Please note We are currently selling in bulk. Certain times of the year we offer bulk beef. And now is the time! Our pricing for bulk beef is $5.50/lb hanging weight (meat yield is about 65% of hanging weight, not including soup bones and organs). Bulk lamb (whole lambs only), is $10/lb packaged weight, with an average of 40 pounds total meat weight. We pay the processing fees.
This page will hopefully answer some of your questions about ordering beef in bulk. It can be confusing because it's not a typical way of buying meat. But it gives you a good opportunity to get grassfed beef at a discount.
Q: What are the prices for bulk beef?
A: Bulk beef is priced by the hanging weight. The hanging weight is based on a side of beef that has been prepared for aging. It is heavier than packaged weight due to the bones that will be cut out once the meat is prepared for packaging. Our steers average 400 - 500 pounds hanging weight for a whole steer.
Q: If I order in bulk, how much meat do I get?
A: Typically with our steers, 1/4 steer comes out to about 65-75 pounds depending on how big it is. Since we process ours a little earlier than other farms, it tends to be less.
Q: What cuts of meat do I get?
A: If you purchase a whole steer or 1/2, you can have the meat cut any way you like. If you purchase 1/4 steer, we have a 'standard' way of having it cut. On average, you will get 50% ground beef, 30% roasts, 15% steaks and 5% short ribs.
Q: If I purchase a 1/4, what is the standard way of cutting?
A: Steaks are cut 1" thick and packaged 2 to a pack. Roasts are cut 2-3 pounds each. Ground beef is packaged in approximately 1 pound packs.
Q: How is the meat wrapped?
A: The meat is tightly wrapped in two layers of butcher paper. The layer closest to the meat has a wax coating. We do not do vacuum seal in plastic.
Q: Why don't you use clear plastic vacuum sealed packaging?
A: We tried that. The benefit is that you can see what the meat looks like. The disadvantage is that when frozen, the plastic gets brittle and is prone to small punctures or tears when the packages are stacked up and jostled about in the freezer. Once there is a puncture in the plastic wrapping, the seal is broken and you end up with freezer burn. Given the typical household, there is a lot of jostling of freezer contents as the cook looks for a particular piece of meat each night. The processing fee for vacuum sealed is more than paper wrapped and we felt that for long term storage, paper wrapped gave us more bang for our buck. However, if you still want vacuum sealed beef, it can be done for a whole or half steer. Just be warned :) And there is an additional fee.
Q: How much space will it take up?
A: Typically 1/4 steer takes up 2 beer coolers. If you have nothing else in your kitchen freezer, it will probably fit. However, since most people have things in there, you might need an additional freezer.
Q: Do I have to have a deep freezer?
A: You don't have to buy a deep freezer. However, depending on how many people you will be feeding, you might consider a deep freezer in order to keep it longer.
Q: How long will it last?
A: This is a tough question to answer. It depends on how many people you are feeding and how many times a week you eat beef. We have some customers with just two people in the household and they go through a lot of meat. But then there are others that only eat beef once in awhile. So it's really hard to say how long it will last. It depends on the number of people you are feeding, how big eaters they are and how many times a week you eat beef.
Q: Why does bulk beef not quite look like the meat I see in the stores?
A: Some people notice that the meat is a darker red than store bought beef. This is due to being grass fed instead of corn fed. You can tell what your steer ate by the color of the meat. Also with bulk beef, your cuts might not look as pretty as in the store. Since stores have a much larger inventory, they can afford to grind up the not-so-pretty steaks into ground beef and only present the pretty ones. Also, depending on what area the steak came from on the steer, you might get a bigger or smaller bone. There will be variation across your cuts. This is because it's coming from one animal and not dozens.
Q: Where do I pick up my beef?
A: You can pick it up at the farm, or pick it up at the processor. If you order an entire steer, you will pick it up at the processor. Picking it up from the processor gives you a chance to check out how your meat is processed. Waldrep's also sells their own pork and it's worth the trip up there to buy some!
Q: Why do I have to pick up my beef on a particular day?
A: Since we are not a large farm, we don't have a ton of freezer space to store bulk orders. So we request that you pick up the beef the day it is ready. Please make every effort to honor the agreed upon date as it allows us the freezer space to serve other customers.
Q: How long does it take to get my meat after I place an order?
A: Straight from the farm, grass fed beef is not fast food. There are several things that need to fall into place. We schedule an appointment with the processor once we have an order (or two depending on the size. If you are ordering a 1/4, it could take longer.) Depending on the time of year, it could be two weeks lead time or a month. Then the meat hangs for two weeks. So the minimum amount of time would be a month and it could be longer (usually the fall is longer due to everyone stocking their freezer over the winter.) Don't expect to call on monday and pick your meat up on friday.
Q: Who do you use to process the meat?
A: We use Waldrep's Meat Processing in Ellijay. They are a federally (USDA) inspected processor. They also sell pork and can cut it any way you like (including whole pigs for roasting.) Allow at least a week lead time though if you have a custom order.