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Old 12-08-2008, 10:23 AM   #1
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Buying half a cow?

I was thinking about buying half a cow from the local farm/market. Is $2.40/lb. a fair price? The ad says that it includes all normal processing... BTW, it's Angus beef...

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Old 12-08-2008, 11:07 AM   #2
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1/2 Live weight or 1/2 carcass weight? What grade of Beef? Choice? Select?

Hate to post and run...but these are need to know questions....
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Old 12-08-2008, 11:09 AM   #3
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That seems fair to me at UK prices = I paid 2.40 for my laast hind quarter. Also think of the price you would pay for those cuts individually.
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Old 12-08-2008, 11:28 AM   #4
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1/2 Live weight or 1/2 carcass weight? What grade of Beef? Choice? Select?

Hate to post and run...but these are need to know questions....
That's carcass weight hanging. They don't specify the grade, but I assume it's choice or better. This farm/market has an excellent reputation, and I've never had a bad piece of meat from them...

Here's the link: http://www.wmeats.com/bundles.html
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Old 12-08-2008, 11:52 AM   #5
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We did that one year... the ground meat we fine but all the steaks...were tough and very hard to chew,even the "good" cuts. Make sure that you're getting the meat from a good cow. NOT that I have any idea how to tell a good cow from a bad one.

Good luck and happy eating!
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Old 12-08-2008, 12:33 PM   #6
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We have bought half a cow before, it all depends on where you get it from. Mine was great. They did all the cutting and packaging right down to I told them 3 steaks a pack. It was great. And the meat was good. Good luck
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Old 12-08-2008, 01:39 PM   #7
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I had good luck doing that before. Your price sounds about right. I know my butcher charges more for a hind quarter than a front quarter because you get more steaks from the rear. He packages like I want and even uses a vaccum sealer on all the meats. Even his premade burgers.

To add, I've checked this out a couple of times and I don't thik you really save any money buying beef this way. The last three times I weighed each box as I brought it in, then figured out the price per lb for the whole lot. It's pretty good for steaks, but you don't get the majority of the meat in steaks. It's pretty high for the burger and the other cuts. For convenience it's great having a freezer full of beef, but pricewise you don't really save any money.

And my butcher said his beef is considered.... ackkk, I can't remember.... I posted it here before in one of the threads like this. Prime or choice. I know not select.
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Old 12-08-2008, 02:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobsanX View Post
That's carcass weight hanging. They don't specify the grade, but I assume it's choice or better. This farm/market has an excellent reputation, and I've never had a bad piece of meat from them...

Here's the link: Wyttenbach Meats LLC
I would check on USDA Grade before your purchase...Buy only Choice Grade or better. A top of the line animal should yield around 65-70% percent of usuable meat. The rest is bone, fat, waste etc. At 400 lb hanging weight you could expect 260 lbs (approximate) of meat of all types ---Steaks, Roast, Hamburger, etc. --- The $2.40 per lb. which includes cutting and wrapping to your specifications is probably in the norm range. Personally I would only buy Grain fed (finished) animals.
HTH...

Enjoy!
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Old 12-14-2008, 05:04 PM   #9
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I used to raise and sell grass fed Highland beef ( Last price was $ 3.00 lb )-- the important things are , from the buyers point of view -the breed - the grade - how long it is aged- the cutting order. I never sold beef aged less than 21 days and mostly reccomend 28.( Ageing does depend on the carcass somewhat ) another thing most first timers need is a good meat chart ( I gave them one )and a lot of advice on the # 1 thing - the cutting order. Most buyers think it all comes as steaks, you get soup bones - liver -heart - kidneys -shank- shortribs. You want to specify how thick to cut -how many pieces per pakage , how much burger vs stew meat . not easy at first ,but on the bright side , you make sure they keep a record of your cutting order then change it more to you liking the next time . Just be honest about it ,tell the good as well as the bad. Avoiding freezer burn depends on how well wrapped it is, so ask for some customer references.
Alot comes to trust-- how are the sides being obtained ? who is choosing them ? Are you getting what you want ? ie--naturally raised ,or local ,or just saving a bit of cash on the budget ?
You usually pay the hanging weght before ageing , there is alot of wastage -the carcass losses moisture- and so on ,can't remember exactly but 30%-40% plus comes to mind. you also don't want to use all the best cuts first ..... Regards Gage
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Old 12-23-2008, 11:49 AM   #10
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That price sounds about right. I buy my meat by the side as well from a dedicated butcher shop-slash-meat locker, and pay $2.75 a pound on it. But they age the beef a few weeks and don't charge me a slaughter fee, and carve up the meat on request to order free of charge.
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Old 12-23-2008, 04:45 PM   #11
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Normally -the price includes all that- the " cut/wrapped/frozen " is part of the deal- you could buy it cheaper if you want to process it yourself , If you are used to processing deer or moose it would be the same job. regards Gage
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Old 12-23-2008, 07:18 PM   #12
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That is a fair price assuming, as UB said, it is Choice or above. We used to do this growing up, buy half a cow and half a pig. But in our case it was a meat locker and you were actually buying a certain number of each cuts, etc. not a specific animal. When you needed meat, you just called ahead to let them know which of your cuts you wanted, then swung by and picked em up.
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Old 12-23-2008, 08:40 PM   #13
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Ask them for the tongue and liver!
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Old 03-08-2012, 04:27 PM   #14
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I know, I know, it's an old thread--but good information.

We just received a half a beef. (seriously--it will last us for 2 years for 3 of us) Last year we went without a deer and only bought meat rarely and I have two meat eaters that learned to love eggs and legumes (not together) for our protein (or starve).

When a roast is labeled 'tip roast'--what do you suppose that means? Is that short for sirloin tip?

Also, we received the heart (it's huge), what shall I do with it? I'm a little squeamish about this. I have a grinder.
(I missed giving something like this away for valentine's day--'have a heart'.


And the oxtail--I learned how to make a good oxtail soup--so that is working for me.

And the tongue--again I'm a bit squeamish about it. I don't know what to do with it.

There's a big bag of suet--ideas? --The hamburger is VERY lean, can I grind the suet and add it to the hamburger as I use it? Is that a bad idea--is it unhealthy due to cholesterol or any other reason--would it make a juicier hamburger?
Should I instead render the suet and use it to make soap?

We are just doing an inventory of what we just put in the freezer. It was $1.90 carcass hanging weight and .42/lb cutting and wrapping. 405 lbs hanging weight.

I need your ideas and information if you care to help me out. Please! You are all so helpful.
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Old 03-08-2012, 04:40 PM   #15
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My parents used to do this often. The first time they bought a half, they didn't ask for the fat and extra bones. After that, Mom figured out that she was paying for a half of the cow, she wanted all of it. She rendered the suet, and we used it for everything. I have to say that the process was incredibly stinky. My husband says his mother used to render pork fat as wel, and that it smelled bad as well. In our case, we were a good-sized family and every dime counted. Once the fat was rendered, the resulting lard was so yummy, we used it for everything.
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Old 03-08-2012, 04:44 PM   #16
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And the tongue--again I'm a bit squeamish about it. I don't know what to do with it.

I need your ideas and information if you care to help me out. Please! You are all so helpful.
This is how I like to cook tongue.

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Old 03-08-2012, 05:04 PM   #17
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Ask for the marrow bones! and the heart. That sounds about right. I think the last time I bought 1/2 a beef, I had 275 lb of meat. You will need a freezer large enough. I had my ground beef packaged in 1-1/2 lb and had the roasts cut, boned, and tied.
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Old 03-08-2012, 05:05 PM   #18
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Claire--I forgot about pie crusts with lard, they turn out so nice and taste fabulous. Then, I think I'll render it, out on the deck over the grill. Thank you for the good idea.

Powerplantop--thank you for the video, it give me an idea how to cut it and cook it. What do you suppose they did with the parts of the tongue they didn't grill? Is that something I could roast and use in a beef broth?
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Old 03-08-2012, 05:07 PM   #19
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Blissful--I just got 1/2 a deer, including the heart. I pierced it and slide slices of garlic in it, put it in a pot with water and the type of spices on uses for corned beef. I simmered it until it was about 180 F. It was tender and oh so delicious (hot, and on sandwiches). I would do the same with a beef heart. They are large, however, so you might want to cut it in half and just cook 1/2.
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Old 03-08-2012, 05:07 PM   #20
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Ask them for the tongue and liver!
...and one tri tip since it's only half a cow.
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