In the age of Giant Eagles, Acmes, and Walmarts, buying freezer beef may seem strange. However, don’t worry. We’re here to walk you through the process, so you can get that high-quality beef in your freezer as soon as possible.
Buying freezer beef takes only four simple steps:
The first part of the process is deciding that you want to fill your freezer with beef, and submitting the downpayment to secure your spot.
The downpayment goes towards the total cost of the calf, which is calculated by their weight when they go to the butcher.
You provide a list of cuts that you want to the butcher, and pay them the butchering fee. They’ll handle the rest!
When your meat is ready, you’ll get a call. You can pick up your freezer beef, take it home, and enjoy a tasty, grass-fed burger.
This $100 downpayment is reserving your calf, and is applied toward the total cost.
Once we get your non-refundable downpayment, we’ll reach out for the cuts of meat that you want, and also sign a brief contract signifying that you understand the steps in the process and agree to them. During this time, we can also discuss payment plans.
Freezer beef is sold by the hanging weight of the calf. This means the weight of the meat after it’s prepared for butchering by taking out the unedible bones, entrails, etc.
The price of our grass-fed beef is $4.50/lb hanging weight.
This weight is estimated at 62 percent of the live weight. One week before the butchering date, we’ll weigh the calf and calculate the hanging weight. This will give you the final price.
Please note: payment plans are available upon request. Otherwise, we will assume you wish to pay in full when you are given the final weight and price of the calf.
Butchering or processing costs
The butchering fees are separate from the cost of the calf, and are due in full before the calf is taken to the butcher. Processing fees for our butcher are $0.75/lb hanging weight plus a $125 kill fee. There may be additional fees if you want specialized cuts or patties.
Example cost and meat yield
Our spring calves usually reach between 500 and 700 pounds live weight. The hanging weight would then be between 310 and 434. This means the cow price will be approximately $1,395 to $1,953 and the processing fees will be approximately $332 to $425. Depending on what cuts you choose, you will bring home between 201 to 282 pounds of meat.
While the exact weight can’t be guaranteed until the calf is in the butcher shop, you can choose whether you’d like a smaller or larger calf when you reserve your calf, making sure that you at least get close to the size you’re looking for.
Taking your beef home
When your meat is ready, the butcher will give you a call. They’ll provide you with all the information you need to go pick up your meat. Be sure to pick it up within the timeline specified, and get it settled into your freezer.
After this, there’s only one more step.
Enjoy your beef
Pull a juicy steak out of your freezer, fire up the grill, and enjoy eating high-quality beef, knowing that you’re eating sustainable, grass-fed meat and supporting local farmers around you!
Bulk Buying 101
Trying to decide how much meat you need? Want another opinion on this whole “freezer beef” thing? Good Meats has just the resource for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
What makes Rocking A Ranch’s beef grass-fed?
All calves are born to the Rocking A Ranch in the spring or purchased as young calves and are butchered between September and November that fall.
They are naturally raised, grass-fed cows*, meaning that they are fed no grain and are raised entirely on their mother’s milk or non-medicated milk replacer and grass or hay with adequate space to move, grow, and thrive in a well-maintained pasture.
There are no antibiotics or medications in the meat at the time of butchering. Medication is used only when needed for the well-being of the cow.
*In some situations, mother cows will be given grain as needed through the winter. In most cases, this is rare and they thrive on a total grass diet.
How much beef should I buy?
What’s the difference between live weight and hanging weight?
Live weight: This is the weight of the cow or calf before they are butchered.
Hanging weight: This is the weight of the cow or calf once they remove the blood, hide, head, feet, and organs, and is typically 60-65 percent of the live weight.
Meat yield: This is the amount of meat you actually put in your freezer. It varies depending on what types of cuts you request, what type of cuts you don’t want, and if you have bone include in your different cuts. This is typically 60-70 percent of the hanging weight.
Can I buy a half or quarter?
If you don’t have the freezer space, or just don’t think you’d need that much meat, you’re more than welcome to buy a half! However, as we are still on the smaller side, we do need two people to order a half. If we have multiple people who want to split, we’ll pair you up. Your best bet, though, is to have a friend who’d also be interested in a half.
Currently, we don’t offer quarter cuts.
Do you have more questions about this process? Leave your questions in the comments below or email them to us!