Interested in buying whole, half, or quarter beef?
Here are some things to consider when purchasing. Don’t be afraid to ask questions first. After all, this is a large purchase, and you are consuming the product!
Surprising enough it is NOT the package that gives the beef the tenderness, flavor, and grade!
Questions to ask:
* The age of the animal you are purchasing. Anything over 24 months will not be as tender or flavorful! The older the animal the older the muscle; the older the muscle the tougher the meat!
Tidbit: Our beef is under 24 months of age.
* The type of beef. Is it a bull, cow, heifer, or steer? You probably want to steer clear of the bull and cow. Unless it is a virgin bull under 24 months of age; then you might be okay.
Tidbit: You will either get a heifer or steer with Bear Paw Meats
* Probably the most important question is: How long has the animal been on feed? And, what has the animal been fed? This is a very important step in the process! The feed plays a direct roll in the taste and grade of the beef. If the animal hasn’t been fed long enough the meat will be tough, and if the animal is fed to long it will have a lot of waist. Neither of which is good for you, the consumer, if you prefer tender, juicy, lean beef.
1.Grass fed: Most grass-fed cattle are leaner than feedlot beef, lacking marbling, which lowers the fat content and caloric level of the meat, which lowers the tenderness. Grass fed beef also has a very distinctive flavor and smell that is “different.” Some compare the taste to game, which, would be logical because of the diet. If grass fat is for you, be very careful of the time of year the beef is harvested. A beef coming off a dry hay bale will taste “different” than one coming off of spring/early summer grass.
2.Grain Fed: Fed barley, corn or flax seed. The grains allow the meat to marble, which increases the tenderness of the product. This process does not happen over night. Make sure the beef is “fattened” for at least 150 days. If it hasn’t then resort back to grass fat.
a.There is a lot of speculation between the two types of feeding. We are partial to grain fed. In our research and experience, it provides a quality product that is packed full of nutrition and FLAVOR. We recommend that you do your research in journals to refrain from media hype. (Google is not a source!)
Tidbit: All our beef is back-grounded on a corn silage hayledge ration. After around 800 pounds the beef is moved to the fat beef pen where it is finished on a barley corn silage ration. The beef is fed for a total of 150 to 180 days depending on the frame of the animal.
* What is the grade of beef? Select, Choice and Prime are the basic grades of beef. The grade of beef can only be fully established after the hide is removed. The carcass quality grading is based on 1) the degree of marbling and 2) the degree of maturity. What does this mean?
1.The more the marbling in the cut the higher the grade so your prime grade will have an abundant to a slightly abundant marbling. Choice will have a moderate to small amount, and Select will have slight. Standard beef will have traces to practically devoid marbling. Standard won’t make you sick, but it sure will give your jaw a workout! Prime is a rare catch. The higher the grade of beef the more expensive the product.
2.The degree of maturity is the physiological age of the beef. The younger the beef the better the grade. A 9-30 months, B 30-42 months, C 42-72 months, D 72-96 months, and E is over 96 months. So, if you want an A on your report card, make sure the beef is under 30 months of age! Go to the USDA website for more information on grading.
Tidbit: We GAURANTEE at least a Choice beef. We provide a consistent, quality product. Our beef has a distinct wonderful flavor that took years to develop and we are very excited to share it with you! If you love what you taste on the shelf, you will love what you get in your freezer! If you have any questions please let us know. This is what we do, so if we can’t answer your questions we can find a reliable source that can!