Author Topic: 1/2 beef, 1/4 beef? First time ordering  (Read 1354 times)

Offline notmyrealname

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1/2 beef, 1/4 beef? First time ordering
« on: December 01, 2016, 08:49:04 AM »
Just got word from a local-ish farm that it is time to make a reservation and deposit for pastured beef.  This will be our first time ordering! 

I am wondering whether to get a 1/4 beef or 1/2 beef for the first time.   How do you handle the cutting? 

This is the farm we will use:
http://zinnikerfarm.com/beef.html

I am considering ordering this freezer.  It is an upright, manual defrost.  It is not huge, and I like that for being able to move it into our basement, and out of our basement someday.  If we eventually need even more freezer space,  I will probably buy a small chest freezer to go with it.
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Danby-8-5-cu-ft-Upright-Freezer-in-White-DUFM085A2WDD1/205660253

Any comments appreciated, I hope to get this settled this week!

I am working on cooking more at home.  This is potentially a lot of beef but I want to learn.  We have a family of 5, the kids are not big eaters yet but they will be eventually. 





Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: 1/2 beef, 1/4 beef? First time ordering
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2016, 09:05:31 AM »
we get about a quarter every other year for my family of 7.  Probably could do more, but we eat beef maybe once a week.  Mostly I get roasts/stew meat and can it: 1#/pint jar.  Makes most everything EASY - shredded beef tacos, au jus sandwiches, bbq beef sandwiches, etc.  We occasionally use a large roast for beef stroganoff (we make enough to freeze 3 meals worth).  We rarely eat steak, and I always feel bad that I am using prime steak cuts for fajitas, but that is what we do.  I do like to make hamburgers, but that requires I think about things ahead of time.

also, I get all the bones and organs and make beef bone stock.  I made my beef stock without organ meat one year, and it tasted - flat? - anyway, with the organ meat it feels more robust and more flavorful.  I can that also in quart jars for beef stew or au jus.
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Offline r_w

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Re: 1/2 beef, 1/4 beef? First time ordering
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2016, 10:38:18 AM »
How big is your family? How often do you eat beef?

I have a big family and eat beef nearly daily and could go through 1-2 full steers a year.

We do premium steaks and everything else as burger. And definitely do the bone stock

Offline notmyrealname

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Re: 1/2 beef, 1/4 beef? First time ordering
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2016, 11:43:45 AM »
Two adults, three elementary age kids, I am learning to cook more so we will start eating more beef, but probably 3x a week or so.

Offline CPT Morgan

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Re: 1/2 beef, 1/4 beef? First time ordering
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2016, 12:54:11 PM »
If you buy a 1/4, keep in mind that there is no way to insure you'll get a fair section of beef.  The front half of an animal is in no way the same as the back half and it's very unlikely that an even number of specific cuts will come out of a 1/2 of beef, if you find a butcher willing to attempt halfing a half.  With a 1/4, I would also predict that you will run out of hamburger well before you run out of your steaks and roasts (which is the case for us even on a 1/2).

The other problem is with "custom cutting".  If your 1/4 is going to come out of both the front and back half of the steer (which is the only way I would do it), then you must have an agreement on thickness of steaks, types of steaks, size of roasts, types of roasts, and size of hamburger packaging, with the person purchasing the other half.

Offline Frugal Upstate

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Re: 1/2 beef, 1/4 beef? First time ordering
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2016, 05:09:32 PM »
I actually did a blog post on this a couple of years ago when we went in on a half with my mom & brother

How to buy beef by the side   

I went into a lot of detail about considerations, weight & cuts. 
Check out my blog: Frugal Upstate 
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Offline greencountry

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Re: 1/2 beef, 1/4 beef? First time ordering
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2017, 06:48:22 PM »
Hello.
We raise and sell beef ourselves. We have a family of 4 and eat beef 3-4 times a week. A half of beef will last us about a year. The way all the butchers we have used do 1/4's, is you and the person getting the other 1/4 will have to agree on the cut order. Then the half is just split between the 2 of you. This way you get a little bit of all the cuts from that half.

Where I'm at they charge $.15 per pound more to vacume seal the meat. Personaly I dont think it's worth it and just have ours wraped in butcher paper. We have had meat in the deep freezer for over a year and NEVER had problems with freezer burn.

The average 1/2 will take 8 cubic feet of freezer space. Upright freezers make it easier to sort and find what your looking for but will not hold as much and a chest freezer. Chest freezers will hold more and stay colder but make it harder to find and sort whats inside.

Congradulations on buying REAL beef. Its a lot of money to come up with at once but the way our customers see it, is that for the same price as ground beef they are getting all the premium cuts and getting everything cut and packaged exactly how they want it. Grocery store beef will never match the quality of home raised.