If I were to buy half of a cow, what kinds of meat cuts will I get and how much will it cost?
The price really depends on where you get it from and the cuts of meat are usually kind of up to you. While the price does vary, it usually averages at around the price of ground beef per pound for the entire half animal. Of course, this is the raw, unprocessed weight with the bone still in, but it does end up representing a substantial saving compared to grocery store price for the meat, overall. A lot of times, you can specify how much of the beef you want ground. You will probably end up with one skirt steak, various other steaks, and a whole lot of ground beef and roasts.
This is actually a good deal in more ways than one.
If you know the person that raises the cows, you can find out (assuming they are telling the truth) if they are allowed to grow at a natural rate and are not pumped full of steroids and anti-biotics over the course of their life, etc. You can find out if they are strictly grain-fed and so on.
Plus, it is a lot cheaper to buy in bulk, but the actually price varies.
If you got the freezer room, it is a great way to get affordable beef.
The way I usually see it done, it ends up being a lot of tenderized steak (many people call it cube steak or minute steak), lots of ground beef, several roasts and quite a few choice-cut steaks like rib-eye, t-bone, sirloin, and whatnot.
Supermarket beef is high these days, so grab any deal ya can get!
We usually end up with about 50 pounds of ground beef, and the rest in roasts, steaks, and stew meat. The greatest advantage is that you can talk to the farmer about how the animal is raised, and then you know exactly what you are eating. The best beef comes from cows who have been pastured and are not given any hormones or antibiotics. When discussing the cost be sure to find out if it includes the kill and process fee or if that is extra. The price ends up usually close to supermarket price (average) or lower, but the meat is so much better. Not only does it taste better, and is healthier, but you get less fat. When I cook ground beef, I get very little grease in the pan, so I am actually getting more meat for my money. Trust me, if you can do it, this is the way to go. We won't even buy beef from the grocery store any more.
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