T Nation

Buying Steak in Bulk


#1

I normally buy a whole roast of filet mignon at Costco, costs me around 70$, and cut it myself. I keep a few roasts in the freezer.

They also sell whole roasts for T-bones and other cuts that you can cut yourself. They sell over 100$. Never tried, are they better value? as easy to cut?

What do you guys do for steak?

I also buy my fish and chicken at Costco.


#2

Im from Ontario and I dont know if you can do this in the states or other provinces but you can buy whole/half/ or quarter cows here in bulk. You get every cut and a pile of groud beef and it ends up being like 2$ a pound. If your a real meathead and you have a big freezer or two you can save some serious money. Ask a local farmer or check out a farmers market.


#3

Just go to your local meat market. I get my NY strips for $2.75/lb if I buy the whole loin. I end up with about 13-14, 1 1/4" steaks, cut and trimmed for around $50 out the door. Why anyone would spend the ridiculous amounts that they charge for a single steak at the grocery store is beyond me.

Buying by the 1/4 cow is a good idea too if you have the freezer room. I end up getting around the same price for the steaks as I do with buying the 1/4 cow and without all of the ground beef so I just buy it that way.


#4

That is so fucking cool man.


#5

Going to be cleaning out the garage for room for an upright freezer. Craigslist has grass-fed beef in quarters and halves for around $2.75/lb after slaughter and cut fees.

Not to hijack (sorry) but does anyone know how much room a quarter or half would take up in a typical 20 cu ft freezer? Never done this before. Want to have some room for salmon and elk too when the seasons roll around.


#6

mince is probably better value for money if you like to mix it up with some good tomato sauce and a nice salad


#7

damn that's a good deal man. Exactly what I am looking for, will def check out the meat market then. I find I am overpaying at Costco, for steaks anyways, plus I have to do all the work (cut, trim).


#8

Also, is it OK to freeze the cut steaks? or do they lose tenderness?


#9

good stuff. i dont think i have the space in my appartment though. will check them out anyways.


#10

Or for a little bit more you can buy Bison.


#11

I got a quarter of grass fed beef this year to try out and the deal seems reasonable for around here (~$4.25/lb at that quantity), but looking around various places it seems like 1-2 bucks can be shaved off in some other states. Given the apparent prevailing prices for grass fed around here (Northern California), it almost tempts me to rent a freezer truck and set up a little distribution outlet next year. Or not. But someone should.

I also got a good size chest freezer to hold it all and that thing is on its way to paying for itself within its first year with the reduction in "emergency" higher-priced grocery store runs and busy week Thursday night take out meals. It might be worth a thread to talk about preservation techniques.


#12

The Quarter/Half cow thing is great. Couple things you need depending on who you can find to get the cow from. Freezer space, Vaccum Sealer. A Guy I know raises free range grass fed cattle, he will then finish the cattle to your specifications. If you want them finished on grass, corn, oats, wheat etc... or any combination they will do it for you at no additional charge.

Finishing is basically the last few months before the slaughter they feed them something different to change the fat content/flavor profile of the meat. I don't know if finishing on other than grass reduces the nutritional value of the grass fed significantly or not. He does all the cutting AND vaccum seals all the cuts to your specifications.

It's about $4 per pound which is really pretty good considering the quality of the product. I just got my chest freezer this past week and will be talking to him about getting 1/2 a cow next fall. He is already sold out this season.

Here is a good website which identifies organic farms across the country. There is a shit ton of them and MOST will sell directly to you, weather it be beef, poultry, bison, lamb, veggies, etc... Once you find your preferred farmer the rest is pretty easy.

http://www.localharvest.org/

Hope this helps

V


#13

I came in this thread to say this. How a cow is fed in the last few months of it's life makes an AMAZING amount of difference.


#14

I like the idea of buying grassfed beef online, but am leary about the quality on a few sites, and others are just outrageously expensive. I know quite a few people who do the half cow thing, or get a few guys together to do that. Ha a half cow, man that is an assload of food!


#15

Do you mean the nutritional value of the meat or the taste/flavor of the meat?

V


#16

Finishing on grain I believe changes the flavor, but more importantly bumps up mass on the cows. If you could call something grass fed and basically have it bulk on grain for a few months you could make a good bit of cash I imagine.

Its kindof funny how farms say they "only" use grain for a few months. Imagine only bulking for a few months, like its not going to seriously increase your weight.


#17

Every year, I split a grass-fed Bison with the in-laws. Half of an 800lb to 1200lb bison will yield about ~150lbs of meat (50+lbs ground with the rest various steaks and roasts). Final weight for cattle may vary but probably not by much. I can put the entire thing into a 5 cu ft chest freezer. It fills it to the top and there is not room for anything else until I've eaten some. It may take some logistics to get it into an upright freezer, but 20 cu ft should be plenty of room. You will be able to get to different cuts easier too. I would however recommend that if you haven't purchased it yet, you consider a chest freezer. If I had it to do again, I would have gotten a 20 cu ft chest freezer, but I was strapped for cash after paying for the bison and the butchering the first year I did this.