Buying a whole or half beef is a great way to fill your freezer up with quality meat for your family. Finding a local farmer to buy from is the only way you will truly know how and where your food was grown.

Trying to figure out how much meat you will get from a whole or half cow can be somewhat confusing. Here is a breakdown to help.


Your carcass will only weigh approximately 60% of its live weight after slaughter. This is a result of the animals blood, hide, head, hooves and organs being removed.

Now you have your hanging weight or carcass weight. This will also decrease as you remove trimmings and moisture from dry aging. After this removal your final weight will be approximately 70% of your carcass weight.

Live Weight x 60% = Carcass Weight

Carcass Weight x 70% = Total Pounds of Meat

Example of a 1350 lb. Cow

1350 x 60% = 810 lbs Carcass Weight

810 x 70% = 567 lbs of Meat, Soup Bones, and Offal


Please keep in mind that this is all approximate. There are many factors that determine the final amount of meat such as the build of your cow, your butcher, the cuts that you choose…..

The usable meat from the carcass will usually be spilt at approximately:

  • 50% to ground beef

  • 50% for steaks, chuck, shank, brisket, etc.

When choosing your cuts from the butcher you will be able to decide how much fat you would like to remain on your meat, whether you want bones left in or taken out, how many pounds of ground beef in a package, what thickness of steaks, how many steaks per package, and what size of roasts..


beef cuts
Bones & Offal

Chuck - 27%


Chuck Roast
Arm Roast
Stew Beef
Ground Beef
Short Ribs

Rib - 9%


Ribeye Steaks
Rib Steak
Back Ribs
Stew Beef
Ground Beef

Short Loin - 8%


Porterhouse Steak
T-bone Steak
Stew Beef
Ground Beef

Sirloin - 9%


Sirloin Steak
Stew Beef
Ground Beef

Round - 24%


Round Steak
Rump Roast
Sirloin Tip
Cubed Steaks
Stew Beef
Ground Beef

Shank - 2%


Osso Buco
Soup Bones
Stew Beef
Ground Beef

Flank - 5%


Flank Steak
Short Ribs
Ground Beef

Short Plate - 9%


Skirt Steak
Hanger Steak
Short Ribs
Ground Beef

Fore Shank - 1%


Osso Buco
Soup Bones
Stew Beef
Ground Beef
Brisket - 6%

    Freezer Space


    You will need one cubic foot for every 35 to 40 pounds of meat. Take in to consideration that some cuts take up more room than others. An oddly shaped roast will take up more room than steaks that lay flat on top of each other. A chest style freezer will hold more than an upright style, but it is also less convenient than an upright when trying to find what you are looking for inside.



    How Long Can You Keep Frozen Meat

    According to, you can keep fresh beef, pork, and poultry frozen for up to one year. Vacuum sealed packaging rather than butcher paper, will help meat last longer in the freezer.


    How Many Steaks Can You Get From a Cow

    When you purchase a whole beef, you can expect a generous number of steaks to fill your freezer and satisfy your carnivorous cravings. On average, a whole beef can yield around 30 to 40 steaks, depending on the size of the animal and the desired thickness of the cuts. These can include mouthwatering favorites like T-bone, ribeye, New York strip, and filet mignon. With such a bountiful supply of steaks, you'll have plenty to enjoy for months to come, whether you're grilling up a delicious dinner for family and friends or treating yourself to a perfectly seared steak on a special occasion. The versatility and abundance of steaks from a whole beef ensure that your culinary adventures will be filled with tantalizing flavors and succulent textures.

    How Many T-Bones Can You Get From a Whole Cow

    The number of T-bone steaks that can be obtained from a whole cow depends on various factors, including the size of the animal, the cutting preferences, and the thickness of the steaks. Typically, a whole cow will yield approximately 6 to 8 T-bone steaks. 

    How Many Ribeye Steaks Can You Get From a Whole Cow

    When it comes to the number of ribeye steaks that can be obtained from a whole cow, it depends on several factors such as the size of the animal, cutting preferences, and the desired thickness of the steaks. On average, a whole cow can yield around 16 to 20 ribeye steaks. 


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