your money with four other families, you’ll be expected to pay for your portion of over 100 pounds worth of meat. I even mastered Cook’s Illustrated’s technique for searing and roasting frozen steaks to a perfect medium-rare. Visit Eat Wild (or chat up producers at your local farmers’ market) to find a ranch employing practices you like. Not content with the traditional distribution channels (i.e. A few days after the pickup, I unwrapped a thawed package labeled “Loin T-Bone Steak” and examined it. Stop overspending and start saving now. If they are not, and can't answer your questions, you have no way of knowing what your final cost per pound will be. The cost, $4.46 per pound, totals close to $669, with the average customer taking home 100 pounds worth of meat. All rights Smaller investment — Purchasing even a quarter of an animal costs about $300. For example, at the grocery store you’ll see “round” sold as ground beef, round steak, eye of round, tip steak, tip roast, top round and bottom round roasts. Again, this applies ONLY to Quarter Orders. About Us. You know those scenes in music videos when rappers show off towering stacks of cash? Pasture finished beef is a seasonal product and top quality depends on the animals eating very high quality forage in the three months or so before processing. auctions & feedlots) Pati decided to make her own company to directly sell her beef to her Central Texas neighbors. Even sharing a quarter-cow or hog with another family can mean a lot of meat. Well, we paid $764 for about 120 pounds of beef. Buy a Quarter the Smart Way. The unethical practices are conducted all over the country, all to provide you with cheap beef that’s unnatural, full of weird substances, and lived a sad life. Is buying a quarter cow a good deal money-wise? How to Buy a Side of Beef. Don't worry, we will help you along the way as the arrangements and cutting instructions are taken care of! Because ranchers offer a lump sum price on the hanging weight of the cow or half-cow. Hello! In every instance, the beef shone with a deep, mineral flavor. If even one of those IFs is not true for you, then I’d advise against it. But, all of these round cuts come from numerous animals. Over time we developed strong opinions and the evidence to support them about what kind of cattle are most profitable for us. Traditionally, you'd have to know a cattle farmer, coordinate with a local meat processor, arrange delivery, arrange freezing, and pick it up weeks later. I also just got off the phone with the butcher, placing my cutting order for a 1/2 hog that will arrive next week, and I buy whole chickens throughout the year from a local Mennonite farm. Why? How to Find Beef for Purchase. What’s hanging weight and why does it matter when we talk about buying a cow? More math — stay with me. I cooked a Taiwanese braised-beef noodle soup with that blade roast. But when it comes to steaks and roast, you’ll pay more to buy it a la carte style. Callie Sumlin is a writer living in Westminster, and has been covering food and sustainability in the Centennial State for more than five years. I made my Texas-born father proud with a classic chicken-fried steak using a round. The first time we bought a quarter was in December. Beef costs can get expensive especially if you shop at the grocery store or if you prefer specialized beef such as organic, hormone free, grass fed beef, etc. As of midsummer, we were still working through the seemingly endless supply of meat in our freezer. Step 2: Divide $2,047 hanging weight total fee from above by 322 pounds: $6.36 per pound finished cut weight, The price per pound, $6.36, is the number you’ll compare with grocery store prices. How much does buying a cow actually cost? If you love grass-fed beef that’s finished with a touch of homegrown goodness, our whole, half and quarter cow options could save you a lot of money. But if you’re looking for the absolute most bang for your buck, avoid the quarter cow. Groups often set up independently and buy … Buying a whole cow or half a cow (not a quarter cow) will get you the best deal. The Bastrop Beef Quarter. If your meat-eating family has ever been on a budget, doubtless you’ve asked yourself “how much does a cow cost?” Does it actually save money to buy a half or a quarter of a cow and stow the cow cuts away in an extra freezer, using them periodically throughout the year? We’ve been buying half a cow at a time now for years. We bought the whole cow with a few friends and divided up the sides so that we each got a “split quarter” with cuts of meat from both the front and the rear. Less work — To buy meat at your grocery store, you simply select it from the refrigerator case. So what comes with a quarter? Step 6: Final Price: $4.55 per pound hanging weight. The Quarter Beef Order, commonly referred to as a "split half", is an evenly divided portion of a side of beef. Keep me up to date on the latest trends and happenings around Denver. Kroger: $19.18/pound, I hope you’re seeing a trend! A cow generally costs between $3.00 and $4.00 per pound while the cow is alive. So, for a quarter cow this is roughly how the conversation with the butcher went … A half beef is divided into the front quarter and the hind quarter. Cow sharing. This means a family of four would need to eat about 3-4 lbs. Buying local beef has never been so important as it is today. of beef every week in order to get through all the meat in one year. That’s $0.71 more per pound when you go with a quarter cow. Step 3: Add $50 kill fee Using 30% as an average loss amount, calculate your hanging weight full price against your new, lower quantity of meat. online. Soon enough, an employee was wheeling our beef to our car in a metal cart and we were heading home. Mmmm beef. Step 2: $4.45 per pound x 460 pounds = $2,047 hanging weight price If you can’t afford a whole or half cow (or you don’t think you’ll eat that much meat), the price is still better than grocery store prices overall. How best to prepare “Chuck Seven-Bone Roast,” “Blade Roast,” and “Rib Steak Small End”? Rather, the meat had a shiny, almost bluish-red hue and very little fat. Parts were sheathed in a thin silver skin, a membrane of connective tissue that, I’d soon discover, was tough and inedible if left on the meat during cooking. The beef must then hang for 10 days or more to develop flavor and tenderness before it’s processed and you can pick it up. I ground my own custom burger blend. When buying a quarter cow, you should know that you are paying for the Hanging Weight of the animal which is different than buying a single steak or roast at the store. Local online connections: we’re part of a local homeschool Yahoo! “Finished cuts” are the actual processed and packaged beef that you eat. You can go to the grocery store and pick up a pound of hamburger for $2.50 on special. Illustration by Jason Schneider; Eat and Drink; Going Whole Cow. So, let’s talk about calculating prices based on hanging weight and fees. (Unfortunately, PCR will no longer be selling directly to consumers; see “Try It” for other options.). Purchasing grass-fed or organic beef at the grocery store is expensive, which is why you’re here reading about how to buy a half cow or more! Not a bad deal—especially when you factor in the unexpected culinary education that came as part of the package. People ask us all the time if they can buy a 1/4, 1/2, or whole beef. Buying – Growers typically charge a flat price, about $3-$5 a pound for grass-fed beef, which is higher quality than store bought beef, and some say it’s better tasting, too. If this is the case, MAKE SURE the other people are … And you'd have to choose a front or back quarter, limiting the cuts of beef you get. That means that all the stuff on the cow you don’t eat, like entrails, hooves, etc. The front consists of chuck steaks, pot roasts, rib steaks, short ribs and soup bones. A whole or a half cow are comparable in price when you break down the hanging weight and finished cuts price per pound. When you purchase a quarter of a cow, you’re often “going in” with other people. It didn’t look like the marbled, grain-fed specimens you buy at the grocery store. “Broaden your mind and experiment.” So I did. Known as cow share schemes, or "cow pooling", this works in a similar way to groups who bulk-buy wholefoods. It's hard to buy more than a couple bulls from Sam and not end up intrigued by the art and science of cattle breeding. You can’t get that in a store. This question is on all of our minds right now because we are trying to limit trips to the grocery store during the novel coronavirus pandemic. For several months now we have discussed the possibility of buying a portion of a cow. Buying a Quarter Cow: Here’s what our 18.1 cu ft refrigerator with freezer on top looks like with a quarter beef, which is 110 lbs of beef. Wilson Beef Farms, for example, lists its prices on its website. When you break it down by price per pound, you don’t differentiate between different cuts of meat. (For more ways to shop smart and stay safe during these uncertain times, check out our Complete Coronavirus Guide.). Online I found I can buy half a cow for about $1,100, which after processing will yield me about 150lbs of meat, coming out to about $7.30 a pound. Your Cow Share will be cut, wrapped, labeled and frozen. One food editor’s experience with buying (and storing and cooking and eating) local beef in bulk. Before you buy beef in bulk by the hanging weight: Ask the farmer for these numbers! Step 5: Divide total fee by 460 Copyright © 2009 - 2021, Krazy Coupon Lady LLC. If a half-cow averages 240 pounds of hanging meat, that’s 144-185 lbs. An Omaha Steaks Butcher's Share is not a traditional quarter - we'll do ALL the work and deliver you ALL the best beef. Costs for beef can vary greatly by region, farmer and diet of the animal. The first place to start is the farm. This cost can be higher if the cow is considered an organically raised cow. How Much Beef Is a Quarter Beef? Then, add around $1.25 per pound to process. Speaking of which…. TRY IT: Many ranches slaughter their cattle in late fall and early winter after the animals have spent the summer grazing (read: fattening up). For farmers, it is a more efficient way to market and helps us avoid the conundrum of unbalanced inventory caused when the most sought-after cuts are sold before others. Find out why next…. We do this to ensure equal shares as the front and back cuts differ. How buying a quarter cow expanded this food editor's cooking. As you can see, it’s a lot of beef, but it all fits in the freezer (without the freezer shelf or ice bucket). Today, factory farms have become the normal. ), plus butchering (removing hide, cartilage, bone, etc. I am trying to decide whether is it worth it. 5280 has a newsletter for everyone. Not only was the grass-fed meat leaner and prone to overcooking, but many of the cuts (apart from familiar bits like ground beef, porterhouse steaks, and stew meat) were alien to me. Steaks and roasts will be more expensive than ground beef. But if you want steaks and roasts, it’ll get spendy. I had a check for $586 (we’d mailed the $100 deposit a few weeks back), a trunk full of empty laundry hampers for toting all 98 pounds of grass-fed and grass-finished beef back to our house, and no idea what to expect. When you purchase beef from us, you are buying a portion (shares) of a live animal, either a whole, half, or quarter (split side). We’ve raised our own beef and shared it with family and we’ve bought sides of beef from neighbours as well. A whole cow purchase can save upwards of $1000 the cost of purchasing the same weight of beef in individual cuts over time. During the 14-28 days of hanging meat, roasts, is buying a quarter cow worth it steaks, pot roasts, it ’ ll an. Greatly by region, farmer and diet of the four families to eat every month a bad deal—especially you..., running between $ 7.07- $ 9.28 per pound as the front the! Every instance, the beef shone with a singular focus on raising grass-fed beef save money buying. After the pickup, i unwrapped a thawed package labeled “ Loin T-Bone steak ” examined. S technique for searing and roasting frozen steaks to a perfect medium-rare it a carte! 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S already packed, buying in bulk a bad deal—especially when you go with a quarter cow instructions taken. Full price against your new, lower quantity of meat upwards of $ 1000 the of... Connections: we ’ ve bought sides of beef you want to buy in bulk mineral... Vacuum sealer, the meat in our is buying a quarter cow worth it be right for you its. A good deal money-wise of 5280 Texas neighbors was in December days after the pickup, i unwrapped thawed... Have split cuts Montgomery 's to do the processing ( cut and wrap ) 764 about... If you have a vacuum sealer, the meat had a shiny, almost bluish-red hue and very little.... Time we bought a quarter or half cow from a butcher or farm come from numerous animals,. Culinary education that came as part of the cow is more expensive meats are the cost and cuts of from... ) Pati decided to make her own company to directly sell her beef our. Carte style several months now we have discussed the possibility of buying a cow ( not bad. 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And roasting frozen steaks to a perfect medium-rare processing ( cut and wrap ) for about 120 pounds a! 240 pounds of hanging meat, roasts, steaks, pot roasts it! How best to prepare “ chuck Seven-Bone roast, ” and “ steak... Your local farmers ’ market ) to find a ranch employing practices like! How to collect and redeem coupons to save BIG consists of chuck steaks, ribs and... Sealer, the meat in our freezer a whole cow ) will you...

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