Purchasing a Quarter Grass Fed Beef
When we were new to the real food lifestyle one of the first things we realized is that purchasing grass fed beef from a local farmer was way less expensive than buying it at the store. At the time, grass fed beef options in our local grocery stores weren’t as plentiful as they are now so we were excited to have a local and frugal option.
Our farmer offers grass fed beef in three amounts – whole cow, half cow, or quarter cow. We started with the quarter cow portion.We were excited to purchase our first quarter grass-fed beef from a local farm, but we had a lot of questions.
We wanted to know how much a quarter of beef costs per pound, how many pounds come in a quarter of beef, and which cuts of meat are in a quarter of beef.
Of course, we discovered quickly that the answers to these questions vary from cow to cow, from season to season, and from farmer to farmer.
I’m happy to share the information from our first purchase of a quarter of grass fed beef, but remember, your experience size, cost, and cuts of beef may differ.
How Much Does a Quarter Grass Fed Beef Cost?
We paid $3 per pound for our first quarter of beef in 2012. Since then prices have varied from $3.50 to $5.00 per pound for a quarter of grass fed beef. This is in the Southeastern US. I’m sure prices vary around the country.
You may be thinking, ‘I can buy grass-fed ground beef at the store for $5.00 per pound or less. How is buying from your farmer a frugal option?’ Remember, the price per pound for a quarter grass fed beef is for every cut of meat included in the quarter.
For example, a pound of ribeye steak or roast from our first order of a quarter grass fed cow cost the same as a pound of lean ground beef. At $3.00 per pound – or even $5.00 – it’s a steal!
How Many Pounds of Meat in a Quarter Grass Fed Beef?
Naturally, how many pounds of meat in a quarter of beef depends on the size of the cow. When you purchase a quarter of beef the amount you’re charged is based on the hanging weight. The hanging weight, simply put, is the weight of the meat and bones. It’s somewhere around 40% of the weight of a live cow.
When we purchase a quarter cow, we usually receive around 100 pounds of meat (and bone for the cuts that are bone-in.) It can be more and it can be less depending on the size of the cow.
Which Cuts of Meat Come with a Quarter of Beef?
The cuts of meat that come with a quarter of grass fed beef will vary by farmer. I’m happy to share the cuts of meat with received with our quarter of beef the first time we purchased.
38 lbs of ground beef
6 packages cube steak (4 steaks per package)
6 packages ribeye steak
2 packages brisket
4 packages stew meat
1 package sirloin
1 package arm roast
2 packages ribs
3 packages chuck roast
4 packages t-bone steak (2 steaks per package)
What Do I Do With a Quarter of Grass Fed Beef?
If you’ve never had grass fed beef before you should know that grass fed beef tastes, well, like a cow should. There is definitely a more complex flavor to the meat, but it’s not gamey and the texture is just right.
Cooking grass fed beef requires a lower, slower heat to maximize its flavor and texture, so it’s perfect for the slow cooker.
Check out some of my grass-fed beef recipes:
Slow Cooker Beef Stew
Slow Cooker Roast
Pan-Fried Cube Steaks
Ground Beef Lettuce Wrapped Tacos
Maple Steak with Apple, Walnut, and Blue Cheese Salad
Ground Beef Shepherd’s Pie
Sirloin Steak with Balsamic Onions, Bacon, and Brie
Grain Free Meatloaf