One of the most common questions folks ask when considering whether to buy a Whole, Half, or Quarter of beef from us is, “How much freezer space will I need to have?”
Here’s the answer to that without making it super complicated.
To give you a bit of background, a simple rule of thumb I use is that you will end up with about 35-40% of the total live weight back in meat that is cut and wrapped from a live animal. Taking into account that the other 60-65% of the animal is in things like bone, hide, organs, fat, and water. (Your beef “carcass” loses water as it hangs during the aging process.)
So, if a bovine weighs approximately 1,500 pounds at butcher time, you’ll get about 550 pounds of meat back in all forms: hamburger, steaks, roasts, stew meat, ribs, etc. These things vary by type and age of the animal and how you ask the butcher to cut yours. Different ranches can feed out their beef differently, affecting things like fat content, marbling, and overall frame size. But for the beef you purchase from Wholesome Beef Direct, while still varying between different animals, this is a solid expectation.
If you purchase half a beef, you will get half that much or about 200-225 pounds. If you buy a quarter of a beef, you’ll end up with about 100-115 pounds. For a whole beef, you can expect that you’ll need about 18 cubic feet of freezer space, nine cubic feet for a half, and 4.5 for a quarter.
That’s, of course, after you make room for the ice cream, frozen vegetables, and—let’s face it—microwave sandwiches and frozen pizzas that take up residence in most people’s freezers!