Food, Uncategorized

How much meat comes from a cow?

I always wondered about beef and how much meat comes from an animal.  In my pre-crunchy days I didn’t really care a whole lot about my meat- I just bought what was cheapest.  But as I’ve learned more about how animals are treated, the ideal diet of cattle, and started following a Weston A Price diet I’ve become incredibly picky about my food.  I get sick easily now from foods I used to eat all the time.  Enter the decision to buy beef directly from the rancher.  I love having a relationship with where my meat comes from and the chance to drive there anytime I want and see it.

We purchased a whole of beef last year and split it with several other families.  We loved it and the quality of the meat was incredible.  This year we decided to get meat directly from the dairy we get our raw milk from- Ebert Family Farm.   We decided to split it and take a half because the 1/4 we got last time wasn’t quite enough.  It’s all grassfed beef and we LOVE their milk so we know we will love the beef.

Fun fact- beef should come from a steer, not a dairy cow.  One of the reason fast food chains have such cheap beef and that it tastes SO different from quality beef is because they use old dairy cows and not steers- the meat is much different.  (among other things they are doing to the animals and the meat that will probably be in a future blog)

When you buy beef from the rancher you pay a per pound amount based on the carcass weight of the animal.  The carcass weight of the steer we got was 766 lbs.  We were hoping for around a 900 lb animal but we are happy for anything!!  You lose 20-30% of the weight of the animal so we got about 500-550lbs of meat total- about 250-225 per family.

I’ve been trying to keep a better inventory on our food and I was curious how half a beef broke down into portions (plus I’ve had a lot of people ask) so here is the inventory for the packages of what we got in our half of beef- the steaks are 2 or 3 to package and the roasts are around 5lbs:

  • 5 Chuck Roasts
  • 2 Rump Roasts
  • 6 Rib Steaks
  • 5 Top Round Steaks
  • 6 NY Strip Steaks
  • 3 short ribs
  • 8 Stew Meats
  • 2 Boneless pot roasts
  • 5 Fillet Mignon
  • 7 Sirloin tip steak
  • 2 Arm Roast
  • 2 Flank Steak
  • 4 Sirloin Steak
  • 2 Short Ribs
  • 2 Briskets
  • 4 Soup bones
  • 2 Heel of Round Roasts
  • 3 Bottom Beef Cubes (in patties of 4)
  • 8 packages of liver (I will get brave enough to cook and eat them all)
  • and a whopping 42 pounds of ground beef!!

I’m much happier with this split of beef than I was last time.  We didn’t get brisket last time and didn’t get as many variety of steak (I wish I’d taken an exact inventory last time to compare).  I will let you know how it tastes after we dig our teeth in to the first batch this week and will post some yummy recipes for you!

Comment below if you’ve ever bought beef right from the rancher or let me know if you have questions about how it works!


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