HK Cattle and Beef Buyer's Guide

We put together this guide to help inform buyers when buying beef by quarter, half, or full cow.  Whether you buy from us or somewhere else we want you to enjoy the beef in your freezer and use every cut.  We focus on feeding families by helping the customer purchase beef that fits their lifestyle, budget, and need. 

Evaluate your need by asking yourself a few questions and be prepared to discuss with your supplier.

Understand and select a finish feed.

A quick disclaimer to the table below:  The table below is a guideline as several things impact your beef like breed, location, and other ranching practices.  For example, grass fed doesn’t guarantee grass finished or that no antibiotics were used on the animal.  Grain finished also doesn’t mean that the cow was in a feedlot with standing room only.  It is important to get to know your supplier and their farming practices.  We put this guide together to be informational, we acknowledge there may be some bias.  We encourage you to research and hope this guide will help you get started.

Have a basic understanding of pricing and beef yields 

Bulk beef purchase is based on hanging weight also known as the warm carcass weight.  This is an industry standard.  Here are some terms to help guide you through the process.

Determine how much you need and plan for storage.  Use the table below for guidance.  

Use the table below for guidance.  We built the table below based on a grass finished animal.  Grain finished will require more storage space and more reduction as fat renders out. 

Work with you supplier to complete a cut list that will achieve your family needs 

Like the table above the one below continues with the same grass finished animal assumptions and is a typical cut list we use.  Most suppliers will provide a standard cut list if you are unsure what to select.  Beware of suppliers that only provide predetermined cut lists.  I suggest that you take the time to complete a custom cut list that meets the needs of your family.  It will be worth the time and helps you get the most out of your beef purchase.  Nobody wants uneaten freezer burned meat sitting at the bottom of the freezer because you were given cuts your family doesn’t use.

It is important to understand the parts of the cow and each cuts if buying in bulk. 

For example, if you love T-bones, NY Strip and Filets you will likely need to purchase a full cow so one side can be cut into T-bones and the other NY Strip and Filets, they come from the same primal cut, or you will have to decide between them.  Rib Steak (bone in Rib Eye) & Rib Eye are cut from the Rib Roast (Prime Rib) some butchers will do half Rib Roast and half Rib Eyes on one side, but some do not.