How do you buy a whole/half of beef?
This breakdown is if you’re buying a “whole beef”:
The Symons Beef Company will deliver your cow to the butcher.
After the butcher does the initial processing of the animal (removes hide, head, etc.…) the carcass will get weighed. This weight is called the “hanging weight”.
You, the buyer, will then pay Symons Beef Company $3.00 per/pound on the hanging weight. Hanging weights are typically around 750 pounds. The break down is like this: 750 pounds x $3.00 per/pound = $2,250 (This is the cost of the cow that you’d owe to Symons Beef Co.).
After the carcass is dry aged for 14 days, the butcher will call you for instructions on how you want your meat cut and how you want it packaged. For instance, they’ll ask you if you want packages of ground beef that are 1 pound each, or do you want 2 pound packages? Do you want steaks ¾ inches thick or do you want them to be a full 1 inch thick?
“Dry Aging”: This is a key factor in the difference between The Symons Beef Company Beef, and all the other beef that you’ve grown accustomed to. Dry aging stretches the meat and increases tenderness and gives it a “beefier” flavor. Dry aging also eliminates bacteria such as E.coli. The E.coli bacteria can’t live in a cooler at cold temperatures for more than 7 days, so the 14 day hang time makes these bacteria non-existent in a natural way. Large slaughter plants that provide the grocery stores and restaurants with meat have to flush and fill the meat packaging material with carbon dioxide and nitrogen to kill bacteria. They do this because the carcasses are only hung for 1-2 days at the butcher plant, and then cut up and vacuum sealed and sent to the store or restaurant. This method not only “gases” the bacteria and kills it; it also chemically preserves the meat and gives it an extended shelf life so it doesn’t spoil before it reaches the consumer.
5. When the butcher is done carving and packaging your specialty cuts, they will call you to arrange a time to pick-up your meat. Upon pick-up, the butcher shop will charge you for cutting and packaging your products. This fee is typically .65 cents per pound of the hanging weight, with an additional “kill” fee attached also. Kill fees are usually $65 per/animal. The break down is like this: 750 pound hanging weight x .65 per/pound for cutting and packaging = $487.50 (This is what you’ll have to pay the butcher before the meat leaves his/her shop, plus the $65 kill fee).
6.Something to remember: Even though the hanging weight of the carcass was 750 pounds, this doesn’t mean you’ll get 750 pounds of meat back. These animals have bones and fat that has to be removed when the butcher starts the carving process. On a 750 pound carcass, you’ll typically yield, after removal of bones, fat and inedible parts, approximately 600 pounds of meat.
7.Buying a cow in the whole/half form is much less expensive than buying it already broke down into steaks and ground beef packages. This is because your 600 pounds of meat will have an overall average cost of $4.67 per/pound. The break down is like this:
Cost of buying the animal and getting it cut and packaged: $2,250 + $487.50 + $65 = $2,802.50
Amount of edible meat: 600 pounds
$2,802.50 / 600 pounds = $4.67 per/pound cost
If you currently buy meat in the grocery store, you’ve probably noticed that steaks are around $7-$12 per/pound, ground beef is approximately $4 per/pound and other meat items are usually around $5-$7 per/pound. So in summary, this is a more cost effective approach if you have
freezer space for all the meat. If you don’t, buying a half a beef is another option. The following description is how you’d figure your costs for a half:
Buying a Half:
Cost of buying the animal and getting it cut and packaged: $1,125 + $243.75 + $32.50 = $1,401.25
Amount of edible meat: 300 pounds
$1,401.25 / 300 pounds = $4.67 per/pound cost
These prices and amounts are estimates only and will vary depending on the size of each individual live animal.
The Symons Beef Company and Central Oregon Butcher Boys reserve the right to change and modify pricing at any time.