1/4 beef - please educate me, wise meat cutting experts!

Discussion in 'Beef' started by bman62526, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. bman62526

    bman62526 Smoking Fanatic

    Hey all, this is a PERFECT example of why this forum is where I go for this kind of info...and I leave Google behind. I know some of you will have insight here. I have a chance at a helluva deal.

    One of my close friends from high school sent me this letter today:

    Hello All,
    I am hoping this correspondence finds you well.
    I have two 1/4 of beef available....My brother and I raise purebred Angus beef from birth to finish our beef is cornfed. If you are interested in purchasing a quarter cut to your liking....let me know by Friday, any questions call my cell...The price is $1.60 per pound on the hanging wt.which will be between 170-190lbs. and you pay processing it would be ready to put in your freezer by next weekend. Total price for you is roughly between 300-400$ total depending on hanging wt we took 3 heifers in so each one will weigh different. If I have offended with you with this e-mail hit delete!

    HA! love that last line...Don't have to worry about that here, do we? [​IMG]

    First off, that seems like a hell of a good price, right?

    What I want to know is:

    #1 - what are the components that make up a traditional 1/4 beef (cuts, how much weight of each, etc.


    #2 - how should I request this be cut? I plan to split it with my Dad...no way w/ a family of 4 (kids are only 5 and 10) that I need $400 worth of beef all at once. So - considering I'll be splitting this 1/4 with my dad (I'm ed-u-bacated, that's 1/8 :)
    how should I have it processed...some tips from those that have done it, please! I recall hearing that a few of you have background in this sort of thing. You could PM me if you think it's appropriate, but I think there might be quite a few here that would like a little knowledge also!

    Oh, and back to question #1 - for example, how many ribeys should we expect each, (say 1" thick) how many 2" T-bones or sirloins, whatever...I'm just trying to wrap my brain about what I would be getting in a 1/8 whole cow - at only $160 lb! [​IMG]

    Thanks all.

  2. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  3. meat hunter

    meat hunter Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Well we raise our own beef, and have always had them processed whole. If your getting a quarter, then the cuts can vary depending on how the other 3/4 was split up. Normally, you will have, (steaks, rib-eye, tbone,sirloin) ground, roasts,(arm, chucks and rump) and so, just not as many of course as a whole or even a 1/2. The butcher should provide you a processing slip and it will ask you what cuts you want and how thick of a cut.
  4. bman62526

    bman62526 Smoking Fanatic

    Of course...hell I even know why, I just didn't think of it before posting


    I'll find out!
  5. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thats sounds like a great deal to me but I'm an oceanfront raised surfer boy. So the only cuts of meats that I know of are the ones read on the package at the store/butcher. I think I would take them up on that maybe thats why I have 3 freezers in my garage. If this is trueky your friend can I have the other quarter?
  6. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  7. meat hunter

    meat hunter Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Thats one of the best charts I've seen Ron[​IMG].

    When we had our cows, I wanted to draw those lines on them with a sharpie before taking them to the butcher, but the wife would not let me. She is such a fun hater. LOL
  8. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You can save it and print it, just right click and save Picture as.
  9. bman62526

    bman62526 Smoking Fanatic

    Update - if you're interested. The guy called me.

    Purebred Angus all the way through, going back 10 years now.
    $1.60/ lb. hanging weight, and he said the processing would cost me $90.00. I think he said his last one was 180 lbs. or so, Gross. Then you maybe lose 10% of the hanging weight before cutting.

    Anyway - he said it's really not a true 1/4 beef, Ron...to answer your original question. He said it's more of a "half of a half" which yes, tecnically equals 1/4 :) but it's mixed and matched as such, that we'll all get some from the fore and the hind.

    This "half of a half" will cost me $360 - $375 total, which I think is pretty good - but I don't really know - which is why I come to SMF all
    day long. [​IMG]

    He told me basically what my take would consist of, but I'll wait until I fill out the butcher sheet then I'll report back here to anyone who's intersted.

    He gave me the # to the locker, the person to ask for when I call. They cut on Saturday - right now it's in the "7 day hanging period".

    Can't wait! Thanks for the insight, everyone.
    I feel like I was better prepared to discuss when he called me just now.

    I can pick it up in one week, he said. Beef short ribs for Thanksgiving?!?
  10. mnbike

    mnbike Fire Starter

    When we get a 1/4, its a mixture of steaks (t-bone, ribeye and sirloin) Roasts and a huge box of hamburger. Depending on the other 3 parties, you may even be offered the heart, liver and tongue [​IMG]
  11. bman62526

    bman62526 Smoking Fanatic

    HA! Yes, in my friends words, "...umm let's see, oh and there's stuff like the heart, liver and tongue, which you are welcome to take..."

    Go figure - he can have it. I've had it when I was young...not my thing.
  12. smokingohiobutcher

    smokingohiobutcher Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    MMM!!! Grilled Heart, Smoked tongue, Ox tail soup! Neck bones for vegetable soup! send em my way! Gotta love all the wierd stuff![​IMG]

    Sorry I cant help you with the custom butchering side of the meat business[​IMG], I'm a grocery store meat cutter( meat is already broken down by the time it gets to me). maybe Pops will be along soon... He can certainly help you out!
  13. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    As it's 'half-of-a-half' vs. a true quarter of beef, what they're doing is giving you a weight-equivalent yield of different cuts from the fore and hind along with a proportionate amount of burger and soup cuts. Hard to tell exactly what they're offering as it can be any cut or cuts, but I'll try to sectionalize what is better or worse. If they say it's 180 lb. 'quarter' equivalent (which is about right, a fore is 180-200 and a hind 150-180) your yield in cuts would be about 65% average, or 90-110 lbs.
    Highest priced cuts are loin steaks (t-bone, porterhouse, sirloin), sirloin tip steaks, tenderloin from the hind and rib and ribeye steaks from the fore.
    Mid-priced cuts would be full round, top round and eye round from the hind and chuck eye or boneless chuck from the fore and cube steaks from either, flank and skirt steaks, rump steaks or roasts.
    Lower priced cuts would be shank for soup bones, short ribs, stew, hamburg, 1st cut chuck steaks and roast, plate beef, flanken, and bottom round steaks or roasts.
    A lot depends on what you and your family and those you're splitting it with like to eat. Are you steak-centric, or do you like pot roasts and stews more? Burgers all the time or is cube steak your thing? This determines the most what you would select. I would opt for the offals myself, but.. lol! Nothing better than pickled heart on toast!
  14. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sometimes a quarter or half is not economical if you're not going to use the cuts. If all you eat is steaks, 40lbs. of soupbones in your freezer will go to waste, and you paid $2.79 a lb. for those as well as for the T-bones (whatever your $/lb. equivalent comes out to). You're better off shopping the sales for the cuts you want and stock up that way than to invest in meat cuts you won't use. But, if you have a wide variety of dishes you cook (stews, soups, pot roast, london broil, steaks, short ribs, burgers, cubesteak, etc. all the time) then a ¼ would probably be a good investment.
  15. coffee_junkie

    coffee_junkie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Ditto, what he said. We split a half with my in-laws and forgo the rib steaks and get the roast, and we cook it for Christmas. Works out great. 1/4 beef lasts us all year, I have a family of three. If you have freezer space it is worth getting the whole 1/4.

    It is true that sometimes you pay $2.40 a Lb for stew meat and burger, but the beef we get is grass fed, and hormone free, try to find burger at a health food store for that price. It is worth it to us. And sooooo delicious. You cant buy Prime beef in the store, only restaurants, if you get a good quality beef you are way ahead of the game, I will say it again it can be worth it.

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