How much to expect when buying freezer beef: Part Two

How many steak and roasts is in one freezer beef? How much ground beef should I expect?

An estimated number of pounds of beef and necessary freezer space can be determined, but one may be interested in what type of cuts and how much to expect of each cut when ordering a whole beef carcass.

Based on the carcass weight including bone, fat and trim in addition to the meat, the following percentages come from each of the primal cuts of beef:

Primal cut

Percentage   of carcass weight

Beef*   from 600 pound carcass, pounds

Beef*   from 700 pound carcass, pounds

Beef*   from 800 pound carcass, pounds

Chuck

29

122

142

162

Rib

9

38

44

50

Loin

16

67

78

90

Round

22

92

108

123

Brisket, Plate, and Flank

19

80

93

106

Miscellaneous (heart, kidney, liver, internal fat etc.)

5

21

25

28

Total estimated take-home


420

490

559

*Based on some bone-in cuts and ground beef using 70 percent yield of the carcass weight for a yield grade 3 beef steer of average muscling and fat thickness.

The number of steaks, roasts and pounds of ground beef will vary significantly depending on how one requests the beef cut. The Beef Made Easy retail cut chart from the Beef Checkoff is a great resource to determine what cuts come from what part of the animal and the recommended cooking method for each cut. A few of the cuts on the Beef Made Easy chart are beef value cuts and are fairy new to the market. It is important to note that not all of the beef value cuts can be obtained from small-sized custom beef processors because it is difficult to remove the groups of muscles after a carcass has been in the cooler for 10 to 14 days.

It is important to recognize that not every cut can be obtained from one carcass. For example, one can choose strip steaks and the tenderloin or T-bone and Porterhouse steaks from a loin but not both. Another example is getting rib roast versus rib steaks. It is difficult to estimate the number of steaks one will receive from a carcass because it’s based on so many variables including animal type, size of animal and thickness of steak to name a few. One might expect approximately 14 steaks from a rib or short loin. If a combination of steaks and roasts are obtained, one could expect approximately 25 percent of the carcass weight to be available for ground beef.

If stew meat is ordered, that may count toward the total amount of ground beef. There are many options for cutting beef and customers ordering freezer beef can customize those options to fit their preferences and lifestyle.

For ideas and recipes to prepare beef cuts that you are unfamiliar with, visit the Michigan Beef Industry’s recipe search. One can search by cut, cooking method, category or ingredients on hand.

Note, the author does not guarantee pounds of beef, number of steaks, roasts, ground beef, etc. generated from a carcass and provides average numbers and examples only based on factors listed above.

Related Michigan State University (MSU) Extension News articles:

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