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Buying 1/2 cow

So I'm interested in buying a 1/4 cow in March and got someone else also interested so going to buy 1/2 cow unless get couple others also interested and buy a whole. My question is has anyone here done it? If so any tips that might be helpful?
Boom
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Comments

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 15,654
    most places give you a generic cut sheet that you fill out but my brother found a small place that lets you butcher it yourself with the assistance of the owner which was good because the cut sizes were better and he didnt end up with a boatload of burger, im going to go in on it next time
  • I bought 1/3 of a black angus a couple years ago. To be honest, I was a little disappointed. Here's why.

    1. Although, it was cheaper than buying beef in the store, you have to freeze all of it. It was vacuumed for the processor, but most was poorly vacuumed and air got in.

    2. I was told by the friend that sold it to me, that it was grass fed then penned up for several months and corn fed to fatten up. The meat had an earthy flavor that is unlike any beef I've had from the store. Some would like this, but it wasn't what I was looking for. The ground beef was good, but the steaks had that powerful grassy taste, that could not be overcome with seasoning.

    3. On the cuts that are fat dependent for flavor (ie. ribeye) there wasn't enough fat to do its job.

    The ground beef was about the best part for me. It was virtually greaseless, which made it good for meat sauces and chili (would not do good for burgers). Also, it is organic, if that means anything to you. Those were the only positives for me.

    I'm sure a lot depends on how the cow was raised, and I may have bought one that just wasn't done right. But, I probably won't do it again.
  • BadongBadong Posts: 125
    You do know grass-fed meat is incontrovertibly healthier than grain-fed?
  • Bham_eggerBham_egger Posts: 196
    edited February 2013
    Badong said:

    You do know grass-fed meat is incontrovertibly healthier than grain-fed?


    Yes, and my wife loved it! But it don't taste as good.
  • I went in with 6 other families and bought a pastured, grass fed, no hormone, no antibiotic, dry aged cow. It worked out to be about $5.00 a pound finish weight. I then saw a dry aged filet in the a butcher shop for sale for $22.99 a lb. I can't even buy wet aged organic grass fed beef for $5 a lb in the stores.

    Tips:
    1. Know what the cow is fed, so you aren't paying a different price for something you don't want. (If you want grain fed, grass fed, grass fed grain finished, etc.

    2. Be specific in your cuts to the butcher. Even talk to them on the phone, or in person on what you want. The more involved in the process you are with the butcher the better. (1/2" steaks, 3'4" steaks, etc.)

    3. The meat will last in your freezer max a year. Know this going into it so you can portion out what you eat.

    4. Ensure the butcher is dry aging your beef.

    5. Coordinate who gets what cut with the people you are buying the cow. Helps to know who wants what before hand.

    Overall it was a good process for us. It is a bit of cost up front, and now knowing how my family eats I would order the cuts differently than I did.

    Hope you enjoy all of the meat.
  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 8,041
    You do know grass-fed meat is incontrovertibly healthier than grain-fed?
    Yes, and my wife loved it! But it don't taste as good.
    It's definitely an acquired taste. My parents bought grass fed for years and corn-fed beef has almost zero flavor to me now. I have to season it well or it's bland. Nice and tender, but bland.
  • Hi54puttyHi54putty Posts: 1,318
    I have half a cow hanging right now. I get to pick the cuts I want. Finished price out the door, vacuum sealed and labeled, is a little less than $5 per pound. I'm in NC in case that matters. Don't know if it does or not.

    I know the farmer, not the butcher.
  • FanOfFanboysFanOfFanboys Posts: 1,567
    edited February 2013
    Thanks for the info guys. There are several farms in SC but this is the one I am looking at. http://carolinagrassfedbeef.com/Home_Page.html and if you read description it's all grass fed, no hormones or antibiotics eve and dry aged 4-5 weeks and I get to pick cuts
    Boom
  • Hi54putty said:
    I have half a cow hanging right now. I get to pick the cuts I want. Finished price out the door, vacuum sealed and labeled, is a little less than $5 per pound. I'm in NC in case that matters. Don't know if it does or not. I know the farmer, not the butcher.

    where in NC? Is it close to the SC side?
    Boom
  • I am assuming you have tried grass fed beef and like it?
  • AviatorAviator Posts: 1,428

    How does one find these farms that sell shares on their cows? :)

    Seriously, do you just call around the farms and find one? How about their reputation and disease free history?

    ______________________________________________ 

    Large and Small BGE, and a baby black Kub.

    And all the toys to make me look like a Gizmo Chef.

    >:)

    Chattanooga, TN.

     

  • KempyKempy Posts: 185

    SWMBO and I go in with a bunch of people at work and buy 1/4 cow every year.  The cows come from the same ranch every year and the same butcher is used.  Overall, I am happy we do it this way.  The meat is excellent and we save money.  One complaint I have is that I would like the steaks cut a little thicker.  I thought about making the suggestion to the guy who does the ordering, but we are only one of the 12-16 families ordering the beef and don't want to rock the boat with the others.  The only other thing I would like done differently, with my orders, I have never received a brisket or ribs.  I think the next time I order one, I will make that request.

  • Hi54putty said:
    I have half a cow hanging right now. I get to pick the cuts I want. Finished price out the door, vacuum sealed and labeled, is a little less than $5 per pound. I'm in NC in case that matters. Don't know if it does or not. I know the farmer, not the butcher.
    where in NC - I am in Raleigh
  • Hi54puttyHi54putty Posts: 1,318
    I am personal friends with the guy that raises them. He is in Eden, NC, near the Virginia border. He does it as a hobby. They are grass fed until the last 30 days. Then they put them in a pin and feed them only grain to fatten them up. If I didn't know him I would have no idea where to get one.
  • I am assuming you have tried grass fed beef and like it?

    I do, quite a bit
    Boom
  • I would say go for it then, great deal price wise.

    @Kempy, you can specify the # of steaks you get to be cut thicker, no difference to the butcher.
  • KempyKempy Posts: 185
    I would say go for it then, great deal price wise.

    @Kempy, you can specify the # of steaks you get to be cut thicker, no difference to the butcher.


    Thanks.  I will bring it up with the guy who does the ordering for my office.  Probably won't be until this fall though.  My freezer is pretty stocked up right now. 

    In the meantime, I need to find someone locally to get a pig from, and someone to split it with.

  • Try www.eatwild.com its a great resource to find a local farmer to buy grass fed/pasture fed items (pork, beef, chicken, eggs, etc)
  • Yeah I'm def going to request a few think ones and a few at 3/4 inch to have variety. I do like being able to,choose cuts and I like they age ~30 days for me.
    Boom
  • I asked chubbs and dyal_sc if they were interested bc they both live a few miles from me. Go in and get a whole cow. My brother in law and I are getting a bunch of chickens in spring to raise for eggs and meat. Between that and deer hunting and the fish I catch I won't need to buy any meat except hot dogs and occasional lamb. Hope to be set for a year or so.
    Boom
  • Just asking, but who wants to eat frozen steaks? I've never had one that tastes as good as fresh. Apart from the lower cost, am I missing something?
  • rtt121rtt121 Posts: 420
    edited February 2013

    Just asking, but who wants to eat frozen steaks? I've never had one that tastes as good as fresh. Apart from the lower cost, am I missing something?
    Really? Never?

    For me, I am interested in buying local and buying free range.  Freezing does not really make a difference and I would prefer it as I would buy it in bulk.

    I may be wrong but there is a good chance you prefer "fresh" because it is never frozen and therefore has aged some buy the time you buy it.
  • When I have bought a pig or 1/2 cow, there were two really great things about it.  The first is the lower price.  The second is the convenience.  Having a stockpile of top notch cuts of meats in your freezer is great!  Supporting you local farmer is a happy bonus.

    ........................................................................................

    Flint, Michigan.  Named the most dangerous city in America by the F.B.I. three years running.

  • Just asking, but who wants to eat frozen steaks? I've never had one that tastes as good as fresh. Apart from the lower cost, am I missing something?

    if quality meat and flash frozen and properly sealed there shouldn't be any degradation in flavor for a short term period, say 12 months or less. You buy a select grade ribeye from local grocer and freeze in the styrofoam and Saran Wrap is comes in the I could see where it might not be as good. Unless you have world class taste buds be hard to tell difference in a blind taste test
    Boom
  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 8,041

    When I have bought a pig or 1/2 cow, there were two really great things about it.  The first is the lower price.  The second is the convenience.  Having a stockpile of top notch cuts of meats in your freezer is great!  Supporting you local farmer is a happy bonus.

    I'm with you Fred. Just in the reverse order. Knowing where your brontosaurus burgers come from is great! I don't mind paying for quality. While I do get a better price on at least the same quality and the convenience of walking to the basement to grab whatever cut, I get much more satisfaction from knowing the people that give it to me. I went to school with some of these farmer's kids so I know them personally. The meat is processed at a local meat packer. I love that I get tasty, free range, grass-fed beef that has never traveled more than 15 miles from my house. The cost and convenience is the bonus on top of the fact that I get the pleasure of supporting my neighbors and friends. I wish everyone had this opportunity.
  • Dan4BBQDan4BBQ Posts: 258
    Any Suggestions for Orlando?
  • Don't know what I can add, but I can't complain. My buddy is the one that picks his cows/steers for us to consume. They are all corn fed, and we love what we get. The butcher is secondary for us as we know we're getting the best meat he has to offer. I can only second (and third) that you go over with the butcher exactly what you want to get as far as cuts go. After that, it's up tp you to ration out how fast you eat your "good" cuts.
    "Take yourself lightly, but what you do seriously." - M. Martin
    XL BGE - Johnston, IA
  • Yo - NC peeps..

    I'm in Greensboro and would go in on a small portion of your cow, if you wanted to organize something like that...

    interesting thread - thanks!

    Large BGE -- Greensboro!


  • I can't add much to what has already been said other than we like it so much, it's been years since we've ordered a steak in a restaurant.  Usually get 1/4 cow per year.  Cow is raised by a friend of a friend and packer has the best reputation in our area.

    Damascus, VA.  Friendliest town on the Appalachian Trail.

    LBGE Aug 2012, SBGE Feb 2014

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