It is easy to put your faith on your butcher and assume that he will give you the best value. Besides, you purchased that side (or whole) beef or pork, and, understandably, the butcher wants you to have as much when you are purchasing bulk meat.
It is what you should do if you’re the butcher, right?
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The issue, though, is that the butcher is used to reliably doing things. You might want much value out of your bulk meat, but the normal person needs cuts packaged in recognizable, convenient ways, even if that means tons of waste.
Get the Best Value When Purchasing Bulk Meat
The most vital step, apparently even more valuable than locating a farmer who grows organic, free-range animals, is finding a butcher who will truly listen to you and cut your meat the way you like it.
Utilize the bones for stock, which can be frozen or pressure canned. Bone broth is extremely nutritious, but getting it ready-made is expensive.
You are most likely paying for the bones, whether you need them or not, so except you have a good reason, it is better to bring them home. Also, when the butcher slices the meat off the bones, you just know a lot of that precious meat is getting thrown into the trash bin, too!
A Thick “Fat Cap” on Every Cut
You need them to trim as little fat as possible – if you even have them trim it. You can render, and pressure can become that fat, and then utilize it for cooking with or you can serve it to your chickens, dog, cats. Butchers assume that you like your bulk meat trimmed and pretty. The heart is not going to look pretty, and that heart is almost pure meat. Any trimming is just garbage.
No Ground Meat
Instead, you will want every piece of meat packaged in 1 or 2-pound packs. This way, you do not end up with 80 pounds of burger meat, but with scrap meat that you can grind yourself as required or slice it into cubes for stewing meat.
It might not be as remarkable when you are purchasing a pound or two, but when you are getting meat in bulk, that can instantly add up to an incredible amount of available food being thrown in the trash.
Flank and Skirt Cuts Whole
You can create delicious recipes with them. Flank steak is flavorful with long, stringy fibers. It is best to cut into thin slices against the grain, and it incorporates marinades well.
The skirt is tougher and extremely flavorful and great for fajitas. If you even it whole, you can serve it to take advantage of these characteristics.
Request that the butcher does not toss the bones. You need the dog bones; rib ends, lower leg bone/heels, and tail, which you will use for stock. Have you ever decided to purchase beef bones to make stock? It is not cheap. One of the advantages of buying bulk meat is that you can get a lot of bones to make broth.
They were included in the price. You spent on them. If you do not get them, the butcher has thrown your money in the trash.
All Organ Meats
If you do not cook them, you can serve them to pets, give them to neighbors who need them. The butcher will only be throwing them in the trash bin.
Mix It Up
When you are purchasing bulk meat, there is a known danger of ending up with every roast or steaks. If you decide to buy half aside (1/4 of the animal), ask if they will involve cuts from the front and also the back of the animal. Both roasts and steaks are challenging to conserve with no freezer.
Getting Bulk Meat – Do You Want Fresh or Frozen?
How do you obtain the best value when getting bulk meat? Here are a few tips.
This is extremely important: Be sure to ask if the meat will be vacuum-packed and if it will be frozen or fresh. This, you need to know because 200+ pounds of fresh meat is more than what you can securely freeze at once in a normal freezer.
Non-commercial freezers can well freeze no more than 3 pounds of fresh meat per cubic foot of freezer space within 24 hours.
On the other hand, if you think about canning most of the meat, or if you want to preserve a lot of it, you do not want to spend extra for it to be vacuum-packed and frozen.