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JohnDoe00
LSU Fan
Dallas, TX
Member since Feb 2019
538 posts

Butchering/Storing a Cow advice
My Girlfriend’s grandmother is potentially going to give me a Grassfed/Grass-finished cow. She has 9 heifers and is too old to continue to take care of them, so she is sending 2 to the butcher tomorrow and she said she would throw on a 3rd if I would like. Cow is free in exchange for help around her small ranch. Looking for any advice on butchering instructions for the butcher and or storing/freezer space. I have a chest freezer and plan to buy a large upright freezer. Need to make a decision today.


shawnlsu
LSU Fan
Member since Nov 2011
19019 posts
 Online 

re: Butchering/Storing a Cow advice
I don't buy beef from the store anymore. I get a side of grassfed beef 2-3 times per year. I can't go back to the waterlogged beef they sell in stores now.
My butcher double wraps in butcher paper and flash freezes. I usually get any roasts/brisket/steaks and the rest in ground meat and stew meat.
I wish I had the room, I would buy one from her but I just picked up a side a month ago.
This post was edited on 10/21 at 8:01 am


JohnDoe00
LSU Fan
Dallas, TX
Member since Feb 2019
538 posts

re: Butchering/Storing a Cow advice
What size freezer do you store one side in?


xXLSUXx
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
New Orleans, LA
Member since Oct 2010
9349 posts

re: Butchering/Storing a Cow advice
I'm in the same boat as you. Family is in the cow business and I should be receiving ~400lbs of beef in the next month or so. From what I've been told, it should be about 10 cubic feet of freezer space per 100lbs of beef. I'm having it butchered into large cuts (brisket, steaks, ribs, roasts) since I like to do ground meat myself, and I'll probably give some to other family members since I don't have the space.


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iAmBatman
USA Fan
The Batcave
Member since Mar 2011
10631 posts

re: Butchering/Storing a Cow advice
quote:

I get a side of grassfed beef 2-3 times per year.


do you get the left side or the right side? I find the left side tastes better but the right side is more tender.


shawnlsu
LSU Fan
Member since Nov 2011
19019 posts
 Online 

re: Butchering/Storing a Cow advice
I split this one with my in laws about 60/40. I have an old school fridge in my garage that some is kept in and the rest is in my side by side at the office. I have a total of about 25 cubic feet of freezer space local that can keep the normal frozen foods and another 100# or so of beef. The rest goes to the camp where we have another 20 cubic foot chest freezer.
They say to figure one cubic foot for 35# of meat, but I think that's got to be packed solid. I'd say 15# per cubic foot + whatever else you normally keep


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shawnlsu
LSU Fan
Member since Nov 2011
19019 posts
 Online 

re: Butchering/Storing a Cow advice
Pretty sure I specified left this time since this farmers cows face west most of the time. I wanted the shady side.
This post was edited on 10/21 at 8:44 am


iAmBatman
USA Fan
The Batcave
Member since Mar 2011
10631 posts

re: Butchering/Storing a Cow advice
quote:

Pretty sure I specified left this time since this farmers cows face west most of the time. I wanted the shady side.



damn that's smart...I've never thought to ask where the cows face. I'll definitely be doing that next time


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LSUballs
LSU Fan
RayVegas LA
Member since Feb 2008
33628 posts

re: Butchering/Storing a Cow advice
I would get them to corn it out first.


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hungryone
LSU Fan
river parishes
Member since Sep 2010
11605 posts

re: Butchering/Storing a Cow advice
I do this, my old LSU roommate runs fancy Angus in SW LA. Find out who is doing the butchering, the place will usually have a set list of standard cuts on a checklist or form. You can tick off how much you want as ground, whether you want the oxtails and shanks, what cuts of roasts, etc. I prefer vac sealed in plastic with labels.....some places still use freezer paper and write on the outsides. Plastic keeps freezer burn away much longer.

Chest freezers are cheaper to buy and to operate. Get one with internal bins, and you can organize by cut....ie, one bin for ground beef, another for steaks, another for roasts.

It is a whole lot of beef at once....but it’s nice to trade beef for fish or shrimp with the neighbors.


SpotCheckBilly
Auburn Fan
Did you put your foot in it?
Member since May 2020
1214 posts

re: Butchering/Storing a Cow advice
We get beef from my BiL, who has a small herd. We now have two fairly small chest freezers, but there are other things in them too. We've had it both ways, in plastic and in butcher paper. I prefer the paper. For one thing, it stacks better and I haven't had an issue with freezer burn.

I prefer mine to be finished with corn and we order 1" steaks, brisket, london broil cuts, stew beef, cube steak roasts, and burger. It's all good. I don't think we've bought beef in a store in about 15 years. You do have to get used to planning in advance and thawing stuff out, but that's not a big deal.

If they offer you the tail, tongue, liver, and heart, take them. If you don't like liver, you can probably find someone who does, or use it for catfish bait. The rest of it is good eating. Tongue tacos are great. Oxtail soup is good too. The heart is more of a challenge, but there are some good recipes out there.
This post was edited on 10/21 at 5:32 pm


ruger35
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge, LA
Member since Feb 2009
906 posts

re: Butchering/Storing a Cow advice
I'd really like to go this route instead of always ordering from Hassell or online retailers. I just don't know of anyone to do it with. I'm always skeptical on what the final product would be versus ordering steaks, roasts, etc from online retailers.

As far as the freezer, I much rather an upright. I've given away all of my chest freezers and went to upright only.


SpotCheckBilly
Auburn Fan
Did you put your foot in it?
Member since May 2020
1214 posts

re: Butchering/Storing a Cow advice
It's going to depend on the guy who is raising the cows. My BiL has a small herd of black angus that he introduced a chianina bull. I thought the beef was great before, but the chianina took it up a notch, in taste and in size. The last two have been massive -- a sirloin just about covers my Primo Kamado. He fills his freezer from this herd too, so he is personally invested in making it good -- so much so he will load them up and take them for a ride a few times before taking them to the butcher. He believes if they have never gone for a ride before, they are scared and full of adenaline, which affects the flavor. Take 'em for a ride once or twice and they are like dogs, ready to go.

So if you find someone, ask about the breeds. Ask how old they are when he takes them to the butcher. Ask what the average weight is per side. Ask who he sells it to (if family and church members, that's good). Ask how he gets his cut up and which cuts he likes best.

While it's all good, the burger that really stands out. It's just a lot better than what we typically bought at the store and better than what you get in most restaurants, unless you are getting a high dollar burger somewhere.


Tigerpaw123
USA Fan
Louisiana
Member since Mar 2007
14839 posts

re: Butchering/Storing a Cow advice
Good luck finding an upright freezer, maybe they are back in stock but they were right up there with toilet paper and Clorox wipes for a while

And get a temperature alarm


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ruger35
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge, LA
Member since Feb 2009
906 posts

re: Butchering/Storing a Cow advice
quote:

It's going to depend on the guy who is raising the cows. My BiL has a small herd of black angus that he introduced a chianina bull. I thought the beef was great before, but the chianina took it up a notch, in taste and in size. The last two have been massive -- a sirloin just about covers my Primo Kamado. He fills his freezer from this herd too, so he is personally invested in making it good -- so much so he will load them up and take them for a ride a few times before taking them to the butcher. He believes if they have never gone for a ride before, they are scared and full of adenaline, which affects the flavor. Take 'em for a ride once or twice and they are like dogs, ready to go.

So if you find someone, ask about the breeds. Ask how old they are when he takes them to the butcher. Ask what the average weight is per side. Ask who he sells it to (if family and church members, that's good). Ask how he gets his cut up and which cuts he likes best.


That sounds like someone I need to find. The cattle industry is intriguing to me. Guessing it comes from enjoying cooking. There is a new (to me) cattle supplier that is local but is all grass fed. Does your BIL finish on grain?


SpotCheckBilly
Auburn Fan
Did you put your foot in it?
Member since May 2020
1214 posts

re: Butchering/Storing a Cow advice
quote:


That sounds like someone I need to find. The cattle industry is intriguing to me. Guessing it comes from enjoying cooking. There is a new (to me) cattle supplier that is local but is all grass fed. Does your BIL finish on grain?


My BiL finishes them on corn. I prefer it that way, but more importantly, my BiL likes it that way. lol. If you prefer grass fed, then go for that. It would be easier on my BiL to forego the corn, but that's what he does. And yeah, if you can find some small farmer, it would be good. You also need a processor, and lately that has become a bit of a problem. The one we use was booked up for a year in advance after the virus hit, but he said he would fit us in next year. Talk within your circle of friends and family and maybe you can find someone. My BiL is getting older and I'm hoping to cultivate another friend to take up the slack.

If you find someone, ask about what they are fed, what vaccines they get, and so on. I know the meat in our freezer ate grass on my inlaw's farm and corn that was grown on that farm and had nothing other than state-mandated vaccines.


ruger35
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge, LA
Member since Feb 2009
906 posts

re: Butchering/Storing a Cow advice
I reached out to one company, but haven't heard back and I'm not really interested in the grass fed grass finished. I did receive an email back from Hassell, 6.50/lb hanging carcass weight for their American wagyu. Doesn't seem too bad for what it is. I'd probably need another freezer though lol.


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