Buying Half a Cow

Discussion in 'Meat Selection and Processing' started by bryantom, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. I stopped by the local butcher today and they are running a special on buying a half a cow.  What they will be giving me is 1 chuck, 1 round, 1 s. loin, 3 flanks, 3 plates, and 3 briskets. They said that i would have to let them know what cuts I would want out of each one.  Thats where I need the help.  What should I have everything cut into?  Sorry if this has already been asked and answered, but I am horrible at using the search feature of these forums.  Thanks for the advice. 
  2. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I am courious to what the experts have to say. I am by no means a butcher, But i do not see a strip or the tenderloin or even the standing roast. Again not an expert, but looks to be missing some parts to be half a cow. Or I totally missed the point that it was just said that way to make point of a lot of meat.
  3. pops6927

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

    That is not 'half a cow', they are substituting worse parts for best parts.  The profile should be:

    Full chuck, blade and arm and shoulder, foreshank, brisket, rib, plate - forequarter

    Hindshank, sirloin tip, round, rump, sirloin/hip/porterhouse/t-bone/club (full loin), flank

    There should only be 1 of each.

    Here is the yield you should get from each:

    As you can see, you are getting triple the worst parts - flank, plate, brisket.   Yes, you can get some yield out of each, but not much, they are mostly waste, fat and bone, and they are shorting you high yield sections of lean meat.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2012
  4. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Well I got a quarter one time and had several t-bones, several sirloins, a couple of roast, some long bone short ribs and a LOT of hamburger.

    Not familiar with Plates, no briskets though.
  5. pops6927

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

    That sounds as if it was a hindquarter.  Missing the Porterhouse section, round section, 'a couple' roasts could be a rump and a sirloin tip, missing shanks for soupbones,   Long bone short ribs would be from the forequarter and lots of hamburger would be from trim and plate and brisket.

    These 'half of beef' freezer deals are usually a ripoff; it is not a true side of beef, it is a compilation of parts that weigh up to about half of beef (300 lbs) but have extra flanks, shanks, plates and briskets and missing rounds, loins, ribs, etc. which they sell separately at higher prices.  What you want to ask is if your deal contains all the parts, 1 each, of the half-steer shown on previous post.  If not, then it is parts'n'pieces and a ripoff.
  6. I thought something was weird when I started seeing 3's in there.  Right above that on the flyer it shows obtainable cuts and it list t-bones, strip stk, sirloin stk, filet mignon, porterhouse steaks.  Can these cuts still be obtained.  It also says average weight is between 160 and 350 lbs.  Cost is 2.29 per lb.  Is this high or low or about right?  Thanks for commenting on this.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2012
  7. pops6927

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

    Can you either photograph or scan in the flyer, I'd like to see the wording.
  8. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I am way way down here[​IMG]but shouldn't it be a side of beef! That gives you every cut,ok not hanger maybe but you know what I mean[​IMG]. Sounds like a con job to me. Pops6927 has it covered!!

  9. I know on the flyer it does not specify half cow, but thats what we were told we were getting when we stopped in the store.
  10. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

     Pops it was split amongst a few people, so it wasn't like I ended up with an exact quarter but a quarter of what was cut up. Some did not want certain things, so they were passed to others. It was a while back. I think I had some Rib-eyes also. Some did not care for the burger. My wife and I thought it was rather good.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2012
  11. I really wish I could find a sweet deal on a whole side of beef around here. If anyone is in the area (or entire Commonwealth of Virginia) and knows a guy who knows a guy, or wants to go halves on a whole cow, Let me know, Im sure my wife and I would be game!
  12. Contact these folks:

  13. bob1961

    bob1961 Smoking Fanatic

    yeah you say half a cow i'm thinking you get half a cow, lol....we have a local farmer here who sells half and quarter beef the you get what it says.........bob

  14. Wow.  I guess I'm lucky in that I can trust my butcher.  I walk in and tell him I want to buy a whole cow and I can either pick one from the freezer or the pasture, and know that that's the one I'll be eating by the weekend.

    210# is nowhere near a half a cow.  Each of the last four beefers I bought weighed in at 700-750#.

Share This Page