Author Topic: Half a cow in Seattle  (Read 3500 times)

ScienceRules

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Half a cow in Seattle
« on: March 05, 2013, 05:06:30 AM »
Hello!

I have been thinking purchasing a half or quarter of a cow. For those of you in the Seattle, where would recommend buying it from? I found several that sell them, but if anyone has personal experience (good or bad) it would be great to know!

Also, for everyone out there... Do you find it to be practical to buy a half a cow? There are only two of us in my family, so a whole cow seems like overkill. Is a half a cow practical to eat before it would go bad or would a quarter be better?

I'd love to hear your experiences with purchasing whole animals. Thanks!

ncornilsen

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Re: Half a cow in Seattle
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2013, 08:08:42 AM »
Go with a quarter... it's still a significant amount of meat! I bought a quarter from my parents two years ago and I'm still working on it... That said, if properly frozen, the meat can last for years.

Spork

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Re: Half a cow in Seattle
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2013, 09:25:50 AM »

I'll throw a couple more variables in here...

If you're looking for grass finished beef, the cow will be significantly smaller.  Corn finishing is a way to make a bigger cow.  (There are arguments both ways as to which is better here.)

We're a family of 2 and eat somewhat low carb/high fat -- so we eat a bit of meat.  A quarter (grass finished) wasn't as much as we thought it would be.  Where we got it we also did not get quite the selection when buying a quarter.  In other words: for a quarter beef, there was a fixed cut sheet.  For a half, you could have it cut any way you pleased.

Your mileage may vary, depending on how much beef you eat, etc.

eyem

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Re: Half a cow in Seattle
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2013, 09:56:35 AM »
If you don't have a freezer, you'd have to rent one... not sure if you'd considered this or not. If it isn't a problem, try a quarter first, next time you can go up to a half if you decide a quarter isn't enough. But having too much and letting it go to waste isn't worth the savings over buying a quarter for the first time.

out of curiosity how much does a half/quarter run up there?

iamsoners

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Re: Half a cow in Seattle
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2013, 11:02:56 AM »
eyem--have you bought in the KC area? Where's good around here?  We prefer venison but haven't found a supplier out here in kc yet (there should be many, just haven't met the right people yet...)

ScienceRules

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Re: Half a cow in Seattle
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2013, 11:16:49 AM »
Thanks for the ideas so far! My husband eats a lot of meat, at least 8 oz a day. So by that logic he alone would over a quarter of a cow in a year.

So far I have found quarter cows that run from $3.30 to $5/lb.

We don't have a freezer right now, but I was able to find lots of small chest freezers on craigslist for $80+ and I'd planned on getting one anyways. The size of chest freezer we get would also factor into whether we get a quarter or half. So far, I've looked at smaller freezers (for quarter cows) since it would be going in our living room (we live in a 2 bedroom condo).

yolfer

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Re: Half a cow in Seattle
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2013, 01:08:25 PM »
OMG if you'd posted this last week we could have split one!

I just went in on an entire cow with a few other families. We bought from 3 Sisters Farm on Whidbey Island. Same place we bought from last year. It's $4/ lb. Highly recommended. My mouth is watering just thinking about it...

FYI, we got a quarter of the cow last year and it lasted a family of five almost a year. The meet fit in a 7 cu ft chest freezer. So be sure you're getting the amount you need!

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: Half a cow in Seattle
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2013, 11:26:26 PM »
These guys are kinda the quality standard-bearers but they have VERY yuppie-hippie pricing: http://www.skagitriverranch.com.
My perspective is, you probably aren't going to beat Costco's value on grain-finished beef, so if grass finishing isn't important to you, don't pay for the extra freezer space. If grass fed IS important to you (it is to us) then, believe it or not, Craigslist can offer up some options. I buy in wholesale by-the-piece bulk quantities a few times a year from my meat and seafood wholesaler, NW Earth and Ocean in Mountlake Terrace (N of Seattle). They have a grass-fed (with free-feed spent brewers grain) beef that they raise in Oregon that is the best meat I've ever eaten. And I can buy 50 teres major if I want.
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marty998

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Re: Half a cow in Seattle
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2013, 12:31:39 AM »
When I saw the title of this thread I thought ok....buy a cow for some milk, a little bit of free lawn mowing (most people use a goat for this purpose). Then I started reading and thought this must be a joke. HOLY COW YOU GUYS EAT HALF A COW FOR DINNER????

But there is a lot of sense in this, splicing, dicing and freezing for 6 months. Good on you guys for thinking long term, economies of scale etc etc.

Don't think we have that option in Oz. I can't imagine dragging a carcass up the 3 flights of stairs to my apartment. People would no doubt stare as if I'm about to conduct a voodoo ritual with it haha.

Love this thread for the sheer bad-assity


ScienceRules

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Re: Half a cow in Seattle
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2013, 01:37:54 AM »
OMG if you'd posted this last week we could have split one!

Bummer! Well, maybe next year... :) The price seems pretty reasonable though.

I like the idea splitting a cow with other families. I bet I could get my grandparents and Aunt to split a whole cow with me.

ScienceRules

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Re: Half a cow in Seattle
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2013, 01:45:26 AM »
My perspective is, you probably aren't going to beat Costco's value on grain-finished beef, so if grass finishing isn't important to you, don't pay for the extra freezer space. If grass fed IS important to you (it is to us) then, believe it or not, Craigslist can offer up some options. I buy in wholesale by-the-piece bulk quantities a few times a year from my meat and seafood wholesaler, NW Earth and Ocean in Mountlake Terrace (N of Seattle). They have a grass-fed (with free-feed spent brewers grain) beef that they raise in Oregon that is the best meat I've ever eaten. And I can buy 50 teres major if I want.

Thanks Erica! Grass fed is important to me, but not my husband, so I'm trying to find the cheapest option. I googled NW Earth and Ocean but couldn't find pricing. I'll check them out when I get back to the states. I guess part of my struggle is deciding if paying $4-5/lb for cow is worth it because you get the cuts that normally way more, but you also get ground beef which is less. I'm thinking that it is.

ScienceRules

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Re: Half a cow in Seattle
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2013, 01:48:00 AM »
When I saw the title of this thread I thought ok....buy a cow for some milk, a little bit of free lawn mowing (most people use a goat for this purpose). Then I started reading and thought this must be a joke. HOLY COW YOU GUYS EAT HALF A COW FOR DINNER????

Haha. I love your response. :) Sometimes I feel like my husband would like to, when we have steak for dinner and he eats two giant steaks and I've eaten a half of one...

eyem

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Re: Half a cow in Seattle
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2013, 07:44:09 AM »
you guys have high prices :S around the midwest, KC area I'm looking in the $3-5/pound range on CL
http://kansascity.craigslist.org/grd/3660783893.html

I don't eat enough to buy that much beef but my friend raises cows so when I need some, I just head over and pack a cooler worth and give him probably $2/pound, estimated since he isn't looking to make a profit off me
« Last Edit: March 06, 2013, 07:47:19 AM by eyem »

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: Half a cow in Seattle
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2013, 09:24:36 PM »
I'll check them out when I get back to the states. I guess part of my struggle is deciding if paying $4-5/lb for cow is worth it because you get the cuts that normally way more, but you also get ground beef which is less. I'm thinking that it is.
They mostly deal with commercial accounts. You'd have to call up and say you were interested in doing a larger will-call order and ask if a rep could email you their latest price sheet for grass fed beef. Also ask for the monthly specials sheet. That's how I have a case of $3.99/lb grass fed ribeye in my freezer. :)
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ScienceRules

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Re: Half a cow in Seattle
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2013, 03:56:52 AM »
I'll check them out when I get back to the states. I guess part of my struggle is deciding if paying $4-5/lb for cow is worth it because you get the cuts that normally way more, but you also get ground beef which is less. I'm thinking that it is.
They mostly deal with commercial accounts. You'd have to call up and say you were interested in doing a larger will-call order and ask if a rep could email you their latest price sheet for grass fed beef. Also ask for the monthly specials sheet. That's how I have a case of $3.99/lb grass fed ribeye in my freezer. :)

Thanks for the info! That's sounds like a great price. I'll go ahead and call them up. :)

yolfer

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Re: Half a cow in Seattle
« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2013, 03:44:09 PM »
Just picked up the cow over the weekend. Turned it into a fun day-trip to Whidbey Island, Deception Pass, etc. with the family. The price was actually $4.25/lb (it was $4/lb last cow, but that was over a year ago) but we got a bunch of free dog bones and offal.

ScienceRules

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Re: Half a cow in Seattle
« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2013, 03:55:58 AM »
Just picked up the cow over the weekend. Turned it into a fun day-trip to Whidbey Island, Deception Pass, etc. with the family. The price was actually $4.25/lb (it was $4/lb last cow, but that was over a year ago) but we got a bunch of free dog bones and offal.

Nice. Sounds like a great day trip! I can't wait to be back in beautiful Washington. Well, $4.25/lb is still a great price. :)

happy

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Re: Half a cow in Seattle
« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2013, 04:19:16 AM »
Quote
Don't think we have that option in Oz.

Actually Marty, we do have this option!

I buy half a grass fed lamb from my butcher: he cuts it up, and I get mince and bones for stock.
I have limited room in my refrigerator freezer, but half a sheep is about 7-10kg and fits nicely.
He runs a "cow pool" for grass fed (and organic if you wish) beef, which I am about to try - probably will get a sixteenth...somewhere in the region of 15-25kg.

Grass fed meat is important to me, and I can buy it this way for a much reduced price.

mobilisinmobili

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Re: Half a cow in Seattle
« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2013, 04:05:05 PM »
This thread title made me think of the Simpsons..

"Don't halve a cow, man!"