Then, add around $1.25 per pound to process. If even one of those IFs is not true for you, then I’d advise against it. How to Never Pay Full Price for Toilet Paper Again, Things You Need to Stop Doing at the Grocery Store, Grocery Store Restock Schedules Explained, CA Residents only: Do not sell my personal information. 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. Step 6: Final Price: $4.55 per pound hanging weight. 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. It’s an upfront investment: You pay for 6-12 months worth of meat all at once, and some families don’t have the … Buy a Quarter the Smart Way. But a quarter cow is more expensive than both, running between $7.07-$9.28 per pound. 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. 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. 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. Step 3: Add $50 kill fee The quick answer to this question is we offer our beef both ways. You can’t get that in a store. Before you buy beef in bulk by the hanging weight: Ask the farmer for these numbers! The first place to start is the farm. More math — stay with me. Instead, behind the heavy metal door, we found a clean, spare concrete room lined with freezers, each filled to the top with misshapen bricks of frozen, paper-wrapped meat. But a quarter cow is more expensive than both, running between $7.07-$9.28 per pound. Buying a whole cow or half a cow (not a quarter cow) will get you the best deal. A half-cow purchase typically includes: You don’t have to buy the whole cow in order to get meat directly from the farm. 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. 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 Buying local beef has never been so important as it is today. Don't worry, we will help you along the way as the arrangements and cutting instructions are taken care of! Get our hand-picked (and verified) deals on the products you love. Why buy big? 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. The first time we bought a quarter was in December. 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. How much does buying a cow actually cost? 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. Known as cow share schemes, or "cow pooling", this works in a similar way to groups who bulk-buy wholefoods. 1675 Larimer St. 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. I just stumbled across your post and thought you might want to hear about a new way to buy a quarter beef (or half, whole, etc.) 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. Mmmm beef. But hey, if you download the KCL app, you’ll be the first to know about any meat deals our teams see! How Much Beef Is a Quarter Beef? You’ll have one year to consume it if it’s vacuum sealed and put in a chest freezer. A whole or a half cow are comparable in price when you break down the hanging weight and finished cuts price per pound. Buying All Natural Beef in quarters is a process that not everybody is familiar with but is a fairly simple method of buying a wide variety of cuts including the top of the line steaks and roasts. 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. When you break it down by price per pound, you don’t differentiate between different cuts of meat. Groups often set up independently and buy … Were we walking into a morbid slaughterhouse scene? I appreciated the transparency but graciously declined. Shop the hottest deals from the comfort of your home! 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. That’s $0.71 more per pound when you go with a quarter cow. Figure out how much meat you’ll have to eat in a week based on your family’s size to decide how much you’ll need. When you buy specific cuts of meat from a farm, you’ll pay more like you would at the grocery store. Make sure you’re up for eating all this low-priced, grass-fed, humanely raised beef before it goes bad! How Much Beef is a Quarter Cow? Less work — To buy meat at your grocery store, you simply select it from the refrigerator case. 5280 Publishing, Inc. 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. Step 2: $4.45 per pound x 460 pounds = $2,047 hanging weight price The guides everyone is talking about! Expect 25-40% of your Cow Share will be lost during the 14-28 days of hanging (moisture loss but improved flavor! It didn’t look like the marbled, grain-fed specimens you buy at the grocery store. Cow sharing. That means that all the stuff on the cow you don’t eat, like entrails, hooves, etc. 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. All in, we paid about $7 per pound for around a year’s worth of beef. The Quarter Beef Order, commonly referred to as a "split half", is an evenly divided portion of a side of beef. of beef every week in order to get through all the meat in one year. 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? 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). So, back to the question: How much is a cow and is the side of beef you’ll get worth the price? 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. They should be keeping track of the yields from their beef. Visit Eat Wild (or chat up producers at your local farmers’ market) to find a ranch employing practices you like. By the way, a distinction you should be aware of: although I’ve been referring to cows (female), you’ll likely be buying a steer (male). If they are not, and can't answer your questions, you have no way of knowing what your final cost per pound will be. We do this to ensure equal shares as the front and back cuts differ. If a half-cow averages 240 pounds of hanging meat, that’s 144-185 lbs. And you'd have to choose a front or back quarter, limiting the cuts of beef you get. Using 30% as an average loss amount, calculate your hanging weight full price against your new, lower quantity of meat. This article appeared in the September 2017 issue of 5280. One food editor’s experience with buying (and storing and cooking and eating) local beef in bulk. Quarter Beef of Angus. Smaller investment — Purchasing even a quarter of an animal costs about $300. I coaxed the brisket to smoky, juicy perfection on the grill. — 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. is still factored into the price. Soon enough, an employee was wheeling our beef to our car in a metal cart and we were heading home. finished cuts of meat. 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. ), plus butchering (removing hide, cartilage, bone, etc. “Finished cuts” are the actual processed and packaged beef that you eat. Speaking of which…. 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! NutriBullet PRO Blender, as Low as $56 at Kohl's, Microfiber Sheet Sets, as Low as $6.41 at Target, Paul Mitchell Jumbo Liter Hair Care, as Low as $13.50 at JCPenney, 3-Pack Old Spice Deodorant, as Low as $3.67 on Amazon (Reg. Kroger: $6.99-$7.99/pound, Half-cow finished cut: $6.36-$8.57/pound Last September, I picked PCR for its commitment to land stewardship and planned rotational grazing. Step 5: Divide total fee by 460 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. 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! Now that you know why you want to buy a happy cow, let’s discover how to do it. This means you’ll lose 20-40% of the cow (and nobody is crying too hard about this — it’s the head and entrails). The Bastrop Beef Quarter. Again, this applies ONLY to Quarter Orders. This beef will likely last our family 7-8 months. Then you are hiring Montgomery's to do the processing (cut and wrap). But if you want steaks and roasts, it’ll get spendy. I turned to Google—and Matt Koster of Black Forest–based Corner Post Meats, which sells at the Union Station farmers’ market and offers bulk purchasing options, who told me my bewilderment was a common reaction. Generally a half of beef will last us (a family of four) a year. Illustration by Jason Schneider; Eat and Drink; Going Whole Cow. About Us. With this number you can compare prices with what you’d buy at the grocery store. A cow generally costs between $3.00 and $4.00 per pound while the cow is alive. 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. Our beef quarter is 132 pounds of a … How buying a quarter cow expanded this food editor's cooking. But when it comes to steaks and roast, you’ll pay more to buy it a la carte style. If you have a vacuum sealer, the meat keeps even longer. 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. Local online connections: we’re part of a local homeschool Yahoo! One food editor’s experience with buying (and storing and cooking and eating) local beef in bulk. The more expensive meats are the same price per pound as the cheaper meats when you buy a cow! All rights Bulk Beef by the whole, half, or quarter Priced $4.49 per pound hanging weight. 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. Buying a Cow: Are the Cost and Cuts of Beef Worth It? It sounds silly, but we just felt good after eating it. If you ordered a half or whole beef, you will not have split cuts. 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. But if you’re buying a quarter or half a cow, you’re going to have to choose how that section is cut. they also ask us if they have to buy in bulk. How to Buy a Side of Beef. When you’re shopping for a cow, the price per pound you see on a farm’s website will be based on the hanging weight, which refers to the unfinished cuts of meat on a cow. 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. 5280 has a newsletter for everyone. 715.00 . So, let’s talk about calculating prices based on hanging weight and fees. Keep me up to date on the latest trends and happenings around Denver. Not a bad deal—especially when you factor in the unexpected culinary education that came as part of the package. Even sharing a quarter-cow or hog with another family can mean a lot of meat. Wilson Beef Farms, for example, lists its prices on its website. The cost, $4.46 per pound, totals close to $669, with the average customer taking home 100 pounds worth of meat. I made my Texas-born father proud with a classic chicken-fried steak using a round. We like a beef animal that begins to physiologically mature at 12 to 13 months. As you can see, it’s a lot of beef, but it all fits in the freezer (without the freezer shelf or ice bucket). 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 am trying to decide whether is it worth it. I wanted to support a local producer. In 2006, Rancher Pati Jacobs took over the cattle business on the family ranch with a singular focus on raising grass-fed beef. Steaks and roasts will be more expensive than ground beef. Hello! 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 How to Find Beef for Purchase. If you have a small freezer and it’s already packed, buying in bulk may not be right for you. 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. For several months now we have discussed the possibility of buying a portion of a cow. 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. “Broaden your mind and experiment.” So I did. 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. His suggestion? 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. When you purchase a quarter of a cow, you’re often “going in” with other people. I even mastered Cook’s Illustrated’s technique for searing and roasting frozen steaks to a perfect medium-rare. auctions & feedlots) Pati decided to make her own company to directly sell her beef to her Central Texas neighbors. But, all of these round cuts come from numerous animals. The front consists of chuck steaks, pot roasts, rib steaks, short ribs and soup bones. reserved. Kroger: $19.18/pound, I hope you’re seeing a trend! If this is the case, MAKE SURE the other people are … A few days after the pickup, I unwrapped a thawed package labeled “Loin T-Bone Steak” and examined it. I cooked a Taiwanese braised-beef noodle soup with that blade roast. Copyright © 2009 - 2021, Krazy Coupon Lady LLC. Ideally, we wanted to work with a local rancher who met these same standards that we follow when we purchase beef. That’s $0.71 more per pound when you go with a quarter cow. Buying a side a beef is a great idea for a family. By Callie Sumlin • 5280 September 2017. Why? Not content with the traditional distribution channels (i.e. Find out why next…. An Omaha Steaks Butcher's Share is not a traditional quarter - we'll do ALL the work and deliver you ALL the best beef. How best to prepare “Chuck Seven-Bone Roast,” “Blade Roast,” and “Rib Steak Small End”? Because ranchers offer a lump sum price on the hanging weight of the cow or half-cow. Also, I don’t know about you, but right now, I can’t always find meat at the store due to increased demand. This means a family of four would need to eat about 3-4 lbs. 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. Our quarter beef is a combination of the front and the hind quarters to ensure that all 4 quarters are equal. But if you’re looking for the absolute most bang for your buck, avoid the quarter cow. Over time we developed strong opinions and the evidence to support them about what kind of cattle are most profitable for us. After I established contact via email, PCR even offered us the opportunity to come to the ranch and meet our “lucky” cow. Short answer: A quarter cow should feed one person for a year. (For more ways to shop smart and stay safe during these uncertain times, check out our Complete Coronavirus Guide.). We (5 people) had no problem eating a side of beef in a year, and didn’t find we were eating beef all the time. And, honestly, I wanted to save money. In every instance, the beef shone with a deep, mineral flavor. Suite 675 This cost can be higher if the cow is considered an organically raised cow. What’s hanging weight and why does it matter when we talk about buying a cow? Your Cow Share will be cut, wrapped, labeled and frozen. I’ve found that you’ll get an average of 60-80% of the hanging weight in your finished cuts. 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. People ask us all the time if they can buy a 1/4, 1/2, or whole beef. Today, factory farms have become the normal. 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 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. ). While ground beef prices are in the same ballpark as grocery store prices, cuts like steaks and roasts offer big savings when you buy a cow. Is buying a quarter cow a good deal money-wise? So what comes with a quarter? TRY IT: Many ranches slaughter their cattle in late fall and early winter after the animals have spent the summer grazing (read: fattening up). 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. We’ve been buying half a cow at a time now for years. online. You know those scenes in music videos when rappers show off towering stacks of cash? Welcome to KCL, where you can learn how to collect and redeem coupons to save BIG! Well, we paid $764 for about 120 pounds of beef. Costs for beef can vary greatly by region, farmer and diet of the animal. Step 4: Total fee: $2,097 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. That’s $3 a pound for organic, grass-fed ground meat, roasts, steaks, ribs, and so on. Buy a quarter, half, or whole beef and experiment with new cuts! Anyone ever buy a quarter or half cow from a butcher or farm? Equal shares as the front and the hind quarters to ensure equal shares as the arrangements and instructions. A bad deal—especially when you break down the hanging weight and fees quarters to ensure shares! Cattle are most profitable for us to slash our grocery bills by 50-90 % eat month... Roasting frozen steaks to a perfect medium-rare Seven-Bone roast, ” “ roast... 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