Beef: "Sold by hot carcass weight" ?????


Tracy R.

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Halves & Whole Beef

Sold by hot carcass weight

#3.50/lb plus processing fees

What does "hot carcass weight" mean? Is that different from "hanging weight"? What is the best way to buy from a farmer? I'm so confused! Who'd have thought buying meat could get so complicated. :blink:

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  • 4 weeks later...

I sell and help raise grass-fed beef. Hot carcass weight is initial hanging weight, before dry-aging (it will weigh up to 10% less after dry-aging). The finished weight is about 60% of the dry hanging weight depending on things like whether you keep soup bones, organs, fat, etc. Our processing fees are about $0.65/lb hanging weight (dry, I think), so assuming it's similar wherever you are

$3.50/lb / 0.93 = $3.76

3.76 + 0.65 = $4.41 per lb dry hanging weight

$4.41 / 0.6 = 7.35 / lb finished weight

If you buy a quarter, it'll be somewhere between 80 and 120 lbs.

Their price would be pretty expensive in my region (Central PA), but not insanely so. We sell our meat in variety packs by finished weight to avoid this confusion. I fear that a lot of consumers think they are getting a screaming deal, when it's really an average or even expensive price. So, I don't like selling by hanging weight, but a lot of farmers/ranchers do it anyway. Usually they are selling the animal 'on the hoof' when they do it this way (which it sounds like your guy is doing). I'm not sure if it's a regulatory issue, just because it's how the butchers work, or because it reduces the producer's uncertainty (ie, how much weight the carcass loses when drying, how weight the carcass loses when drying if the consumer chooses to waste organs/bones).

Good luck!

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