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Burger/Steak Epiphany?

Posted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 12:19 am
by boondocks
Just butchered 2 Angus steers that look good (trying some tomorrow). We had 2 customers cancel a week before the butcher date so we're stuck with a half. That's got me thinking about how to better market going forward.
I have not bought beef in years and just now used the recent sales snafu as a chance to check out prices at our local grocery. To say I'm shocked by how little money CAB steaks and roasts are selling for, would be an understatement. (And this was at our local grocery, which ends to be higher than the dreaded WallyWorld, eg).
Last time I bought beef (as I said, it's been awhile), steaks were way more (per lb) than burger, and roasts were a fair amount more than burger. The price difference seems to have narrowed almost to a draw. Even the good steak cuts were close to the same per lb price as the burger. And I think there was a roast or two for less than the burger. This seems in line with what I told a friend recently: that people don't cook like they used to, and the younger folk seem like they'd just as leave (if not rather) have a good burger than a steak.
SO, if that's true, is there a viable alternative plan to market higher-end burgers? Maybe vacuum packed patties (with a variety of seasonings, or what's (affectionately) called around here a "Mexican" (peppers, onions etc).
I think of it as sacrilege to burger a whole (young) animal, but maybe new times require new thinking...Am I nuts to even think this?
Also, at what point is the animal likely too old to make good burger? I have a just-7yo I'm trying to sell (nothing wrong with her but we're overstocked); it's been months and no takers. (It's now a theoretical question as she's bred, but maybe something to consider in a few months)?

Re: Burger/Steak Epiphany?

Posted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 3:19 am
by Nesikep
No problem burgering a 7 year old cow.. that'll make dandy burgers!

Re: Burger/Steak Epiphany?

Posted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 6:34 am
by greatgerts
We did our last steer in about 90% burger. The reason for doing that, is that my 2 nephews don't really eat steak or roasts. I also have 4 kids under 4, so we figured we would probably either be making 2 meals some nights, or they would not eat what we fixed; making hamburger an easy choice. Hopefully we can do more cuts on our next butcher.

Re: Burger/Steak Epiphany?

Posted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:28 am
by ga.prime
boondocks wrote:Just butchered 2 Angus steers that look good (trying some tomorrow). We had 2 customers cancel a week before the butcher date so we're stuck with a half. That's got me thinking about how to better market going forward.
I have not bought beef in years and just now used the recent sales snafu as a chance to check out prices at our local grocery. To say I'm shocked by how little money CAB steaks and roasts are selling for, would be an understatement. (And this was at our local grocery, which ends to be higher than the dreaded WallyWorld, eg).
Last time I bought beef (as I said, it's been awhile), steaks were way more (per lb) than burger, and roasts were a fair amount more than burger. The price difference seems to have narrowed almost to a draw. Even the good steak cuts were close to the same per lb price as the burger. And I think there was a roast or two for less than the burger. This seems in line with what I told a friend recently: that people don't cook like they used to, and the younger folk seem like they'd just as leave (if not rather) have a good burger than a steak.
SO, if that's true, is there a viable alternative plan to market higher-end burgers? Maybe vacuum packed patties (with a variety of seasonings, or what's (affectionately) called around here a "Mexican" (peppers, onions etc).
I think of it as sacrilege to burger a whole (young) animal, but maybe new times require new thinking...Am I nuts to even think this?
Also, at what point is the animal likely too old to make good burger? I have a just-7yo I'm trying to sell (nothing wrong with her but we're overstocked); it's been months and no takers. (It's now a theoretical question as she's bred, but maybe something to consider in a few months)?


Hamburger's $2.18/lb here, CAB ribeyes $12.99/lb. The 73/27 undocumented $2.18/lb hamburger is as good as it gets in the category of ground beef. But you can get some number of people to buy anything with various labeling.

Re: Burger/Steak Epiphany?

Posted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:59 am
by kd4au
boondocks wrote:Just butchered 2 Angus steers that look good (trying some tomorrow). We had 2 customers cancel a week before the butcher date so we're stuck with a half. That's got me thinking about how to better market going forward.
I have not bought beef in years and just now used the recent sales snafu as a chance to check out prices at our local grocery. To say I'm shocked by how little money CAB steaks and roasts are selling for, would be an understatement. (And this was at our local grocery, which ends to be higher than the dreaded WallyWorld, eg).
Last time I bought beef (as I said, it's been awhile), steaks were way more (per lb) than burger, and roasts were a fair amount more than burger. The price difference seems to have narrowed almost to a draw. Even the good steak cuts were close to the same per lb price as the burger. And I think there was a roast or two for less than the burger. This seems in line with what I told a friend recently: that people don't cook like they used to, and the younger folk seem like they'd just as leave (if not rather) have a good burger than a steak.
SO, if that's true, is there a viable alternative plan to market higher-end burgers? Maybe vacuum packed patties (with a variety of seasonings, or what's (affectionately) called around here a "Mexican" (peppers, onions etc).
I think of it as sacrilege to burger a whole (young) animal, but maybe new times require new thinking...Am I nuts to even think this?
Also,
at what point is the animal likely too old to make good burger
? I have a just-7yo I'm trying to sell (nothing wrong with her but we're overstocked); it's been months and no takers. (It's now a theoretical question as she's bred, but maybe something to consider in a few months)?

Where do you think all those old cows go? And anybody that had rather have a burger than a steak is just nuts.

Re: Burger/Steak Epiphany?

Posted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 2:32 pm
by boondocks
ga.prime wrote:[
Hamburger's $2.18/lb here, CAB ribeyes $12.99/lb. The 73/27 undocumented $2.18/lb hamburger is as good as it gets in the category of ground beef. But you can get some number of people to buy anything with various labeling.


Very interesting, the regional variations. Nearly every piece of beef in our local store was around $5/lb. One or two pricier steaks were more like $11, but there were cheaper steak cuts and roasts for around $5-6. CAB.
One of the leaner burger packages was pricier than the fattier one. (Similar volume, not like it was a bulk discount deal either).

Re: Burger/Steak Epiphany?

Posted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 2:33 pm
by boondocks
Nesikep wrote:No problem burgering a 7 year old cow.. that'll make dandy burgers!


grassfed though Nesi?

Re: Burger/Steak Epiphany?

Posted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 2:48 pm
by callmefence
We ground up a old cow last winter. I'm not sure how old but a definite senior citizen. She had a 300 pound calf on her and was a little on the poor side. She was pretty dam gamey .
Got used in meatloaf's, casseroles, chilli and such.

Re: Burger/Steak Epiphany?

Posted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 3:14 pm
by boondocks
callmefence wrote:We ground up a old cow last winter. I'm not sure how old but a definite senior citizen. She had a 300 pound calf on her and was a little on the poor side. She was pretty dam gamey .
Got used in meatloaf's, casseroles, chilli and such.


Think she was past 7? this would be beef to sell to customers so gamy wouldn't cut it...
Hoping that a cow that's 7 or even 8 and in good shape would make good grassfed burger.

Re: Burger/Steak Epiphany?

Posted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 3:56 pm
by Jeanne - Simme Valley
I would never hesitate to butcher a cow for hamburg. I have done just that in the past and sold off the hamburg - which was 90% lean. Remember, if your cow is FAT, you may have a hard time coming up with real lean hamburg.
I have a hard time believing CAB Certified STEAKS are selling for $5/lb. They may have roasts & hamburg that are CAB Certified. But, your local steaks for $5 are probably Select grade. CAB has to be Choice grade. I have to acknowledge that I am ignorant of the grocery store prices - just never look. I should. I am not trying to call you a liar by any means. Just might be promoted in a way you think it's all CAB.

Re: Burger/Steak Epiphany?

Posted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 4:16 pm
by callmefence
boondocks wrote:
callmefence wrote:We ground up a old cow last winter. I'm not sure how old but a definite senior citizen. She had a 300 pound calf on her and was a little on the poor side. She was pretty dam gamey .
Got used in meatloaf's, casseroles, chilli and such.


Think she was past 7? this would be beef to sell to customers so gamy wouldn't cut it...
Hoping that a cow that's 7 or even 8 and in good shape would make good grassfed burger.


O yeah well past 7. This was one of those let her raise one more calf kinda deals. Broke her leg in a hay ring. I knew when we butchered her it wasn't gonna be very good. I do believe the poor condition probably had as much to do with it as age though.

Re: Burger/Steak Epiphany?

Posted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 4:27 pm
by bball
You're post is thought provoking. We sell 6-8 halfs a year here. Your post got me go thinking...the youngest couple we sell to is mid 30s.
I dont know that it's so much they(younger folks) prefer burger over steaks, roasts, etc. As it is they don't know how to prepare/grill a steak, roast. Hamburg is super easy, versatile and goes well with whatever dinner out of a box they're having that night. Several of the youngsters at work seem stupified at the concept of making a roast, grilling steaks or ribs, Italian beef etc. They just never learned how to do some of it.. making a country fried steak and gravy at home was out of the question.
Other areas are financial limitations, and of course, countering the anti-meat crowd.

Re: Burger/Steak Epiphany?

Posted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 4:37 pm
by HDRider
bball wrote:You're post is thought provoking. We sell 6-8 halfs a year here. Your post got me go thinking...the youngest couple we sell to is mid 30s.
I dont know that it's so much they(younger folks) prefer burger over steaks, roasts, etc. As it is they don't know how to prepare/grill a steak, roast. Hamburg is super easy, versatile and goes well with whatever dinner out of a box they're having that night. Several of the youngsters at work seem stupified at the concept of making a roast, grilling steaks or ribs, Italian beef etc. They just never learned how to do some of it.. making a country fried steak and gravy at home was out of the question.
Other areas are financial limitations, and of course, countering the anti-meat crowd.

Pretty sad ain't it?

Re: Burger/Steak Epiphany?

Posted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 4:44 pm
by Nesikep
boondocks wrote:
Nesikep wrote:No problem burgering a 7 year old cow.. that'll make dandy burgers!


grassfed though Nesi?

Yep, I'd just give them a nice piece of grass so they gain some weight quickly, if they're thin to start with that's probably better as the fat will be fresh. Don't use a coarse grind on the grinder though. Got some old cow burger from a friend, he had bought a new meat grinder from Cabella's it came with a really fine and really coarse cutter.. morons were sold out of the medium cutters so it's got some chewy spots in it.. flavor is alright though

Re: Burger/Steak Epiphany?

Posted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 4:49 pm
by Jeanne - Simme Valley
callmefence - I would venture to guess she was "gamey" tasting because she was stressed. A regular pasture cow should be great hamburg. Actually, cow hamburg should be better tasting than a very young steer's. Age = flavor