Are you looking to purchase a side of beef for your family?
Maybe you’re interested in buying in bulk to save money, or perhaps you want to ensure that the meat you’re consuming is of the highest quality.
Whatever your reasons may be, buying a side of beef can be a great option.
But where can you find it?
In this article, we’ll explore some options for purchasing a side of beef near you.
From custom cuts to pre-packaged selections, we’ll cover everything you need to know to make an informed decision.
So, let’s dive in and discover where you can purchase a side of beef near you!
Where Can I Purchase A Side Of Beef Near Me?
There are several options for purchasing a side of beef near you. One option is to look for local farms or ranches that offer beef for sale. These farms often raise their own cattle and can provide you with high-quality, locally sourced meat.
Another option is to check out your local butcher shop. Many butcher shops offer custom cuts of meat, including sides of beef. They can work with you to determine your specific needs and preferences, and can even provide additional services like tenderizing or cubing the meat.
If you’re looking for convenience, some grocery stores also offer pre-packaged selections of beef cuts, including sides of beef. While these may not be as customizable as purchasing directly from a farm or butcher shop, they can still provide you with a good selection of high-quality meat.
It’s important to note that purchasing a side of beef typically requires buying in bulk. This means that you’ll need to have enough freezer space to store the meat, and you’ll need to be prepared to pay for the entire side upfront. However, buying in bulk can often save you money in the long run, as the cost per pound is typically lower than purchasing individual cuts of meat.
What Is A Side Of Beef?
A side of beef is essentially one half of the carcass of a cow that has been dressed and prepared for consumption. This means that all non-meat parts have been removed, leaving behind the meat cuts. The side of beef is then further broken down into larger pieces called “primals,” which are then broken down into individual cuts for customers to purchase and cook at home.
When purchasing a side of beef, you can expect to receive a variety of cuts, including chuck, rib, tenderloin, short loin, shank, short plate, brisket, flank, round, rump, sirloin (top/bottom), and oxtail. However, it’s important to note that the specific cuts and weight of the meat will vary depending on the rancher or supplier you select.
Buying a side of beef in bulk can save you money in the long run, as the cost per pound is typically lower than purchasing individual cuts of meat. However, it’s important to have enough freezer space to store the meat and be prepared to pay for the entire side upfront. Additionally, working with a local farm or butcher shop can provide you with high-quality, locally sourced meat and customizable options for your specific needs and preferences.
Benefits Of Purchasing A Side Of Beef
There are several benefits to purchasing a side of beef. First and foremost, you’ll be getting high-quality, locally sourced meat. When you purchase directly from a farm or ranch, you can be sure that the animals were raised humanely and without added growth hormones. This means that the meat is not only healthier for you, but it also tastes better.
Another benefit is cost savings. While the upfront investment may seem steep, buying in bulk can actually be cheaper over the long term when compared to grocery store prices. Your savings on beef alone could cover the cost of a new deep freeze (including the energy to run it) in a year or so. Splitting a larger investment across more households can also lead to even more substantial savings.
Purchasing a side of beef also gives you greater control over the cuts of meat you receive. When you order a side of beef, you can choose the cuts you want from a “cut sheet” typically provided by the farmer or butcher. This allows you to customize your order to your specific needs and preferences.
Finally, purchasing a side of beef provides food security for you and your family for months at a time. Depending on family size, a side of beef can last up to a year or more when stored properly in a deep freezer. This means that you’ll always have high-quality meat on hand, and you won’t have to worry about making frequent trips to the grocery store.
Where To Find Local Farms And Butchers
If you’re interested in purchasing a side of beef from a local farm or butcher, there are several ways to find them. One option is to visit your local farmers market. Many farmers markets provide a directory of their vendors online, so you can do some research before your visit. When you’re at the market, ask vendors where they are located and how they raise their animals. You can also inquire about whether they sell individual cuts or if they offer shares of beef.
Another way to find local farms is through Eatwild’s Directory of Farms. This directory lists over 1,400 pasture-based farms in the United States and Canada that offer grass-fed or pastured meat and dairy products. You can search by state or region to find suppliers near you.
If you’re looking for a local butcher shop, try asking for recommendations from friends or family members. You can also search online for butcher shops in your area. When you find a shop that interests you, give them a call to see if they offer sides of beef and what their pricing and ordering process is like.
Lastly, if you’re having trouble finding local farms or butchers, try reaching out to your local extension office. They often work with local farms and can provide recommendations for meat producers in your area.
No matter where you decide to purchase your side of beef, it’s important to do your research and ask questions about how the animals were raised and how the meat was processed. By supporting local farms and butchers, you can ensure that you’re getting high-quality meat while also supporting your community.
Custom Cuts Vs Pre-Packaged Selections
When it comes to purchasing a side of beef, you have the option of choosing custom cuts or pre-packaged selections. Custom cuts allow you to have more control over the specific cuts of meat you receive and how they are prepared. This option is typically offered by local farms and butcher shops.
With custom cuts, you can choose the thickness of your steaks, the size of your roasts, and even add specialty cuts like prime rib or brisket. You can also request additional services like tenderizing or cubing the meat. This level of customization ensures that you get exactly what you want and need for your household.
On the other hand, pre-packaged selections are a more convenient option for those who don’t have the time or resources to go through the process of choosing custom cuts. Many grocery stores offer pre-packaged selections of beef cuts, including sides of beef. While these may not be as customizable as purchasing directly from a farm or butcher shop, they can still provide you with a good selection of high-quality meat.
It’s important to note that pre-packaged selections may not always include the exact cuts of meat that you want or need. Additionally, you may not have control over how the meat is prepared or packaged. However, this option can be a good choice for those who are looking for convenience and don’t require specific cuts of meat.
Ultimately, the choice between custom cuts and pre-packaged selections comes down to personal preference and individual needs. If you’re looking for more control over your meat selection and preparation, custom cuts may be the way to go. If convenience is your top priority, pre-packaged selections may be a better fit for you.
Factors To Consider Before Purchasing A Side Of Beef
Before you decide to purchase a side of beef, there are a few factors to consider. First and foremost, you’ll need to have enough freezer space to store the meat. A deep freezer is recommended for this purchase, as a side of beef can weigh anywhere from 175-200 pounds. If you’re considering purchasing a quarter of beef instead, you’ll still need to have enough space for 80-100 pounds of meat.
Another important factor to consider is the upfront cost. Buying beef in bulk can save you money in the long run, but it does require a substantial investment upfront. A side of beef can cost between $1,200 and $1,800, depending on the weight and the cuts of meat included. If you don’t have the freezer space or upfront investment available, you can still benefit from buying beef in bulk by rounding up a few friends to purchase a side together.
It’s also important to note that purchasing a side of beef means buying all cuts of meat included in the animal. This includes inedible portions like intestines and hide, as well as cuts of meat that you may not be as familiar with or may not prefer. However, you can work with your farmer or butcher to customize your order and request more of certain cuts, such as ground beef or roasts.
Finally, it’s important to consider the source of your meat when purchasing a side of beef. Local farms and ranches often offer high-quality, locally sourced meat that is raised in humane and sustainable ways. Butcher shops can also provide custom cuts of meat and additional services like tenderizing or cubing the meat. When purchasing from grocery stores, make sure to look for labels that indicate the source and quality of the meat.
By considering these factors before purchasing a side of beef, you can ensure that you’re making an informed decision that meets your needs and preferences.
How To Store And Prepare Your Side Of Beef
Once you have purchased your side of beef, it’s important to properly store and prepare it to ensure optimal freshness and safety. Here are some tips to help you store and prepare your side of beef:
1. Use a stand-alone freezer: A separate freezer is necessary for storing a large amount of beef. Plan on one cubic foot of freezer space for every 15 to 20 pounds of meat. Keep a thermometer in your freezer and check it periodically. Beef can be safely stored at 0 degrees Fahrenheit, but it will maintain optimal flavor longer if kept close to -10 degrees.
2. Maintain good seals on your freezer: Make sure that your freezer has good seals to prevent air from entering and causing freezer burn.
3. Keep raw beef by itself: Raw meat may have bacteria on the outside of the packaging, so keep it away from other foods. Also, if your beef is all piled up together, it will stay colder longer in a power outage.
4. Consider vacuum-packing a portion of your purchase: Vacuum-packing can protect the meat from oxidation (freezer burn) and help maintain its freshness.
5. Learn how to cook unusual and low-end cuts: As you work through your supply of beef, especially the first time around, you will probably find that you go through the ground beef quickly while items like soup bones linger around. There are many wonderful ways to cook sirloin, brisket, stew meat, and rump roasts, so arm yourself with some good cookbooks that use these cuts.
6. Refrigeration: Keep beef below 40 °F during storage. Store uncooked beef items together, separate from cooked foods. Refrigerate or freeze fresh beef IMMEDIATELY after bringing it home.
7. Freezing: Freeze whole cuts of fresh beef if you do not plan to cook it within three to five days after purchase. Freeze ground beef if you do not plan to cook it within one to two days after purchase. It is safe to freeze beef in its original packaging or repackage it. However, for long-term freezing, overwrap the porous store plastic with aluminum foil, freezer paper, or place in freezer bags to prevent “freezer burn”.
By following these tips, you can properly store and prepare your side of beef for optimal freshness and safety.