I've found two local sources for bulk grass fed beef. One is $6/lb across all cuts which is the finished weight - the price I pay per pound once the beef has been processed, aged, frozen and delivered.
There is another source that is $4.90 per pound hanging weight which will also include the processing, aging and delivery.
But, my understanding is that if you have 100lbs of hanging weight, you'll likely end up with 70ish pounds of actual meat once processed, aged etc.. Is this correct?
This is our first time buying a cow in bulk so I'm trying to figure out which is a better way to go - by finished weight or by hanging weight?
My experience with this sort of question is to try both and see which works for you. For me, several factors matter: convenience, butchering technique, flavor, visible quality, satiation upon eating, farm practices, and the pleasure of dealing with the vendor. You are basically looking at a dollar's difference /pound, so if it was me I would try both and see what you prefer.
I've found a wide variation in all of those criteria in the vendors and sometimes my choice isn't the "cheapest" - but for me it is the best choice.
Ok, so after tons of research I've discovered that even though different places go by different weights initially, they should be able to provide you with the price on the finished weight - the weight once processed, aged and wrapped. They should know on average how much they lose in the processing and aging process. If they can't provide you with this number then they don't really know their business.
So with the $4.90/lb. for hanging weight, if you are losing 30% weight then your final price will be $7.00/lb. I saw on another older thread where they said they usually get 60%, so that would be a 40% loss, bringing your per pound total to $8.17 lb.
Yes! In researching, that's why they say to talk to the farmer - they should be able to give you the average of how much they lose in processing and aging. For some it's 30%, some as high as 40% but a good farmer should be able to tell you the percentage so you're able to actually figure out how much you're paying per pound of finished product.