Buying half a cow. How much meat is it? (video) - Clover Meadows Beef (2023)

Buying half a cow. How much meat is it? (video) - Clover Meadows Beef (1)

Are you thinking of buying a cow? Have you decided how much?

Most people think about buying half a cow, but did you know there are other options? You can often buy a 16th, quarter, half, or whole cow from a farmer, so do your research and determine what amount is right for your family.

We have been selling beef directly from the farm for decades. Undoubtedly, one of the first questions people ask before buying a cow is, “How much beef are they really giving me?” This question is often followed by, “If I buy a cow, what cut do I get? The front half or the back half?

The purpose of this publication isDemonstratethe amount of meat you get when you buy a cow. We also have a step-by-step guidebuy a cowfrom a farmer, including the questions to ask.

To put it in perspective, we made our home fridge the star of the video and photos.

We took these photos twice, years apart. The first time we just took photos and had a standard18.1 cubic foot refrigeratorwith freezer on top. The second time we did this we did a video and we had a newer fridge, a22.1 cubic foot refrigeratorwith French doors and freezer below. Hopefully seeing the meat in two different fridges helps put it into perspective even more.

Jump to:
  • Is it worth buying a cow?
  • Buy a sixteenth cow
  • Buy a quarter cow
  • I buy half a cow
  • buy a whole cow
  • Contains pieces of beef
  • freezer required
  • How much beef do you really get?
  • shelf life of frozen meat
  • Packaging
  • How do I find a local farm?

Is it worth buying a cow?

Yes! The benefit of buying a cow is that you save money and get better quality meat.

Each year we compare the price of beef from our farm to local grocery stores in St. Louis. At Clover MeadowsBeef, all cuts of grass-fed beef are priced at around $5.45/lb. This compares to $7.03/lb at Walmart, $7.84/lb at a local grocery store in St. Louis, and $9.86/lb at Whole Foods.

(Video) 5 Tips buy a whole cow Buying Beef clover meadows beef

Keep in mind that every farm and meat processor evaluates beef differently. You will need to do the math to determine the price per pound if you are not in the St. Louis area and cannot order from our farm.

go shoppingsixteenthfrei

Here's what our 22.1 cubic foot fridge looks like with a 16th cow. On our farm, 1/16th is about 25 pounds of beef. These include 13 pound hamburgers, 2 ribeye steaks, 2 steaks, 2 steaks, 2 sirloin steaks, 1 stew, 1 short rib, 1 pack of soup bones, 1 pack of beef liver and 1 roast.

Buying half a cow. How much meat is it? (video) - Clover Meadows Beef (2)

go shoppingfourthfrei

Here's what our 18.1 cubic foot fridge freezer looks like with a quarter of beef on top, which equals 110 pounds of beef. As you can see, it's a lot of meat, but it fits in the freezer (without the freezer shelf and ice bucket).

So what comes with a room? This answer will vary as each cow is unique and weighs slightly different, but typically goes like this:

A quarter will give you about 50 pounds of ground beef, and the remaining 60 pounds of meat can be found in steaks, briskets, roasts, stews, ribs, liver, soup bones, and so on. Keep in mind that it all depends on the individual cow and how the meat is cut, but typically the remaining 60 pounds will yield about 6-7 steaks, 6-7 ribeyes, 5-6 fillets, 5-6 sirloin steaks, 2 ribs, 4 -5 roasts, 1-2 packets of beef goulash, 1-2 packets of liver, 1 brisket and several packets of bone soup.

With a quarter you also have a choice of parts of one per animal, such as. B. tongue, oxtail and heart. Since there is only one per animal, they are assigned on a first come, first served basis.

Here's what our 22.1 cubic foot refrigerator with cow quart looks like. Again, that's 50 pounds of ground beef, and the rest of the meat comes in a variety of cuts like steak, roast, ribs, and brisket.

Buying half a cow. How much meat is it? (video) - Clover Meadows Beef (4)

go shoppingbadfrei

So what happens when you buy half a cow? How does it look? Half a cow will give you about 220 pounds of beef. It includes 100 pounds of ground beef and the rest of the meat in cuts like steak, roast, ribs, brisket, and tenderloin.

(Video) Buying a Cow. How Much Beef Is It and How Much Freezer Space Is Needed?

Just for fun, we included a dozen eggs and a half gallon of milk in this pic for extra perspective 🙂

go shoppingallfrei

A whole cow would give you about 440 pounds of beef. It'll be about 200 pounds of ground beef, and the other 220 pounds is cuts like steak, roast, ribs, brisket, tenderloin, etc. On average, we've found that a whole is ideal for families of three or more than beef is for four or eat more meals per week.

Contains pieces of beef

When you buy a cow you get a variety of parts such as:

  • Steaks such as fillet, sirloin, ribeye, strip, brisket and flank
  • Rock
  • Roast like Chuck, Sirloin, Arm
  • ground beef
  • ribs
  • Rinderragout
  • meat skewer
  • soup bones
  • organ meat (if desired)
  • And the list goes on and on!

freezer required

The general rule of thumb is 1 cubic foot of freezer space for every 30-35 pounds of meat cut and packaged.

That means you definitely want a standalone devicefreezerwhen buying a cow. If you don't already have one, you can usually get a good deal at a warehouse like Sam's or Costco. we have bothSafejhochKampfFreezers in our house and we like them both.

Our biggest tip when buying a freestanding freezer is to get one with a lock and key. This is very important for child safety reasons and because a physical lock will ensure your freezer is securely locked. You can also buy oneAftermarket-Schloss.

How much beef do you really get?

When you buy a cow, you want to know exactly how much meat you're putting in the freezer.

Our farm is somewhat unique in the way we price our beef because it's all-in: we tell you how much beef you're getting for a given price. Our prices include all handling fees and free delivery to select pickup locations in the St. Louis area.

(Video) Buying a Cow vs Meat Subscription Delivery Beef Box

A quarter cow weighs 110 pounds, a half weighs 220 pounds, and the whole cow weighs 440 pounds. We chose to sell our beef this way because we believe it's easier for our customers and there are no surprises - you know exactly what you're going to get.

The other way to figure out how much beef to put in your freezer is to spell it in farming industry jargon like hanging weight and pack weight. If you are new to these terms, here are brief definitions:

  • live weight(or "standing") weighs a cow when alive and walking. This includes flesh, bones, blood, etc.
  • hanging weight(or "on the rail") is after the animal has been slaughtered and all useless parts (such as the head, skin, and hooves) have been removed. The hanging weight includes bones and flesh. Usually the hanging weight is about 60% of the live weight.
  • packed weight(or packaged weight) is the weight of all packages of individual cuts of meat that you put in your freezer. It is usually around 60 percent of the hanging weight.

So what does that mean in simple terms? If you're told it's $3.75 a pound for hanging weight, you'll have to settle for about $6.25 a pound ($3.75/$0.60) PLUS Count the slaughter fee, which is typically $600 for the whole cow (you share this fee if you share it). with another family).

No matter who you buy from, make sure you know exactly what you're taking home before you buy so you have enough.freezerPlatz.

shelf life of frozen meat

Approximately 1 year when frozen and vacuum packed. The time required is shorter if it is wrapped in paper or shrink-wrapped.


Most growers will give you a choice of paper, shrink wrap, or vacuum packaging. We recommend vacuum sealing as it keeps the meat fresher for longer.

Here is an example of what a vacuum sealed steak looks like.

Buying half a cow. How much meat is it? (video) - Clover Meadows Beef (6)

How do I find a local farm?

Do you still want to buy a cow? If you are in the St. Louis area,let us know. We will gladly answer your questions.

If you're outside of St. Louis, continue reading our step-by-step guidehow to buy a cowfrom a farmer. It will tell you how to find a farmer, ask the right questions, and tell if you're getting a good beef deal.

(Video) Understanding Beef Cuts


Want to learn more about beef? Sign up for our weekly email newsletter where we share farm events, recipes and meat availability. Sign up and get onecheat sheetwith 9 essential questions before buying beef direct from the farmer. Or we have a wholeE-Bookon beef, which goes through the purchase and preparation of beef from the perspective of ranchers.

Here are some other links you might like:

  • Do cows have teeth?
  • What everyone should know about cuts of meat
  • Buy a cow. how much meat is it
  • 7 steps to grilling a steakor perfection
  • How we raise our grass-fed beef
  • Easy Recipe for Brisket (Baked)
  • The best farming books for children

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means if you click the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. All opinions are our own and we only recommend products that we truly believe in.

We participate in the Amazon Services LLC Affiliate Program, an affiliate advertising program that allows us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated websites. see oursconfidentiality policyfor more details.

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Buying half a cow. How much meat is it? (video) - Clover Meadows Beef (7)
Buying half a cow. How much meat is it? (video) - Clover Meadows Beef (8)
Buying half a cow. How much meat is it? (video) - Clover Meadows Beef (9)

We participate in the Amazon Services LLC Affiliate Program, an affiliate advertising program that allows us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated websites. see oursconfidentiality policyfor more details.


How much meat do you get when you buy half a cow? ›

What cuts of meat do you get when buying half a cow? When you buy half a cow, you'll get approximately 75 -100 lbs of ground beef, and the rest will be roasts, steaks, and other cuts like brisket, ribs, stew meat, soup bones, and organ meats (liver, heart and tongue.)

What is a fair price for half a cow? ›

Your local farm will set these prices; they'll vary based on a lot of factors, so these are approximations: Half- or full-cow prices: $4.59 – $6.01 per pound. Processing fee: $0.50 per pound.

What is the best cuts for 1/2 cow? ›

Half beef breakdown
  • Roasts (3-4 lbs each) Shoulder roast- 3-4 Packages. Chuck roast- 6-8 packages. ...
  • Steaks (standard is 3/4" thick, 2 per package) T-bone- 10-12 steaks. Rib eye- 12-16 steaks. ...
  • Ground beef: You will receive approximately 70 lbs of ground beef. ...
  • Other: Stew meat- 8 0.5 lb packages.

Is it worth buying 1/2 a cow? ›

Buying half a cow is definitely worth it in the long run. The meat lasts up to 2-3 years if it's not defrosted or if the vacuum-sealed package is not punctured or compromised.

What size freezer do I need for a half cow? ›

You'll need a deep freezer if you don't already have one to purchase a half, whole, or quarter. The rule of thumb is one cubic foot of freezer space for every 35 – 40 pounds of packaged meat. A quarter of beef will easily fit into a 5 -7 cubic foot chest freezer. A half beef needs about 8 cubic feet.

How long will half a cow last? ›

in your csa cow share and you plan to eat a combined 14 lbs. per week of steak, ground beef, and other cuts from your half cow. This will last you 35 weeks or thereabouts. Not bad compared to what you would pay if you were paying full retail prices per lb for this weekly beef consumption.

How long will a butchered cow last in the freezer? ›

Information. Frozen beef will be safe indefinitely. However, for best quality, use uncooked steaks, roasts, or chops within four to 12 months, uncooked ground beef within four months, and cooked beef within two to three months.

How long does beef last in the freezer? ›

Cold Food Storage Chart
FoodTypeFreezer (0 °F or below)
Hamburger, ground meats and ground poultryHamburger, ground beef, turkey, chicken, other poultry, veal, pork, lamb, and mixtures of them3 to 4 months
Fresh beef, veal, lamb, and porkSteaks4 to 12 months
Chops4 to 12 months
Roasts4 to 12 months
49 more rows
Sep 20, 2021

How many Ribeyes can you get from half a cow? ›

In a half of a beef, there are approximately 12 roasts, 14 t-bone steaks, 5 sirloin steaks, 5 sirloin tip steaks, 14 rib-eye steaks, and 6 round steaks. There are also short ribs, flank steak, stew meat, brisket and approximately 75# of ground beef.

What grade of beef does Taco Bell use? ›

We use 100 percent USDA premium beef in our seasoned beef.

What is the toughest cut of meat on a cow? ›

Naturally, the toughest parts of beef are found around the legs: The shanks, the rounds, the shoulders, the brisket, and the neck. Round or Heel of Round is another incredibly tough cut of beef, which is why it usually gets made into ground beef with a sampling of other tougher muscle cuts and trimmings.

How many meals can you get from 1 cow? ›

According to the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture Food and Forestry, a steer weighing 1,000 pounds on the hoof will average around 430 pounds of retail cuts. So, with one-half pound servings, this would feed 860 people (or 430 people with 1 pound servings).

Can you keep a cow on a half acre? ›

The general rule of thumb is 1:1. That means one cow per one acre of pasture. Keep in mind that is a minimum requirement. A cow/calf pair will typically require closer to two acres.

How much meat do you get from a 1/2 steer? ›

Total Pounds of Meat to Expect

You can expect approximately 600-650 pounds of meat from a whole cow and 250-300 pounds of meat from a half cow.

How many coolers does it take to transport half a cow? ›

To transport a half beef, you will need about 10 cubic feet of cooler space.

How many coolers can hold half a cow? ›

The beef from a half cow from Hayfield Farm fills approximately 300 quarts of cooler space 10 cubic feet of freezer space , minimum.

How many lbs is half a cow? ›

of take home yield depending on how you choose to have the steer butchered. Thus, a half cow would result in approximately 200 lbs. – 225 lbs.

What is the average price for 1 2 beef? ›

A half beef consists of approximately 185 – 225 lbs. of beef and costs between $1,500 – $1,800. The pricing is 100% based on the hanging weight of the beef. Your non-refundable deposit of $400 secures your order for the next available half beef.

How long can 1 cow feed 1 person? ›

The nice thing about cows is that they're a larger animal, so if you're a smaller family, one cow may feed you for more than one year. You can split the cost of raising the cow with another family and each take half a cow, or you can keep the entire thing and feed your family for two years.

Is 2 year old frozen hamburger still good? ›

Information. Ground beef is safe indefinitely if kept frozen, but it is best if used within 4 months. Refrigerate or freeze ground beef as soon as possible after purchase. This preserves freshness and slows the growth of bacteria.

Can you eat frozen beef after 3 years? ›

According to the USDA, frozen foods are safe to eat indefinitely. But just because something is ok to consume doesn't mean it will still taste delicious after years in a deep freeze.

Can meat be frozen for 5 years? ›

Whatever the meat — beef, chicken, pork, or fish — there's no question about it: You can safely store your food the longest in the freezer. That's because you can safely freeze meats indefinitely.

Can you keep meat in freezer for 2 years? ›

Frozen meat should be tossed after a year at most

According to the handy cold storage chart located at, ground meats have the shortest freezer shelf life, at three to four months. Fresh cuts of beef, veal, lamb, and pork — including steaks, chops, and roasts — will last for between four and 12 months.

Can you freeze beef 2 times? ›

Meat is often frozen to preserve and keep the product safe when it's not going to be eaten right away. As long as the meat has been stored properly and thawed slowly in the refrigerator, it can be refrozen safely multiple times.

Does freezer burn ruin beef? ›

Meat and other foods with freezer burn are still safe to eat. Freezer burn draws out moisture and flavor. This affects the quality. but not the safety of food.

What cut of beef is the most flavorful? ›

The rib eye is a cut from the rib section and is the most flavorful cut of meat and typically comes with very deep marbling. Because of the deep marbling on the rib eye, it is a great cut for grilling and slow roasting.

What is the most expensive part on a cow? ›

As its name implies, the tenderloin is the most tender cut of beef. It's also known as a filet. It's the most expensive cut there is because of its tenderness. However, it's also very lean and doesn't have any marbling and beefy flavor that other high-end cuts have.

What is the cheapest meat to buy? ›

The Best Cheap Cuts of Meat
  • Bone-in Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks. Cranberry-Balsamic Chicken Thighs. ...
  • Beef Sirloin. cast iron skillet with steak. ...
  • Ground Beef. Ground Beef & Pasta Skillet. ...
  • Ground Turkey. Greek Turkey Burgers with Spinach, Feta & Tzatziki. ...
  • Bone-in Pork Chops.
Oct 26, 2021

Is prime rib better than ribeye? ›

Which is better—ribeye or prime rib? It's not so much that one cut is better—or worse—than the other, it's more that they're cooked differently and serve different purposes, even though they're from the same cut of beef.

How many briskets in a half cow? ›

There is only one brisket per half cow. If it is trimmed, the butcher will take all of the fat off. If it is untrimmed, the butcher will take off the large hump of fat connected to this cut, but leave the rest of the fat intact. A whole untrimmed brisket weighs about 12-14 pounds.

How many flank steaks in a half cow? ›

For a half-cow there is only 1 skirt steak and 1 flank steak.

What grade meat is McDonald's? ›

Asked generally about the quality of its meat, McDonald's USA says "Our burgers are made only with 100% USDA inspected beef. There are no preservatives or fillers in our patties and the only thing ever added is a touch of salt and pepper on the grill.

What is the lowest grade meat? ›

Select is sold as a cheaper, leaner option in many stores and is the lowest grade typically found for consumer purchase as a steak. Younger cattle (under 42 months of age) tend to be graded as Prime, Choice, Select or Standard, while older cattle are more likely to be graded Commercial, Utility, Cutter, or Canner.

Which beef is better prime or choice? ›

Prime roasts and steaks are excellent for dry-heat cooking such as broiling, roasting or grilling. Choice beef is high quality, but has less marbling than Prime. Choice roasts and steaks from the loin and rib will be very tender, juicy, and flavorful and are suited for dry-heat cooking.

What part of the cow is not edible? ›

Inedible animal byproducts include hide or skin, hair, horns, teeth, fats, bone, ligaments and cartilage, feet, glands, blood, and lungs.

How much beef do you get off a 1200 pound cow? ›

A 1200-pound beef animal will yield a hot carcass weight of approximately 750 pounds. Once cooled, the carcass weight will be approximately 730 pounds. When de-boned and trimmed, there will be approximately 500 pounds of trimmed and de- boned meat for wrapping and freezing.

Can I feed my cow once a day? ›

Yes, you can milk your cow once a day. I am going to tell you how to do it. I have owned two milk cows and we milked them both once a day. It is a fabulous arrangement.

How many pounds of beef can you get from 1 cow? ›

With a whole cow you would get approximately 440 pounds of beef. It will be approximately 200 pounds of ground beef, and the other 220 pounds are in cuts like steaks, roasts, ribs, brisket, tenderloin, etc.

Can I have a cow on 1 acre? ›

Cows require a considerable amount of space when compared to other livestock. “You want at least an acre per cow,” Robbins said. “If they're going to have a baby, you want two acres for a cow-calf pair. That's the minimum amount of land.”

Can you keep a cow on 5 acres? ›

How many cows can graze on 5 acres? You should be able to graze from 2 to 4 cows on average pasture per every 5 acres. However, this number may rise to 20 assuming excellent pasture conditions and applied irrigation.

Is buying half a cow worth it? ›

Buying half a cow is definitely worth it in the long run. The meat lasts up to 2-3 years if it's not defrosted or if the vacuum-sealed package is not punctured or compromised.

How much can you make off 1 cow? ›

If you choose to raise the cow for its meat, you can expect the cow to yield between 350 and 550 pounds of saleable meat, depending on its size and other factors. If you sell the cow for slaughter, the average price per pound of meat is about $2. 50, meaning you could make an estimated profit of $875 to $1,375.

How much meat should I get from a 1000 lb cow? ›

In summary, a steer weighing 1,000 pounds on the hoof will average around 430 pounds of retail cuts (steaks, roasts, ground beef, stew beef, etc.).

How much should a 1000 lb cow eat? ›

If we use Lardy's experience in beef cattle nutrition and accept his assumptions, the 1,000-pound cow needs 26.5 pounds of dry-matter forage daily. Here are the other daily dry matter needs for different weight cows: 1,100-pound cow needs 28.2 pounds of dry matter. 1,200-pound cow needs 29.9 pounds of dry matter.

How much meat do you get from a 750 lb cow? ›

The 750 pound carcass yields approximately: 490 pounds boneless trimmed beef. 150 pounds fat trim.


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