How To: Ordering Bulk Beef

Ordering beef in bulk has always been an economical way to purchase beef, know where you food is coming from, and to support your local farmer. The recent pandemic brought to light even more reasons why buying local is the key to future food security. When your freezer is stocked full, a few kinks in the grocery store supply chain isn’t nearly as troublesome.

But how do you get started? First, talk to you local farmer! Here at Glory Oaks Farm, we butcher our steers in the Fall, when they are between 27-29 months of age. Our beef is available to order as a whole, half or quarter animal. Our butcher processes quarters as ‘split sides’ so you get equal parts front and rear quarters to ensure each quarter has an equal amount of prime cuts.

The Process:
Once we have confirmed your order and quantity, we deliver the animal to the locker on our pre-arranged butcher date. They are slaughtered and then hung for apx. 14 days. Once we deliver your animal to our butcher, we’ll email you your final invoice. It will include the amount due for your beef (based on a $/hanging weight) and an estimated pick up date. You’ll then place your order for how you’d like your beef cut. Our locker uses an online order form, where you can see all of your cut options. You’ll select the number of steaks per package, thickness of your steaks, weight of roasts, pounds of ground beef per package, and which cuts you prefer out of each section. You’ll also let them know if you’d like to keep soup bones, short ribs, heart, tongue or liver and how you’d like the trim pieces processed (ground beef, beef patties, beef sticks, summer sausage, jerky, etc.). Once your beef has been cut according to your order, you’ll get a call from the locker to arrange pick up. Your processing fee (based on a standard $/hanging weight, plus any additional for specialty items you selected) will be due upon pick up directly to the locker. The meat will be pre-frozen, but we recommend you bring a few coolers to transport, depending on weather and length of your drive. It’s that easy!

Terminology:
Live Weight – the weight of the live animal on the day it’s processed
Hanging Weight – the weight after the animal has been slaughtered and gutted at the locker
Cut Weight – the weight of the actual cuts of meat once cut, trimmed and wrapped

The Math:
1000lb. Steer = apx. hanging weight of 620lb.
order of 1/4 beef = apx. 155lb hanging weight
155lb hanging weight = apx. 117lb cut weight
155lb x $4.50/lb hanging weight = $697.50 (paid to Glory Oaks Farm)
155lb X $1.20/lb processing = $186 (paid to Ventura Locker)
Total Cost: $883.50
Cut Weight = apx. $7.55 per lb. While this is higher than your average grocery store hamburger, remember…that is your price for every steak and roast too! Comparing to Walmart’s pre-packaged ribeyes (gag) which are currently $12.97 per lb…it’s a steal!

Storage:
Ok, you’ve ordered your beef…but how much room to do you need to store it? Beef can last up to one year in a freezer, as long as a consistent temperature is maintained. A chest freezer is our favorite for that reason, but many prefer an upright freezer for easy organization and access. For the size of a freezer, a standard recommendation is one cubic foot of freezer space for every 35-40 lb. of beef. A quarter will easily fit in a small 5-7 cubic foot freezer, and a half will need about 8 cubic feet of space.


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