Individual animals vary but our estimate on a young beef is weighing around 1,000 lbs on the hoof or call this the live weight of the steer. The butcher skins and guts the animals and then takes what’s called the “hanging weight“.

An average “hanging weight” or beef carcass weight of a steer that has a live weight of approximately 1,000 lbs is around 600 lbs. A side usually weighs around 300 lbs. This weight is taken while the meat is still warm and before the dry aging process begins in the cooler. This refers to the hanging weight or the gross weight by which the carcass is sold. This is the weight at which the butcher charges for cutting and packaging the meat. We also charge the buyer by this weight.

Remember: the price that one pays is based on the hanging weight. The average weight losses from dry aging, cutting and trimming makes up about a 25% loss in weight. This leaves about 450 pounds in a whole (freezer weight), 225 pounds in a side, 112 pounds in a quarter. A quarter is not the front or back of a side, but an equally divided side or half. When buying beef one must realize the importance of how much fat is on the carcass because this will influence the amount of product in the packages. That’s why our finishing process has less waste from trimming of fat while maintaining excellent marbling qualities and provides a superior product with outstanding flavor and tenderness.

A rule of thumb for carcass beef is 25% waste, 40% ground beef and stew meat, 20% in steaks, and 15% in roasts. Remember that this is an average. It will vary with the customized cuts of meat you choose and the way you need it packaged. Animals also vary in size and yield. Some people will get a little more and others a little less.

You, your family and friends can have a healthier life by eating
all natural Angus beef from Circle K’s Angus Farm.

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PDFs available for printing:
Click here for the Butcher’s Questions.
Click here for the Weight Explanation.