Purchasing Beef in Bulk

Purchasing Beef in Bulk – Whole, Half, or Quarter carcasses

Buying a whole or half carcass from your local butcher can be a great way to get locally raised beef, support local businesses, and get great quality product.  If you have the freezer space and like to cook, this is a great way to save money on beef!

Do a little research ahead of time, basically thinking through what your family likes to eat: more steaks or more roasts?

These weights and measurement are approximate, but will give you an idea the space you will need and the poundage you will get.

You will need 10 to 15 cubic feet of freezer space per ½ beef.
1000lb steer        600lb Carcass         425lb Retail Cuts

Questions we may ask you:

 What types of cuts would you like?

What roast size do you want?

(standard size roast is 3-4 lbs each for 4-6 people)

(standard size roast is 2-3 lbs each for 2-4 people)

How many steaks per package and how thick do you like your steaks? (standard cut is 3/4” -1 1/4” thick)

What size do you want your hamburger packages?

(standard size is 1 lb, but some butchers will offer 1.5 lbs, 2 lb packages or patties)

Soup bone or more burger?

Stew meat or more burger?

 Short ribs or more burger?

Do you want to save the brisket or
short ribs?
  Yes or No

The brisket and short ribs need to be slow cooked and is good to smoke or put in a crock pot.  If you don’t want the brisket or Short ribs they make great burger!

Do you want cube steaks?

Cube steaks are a tougher piece of meat that is put through a cuber to tenderize the meat.  This is the meat that is used to make “Chicken Fried Steak”

Round Steaks – how many pounds per package?  Consider the turning the Bottom Round and the Eye of Round into cube steak.

Do you want heart, tongue, and liver?  Yes or No

Vacuum Packaging?  This costs more money and if the packages are going to be banged around in the freezer (ie. Chest freezer) this is usually not recommended because the packages will lose their seal and freezer burn very easily.  Wrapped in plastic film and freezer paper (plastic lined) works very well in most cases.  A “Frost Free Freezer” (one that you don’t have to defrost like above the refrigerator) continually takes moisture out of the air and vacuum packaging may be suggested if long term storage is desired in one of this type.  Just remember that if you have your beef vacuumed packaged that you need to handle the frozen packages very carefully like glass or the freezer burn may disappoint you.

The major cuts of beef are outlined below, so you know where your steaks and roasts come from.

Major cuts of beef

Top Sirloin Steak
Beef Tri-Tip

Skirt Steak

Top Round
Eye of Round
Bottom Round
Sirloin Tip

Chuck Roast
Arm Pot Roast
Short Ribs
Flat Iron Steak

Prime Rib Roast
Rib Steak or Boneless
Ribeye Steak
Back Ribs

Short Loin
T-Bone Steak
Porterhouse Steak
Tenderloin Steak