First processed beef questions

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haulinbass02
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First processed beef questions

Post by haulinbass02 » Mon May 13, 2019 7:35 pm

We just got our first beef back from the processor that my father in law bought and we finished out ourselves. A little background on her, she was an unknown aged black Angus cow that supposedly had a prolapsed uterus. She was VERY standoffish and skittish. We fed her out on a mix of steamed cut corn, 14% all-stock, access to hay and grass for about 4 months. The last few weeks she was penned up and on grain only.

She had a hanging weight of about 550# and hung 7-8 days before they processed and packed the beef. The marbling appeared to be excellent when I thawed out the first ribeye today but I did notice that there seemed to be quite a bit of hard yellow tallowy fat with the ribeyes. The flavor was very good and the meat mostly tender save for the tough pieces of the tallow.

Now I realize that beef will have the hard tallow. I guess I assumed they would trim this? Maybe not? Depending on the processor?

So I’m just curious, could this cow have been an older range cow that my father in law got suckered in to buying? I say she was unknown age but we were told she was 3 years old. I don’t believe it. Do older cows have more of the hard tallow than younger animals?

I realize that this post seems a little newbie and it is because I am in a way. I am comparing the cow to my knowledge from personally processing a deer where it seems that kind of hard fat is concentrated to a few areas vs in this cow where it seems to be in every cut of meat there is. I might also be trying to compare it too much to what I am used to seeing in the store where they have trimmed all of that off.

We are mostly happy with the outcome but I want to tweak anything I might have not done right to get better quality beef the next to-round.



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Re: First processed beef questions

Post by dieselbeef » Tue May 14, 2019 6:48 am

ask the cutter.................
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Re: First processed beef questions

Post by Jogeephus » Tue May 14, 2019 10:28 am

Yellow fat could be from age but also from a number of other things. Yellow fat is usually a sign of carotenoids which some breeds store more readily than others so it could be the breed. Time of year also plays a part. If it were me, I would try the same thing again next year only I'd butcher the cow in winter rather than the spring and see if that doesn't make a marked difference on the predominate type fat you have in the meat.
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Re: First processed beef questions

Post by Son of Butch » Tue May 14, 2019 11:11 am

haulinbass02 wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 7:35 pm
We just got our first beef back from the processor that my father in law bought and we finished out ourselves.

She had a hanging weight of about 550# and hung 7-8 days before they processed and packed the beef. The marbling appeared to be excellent when I thawed out the first ribeye today but I did notice that there seemed to be quite a bit of hard yellow tallow. I realize that beef will have the hard tallow. I guess I assumed they would trim this? Maybe not? Depending on the processor?

So I’m just curious, could this cow have been an older range cow that my father in law got suckered in to buying? I say she was unknown age but we were told she was 3 years old.
I don’t believe it. Do older cows have more of the hard tallow than younger animals?

We are mostly happy with the outcome, but I want to tweak anything I might have not done right
to get better quality beef the next to-round.
3 yr old = 3y 0m - 3y 11m = 36-47 months old + 4 months feeding = 40-51 months
Your description fits for a cow over 36 months old.
Over 30 months is considered old for a slaughter animal and it is my understanding that after
42 months of age it is next to impossible to determine age by judging the carcass other than saying
over 36 months.

Rule of thumb:
Butchering same animal younger = more tender and butchering older = stronger beef flavor

Next time ask your processor for a closer trim.
Maybe he figured you could trim it yourself and throw the scraps to the dog.

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Re: First processed beef questions

Post by KennethSel » Wed May 15, 2019 7:54 am

Jogeephus wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 10:28 am
Time of year also plays a part. If it were me, I would try the same thing again next year only I'd butcher the cow in winter rather than the spring and see if that doesn't make a marked difference on the predominate type fat you have in the meat.
I didn't know the time of year could play that much of a role. Interesting.

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Re: First processed beef questions

Post by dieselbeef » Wed May 15, 2019 8:52 am

we try to butcher in the mid summer or fall when they are fat on grass..but we do not finish...we eat grass finished right off pasture if grass is good..fat is yellowish usually
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Re: First processed beef questions

Post by haulinbass02 » Wed May 15, 2019 11:35 am

Thanks for all the replies. We only got a quarter of the last beef (which is still a lot of meat). We actually have another steer we are quarters in with different people that we are processing in September. It is a Jersey and we are allowing on grass as well as grain daily.
I will pull him off grass completely in August and process mid-September. So different breeds and times of year and age (he will be 18 mos). So I will see how that goes as well. All of this is kind of an experiment in how we will approach this in the future.

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Re: First processed beef questions

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Wed May 15, 2019 4:20 pm

Grass = yellow fat. Not sure how long you would have to keep off grass to get the white fat back. And, yes, age = yellow fat.

Are you referring to the outside fat? Your processor may not take the time to trim, and some don't trim because they always get accused of not giving you all your meat because the hanging weight is a lot more (30% more) than what you take home if you weigh your boxes. So, leaving the fat on, makes your boxes weigh a little more.
And, deer are a LOT leaner than what a finished beef would be.
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Re: First processed beef questions

Post by haulinbass02 » Wed May 22, 2019 12:40 pm

Yes I was referring to the harder outside fat. Some was left on the meat that in my mind could have been trimmed off. I realize that deer are lean but the last few I shot had a LOT of tallow fat on them. I trimmed it all off as I processed them myself and figured that they would trim my beef the same.
I am going to have to “experiment” more with time of year and feed to figure out the formula to get the beef I want.

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Re: First processed beef questions

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Wed May 22, 2019 3:31 pm

A mature animal (over 30 months of age) will put down fat faster/easier than a growing animal. I, personally prefer a well marbled young steer. Ours are normally hung at around 12-13 months of age - but I do NOT eat grass fed beef. Ours is corn fed. And, I did not know the time of the year made any difference??? Never heard that or ran into a problem.
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Re: First processed beef questions

Post by Named'em Tamed'em » Wed May 22, 2019 10:37 pm

haulinbass02 wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 7:35 pm
We just got our first beef back from the processor that my father in law bought and we finished out ourselves. A little background on her, she was an unknown aged black Angus cow that supposedly had a prolapsed uterus. She was VERY standoffish and skittish. We fed her out on a mix of steamed cut corn, 14% all-stock, access to hay and grass for about 4 months. The last few weeks she was penned up and on grain only.

She had a hanging weight of about 550# and hung 7-8 days before they processed and packed the beef. The marbling appeared to be excellent when I thawed out the first ribeye today but I did notice that there seemed to be quite a bit of hard yellow tallowy fat with the ribeyes. The flavor was very good and the meat mostly tender save for the tough pieces of the tallow.

Now I realize that beef will have the hard tallow. I guess I assumed they would trim this? Maybe not? Depending on the processor?

So I’m just curious, could this cow have been an older range cow that my father in law got suckered in to buying? I say she was unknown age but we were told she was 3 years old. I don’t believe it. Do older cows have more of the hard tallow than younger animals?

I realize that this post seems a little newbie and it is because I am in a way. I am comparing the cow to my knowledge from personally processing a deer where it seems that kind of hard fat is concentrated to a few areas vs in this cow where it seems to be in every cut of meat there is. I might also be trying to compare it too much to what I am used to seeing in the store where they have trimmed all of that off.

We are mostly happy with the outcome but I want to tweak anything I might have not done right to get better quality beef the next to-round.
What kind of animal hangs at 550# at 3 years old? :2cents:
Get over it! It could have been alot worse.

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Re: First processed beef questions

Post by Ebenezer » Thu May 23, 2019 6:57 am

Named'em Tamed'em wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 10:37 pm
haulinbass02 wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 7:35 pm
We just got our first beef back from the processor that my father in law bought and we finished out ourselves. A little background on her, she was an unknown aged black Angus cow that supposedly had a prolapsed uterus. She was VERY standoffish and skittish. We fed her out on a mix of steamed cut corn, 14% all-stock, access to hay and grass for about 4 months. The last few weeks she was penned up and on grain only.

She had a hanging weight of about 550# and hung 7-8 days before they processed and packed the beef. The marbling appeared to be excellent when I thawed out the first ribeye today but I did notice that there seemed to be quite a bit of hard yellow tallowy fat with the ribeyes. The flavor was very good and the meat mostly tender save for the tough pieces of the tallow.

Now I realize that beef will have the hard tallow. I guess I assumed they would trim this? Maybe not? Depending on the processor?

So I’m just curious, could this cow have been an older range cow that my father in law got suckered in to buying? I say she was unknown age but we were told she was 3 years old. I don’t believe it. Do older cows have more of the hard tallow than younger animals?

I realize that this post seems a little newbie and it is because I am in a way. I am comparing the cow to my knowledge from personally processing a deer where it seems that kind of hard fat is concentrated to a few areas vs in this cow where it seems to be in every cut of meat there is. I might also be trying to compare it too much to what I am used to seeing in the store where they have trimmed all of that off.

We are mostly happy with the outcome but I want to tweak anything I might have not done right to get better quality beef the next to-round.
What kind of animal hangs at 550# at 3 years old? :2cents:
Part Jersey. That would also explain the yellow fat a bit more.

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Re: First processed beef questions

Post by greybeard » Thu May 23, 2019 1:31 pm

Ebenezer wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 6:57 am
Named'em Tamed'em wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 10:37 pm
haulinbass02 wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 7:35 pm
We just got our first beef back from the processor that my father in law bought and we finished out ourselves. A little background on her, she was an unknown aged black Angus cow that supposedly had a prolapsed uterus. She was VERY standoffish and skittish. We fed her out on a mix of steamed cut corn, 14% all-stock, access to hay and grass for about 4 months. The last few weeks she was penned up and on grain only.

She had a hanging weight of about 550# and hung 7-8 days before they processed and packed the beef. The marbling appeared to be excellent when I thawed out the first ribeye today but I did notice that there seemed to be quite a bit of hard yellow tallowy fat with the ribeyes. The flavor was very good and the meat mostly tender save for the tough pieces of the tallow.

Now I realize that beef will have the hard tallow. I guess I assumed they would trim this? Maybe not? Depending on the processor?

So I’m just curious, could this cow have been an older range cow that my father in law got suckered in to buying? I say she was unknown age but we were told she was 3 years old. I don’t believe it. Do older cows have more of the hard tallow than younger animals?

I realize that this post seems a little newbie and it is because I am in a way. I am comparing the cow to my knowledge from personally processing a deer where it seems that kind of hard fat is concentrated to a few areas vs in this cow where it seems to be in every cut of meat there is. I might also be trying to compare it too much to what I am used to seeing in the store where they have trimmed all of that off.

We are mostly happy with the outcome but I want to tweak anything I might have not done right to get better quality beef the next to-round.
What kind of animal hangs at 550# at 3 years old? :2cents:
Part Jersey. That would also explain the yellow fat a bit more.
Maybe, tho the OP did say:
A little background on her, she was an unknown aged black Angus cow that supposedly had a prolapsed uterus.
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Re: First processed beef questions

Post by dieselbeef » Wed May 29, 2019 6:03 am

this whole thing sounds awful and uneatable to me...if a 2 yr old aint full of marbling offa grass at 1200 lbs and 700 on the rail somethings wrong....
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Re: First processed beef questions

Post by SPH » Fri May 31, 2019 9:16 pm

Yellow fat is usually a result of being on a mostly grass/forage diet instead of grain finished. Takes about 60-90 days on a mostly grain diet to turn yellow fat into white fat. You can find different articles about this by doing a Google search, here's a pretty decent explanation of it: https://articles.extension.org/pages/39 ... e-to-feed- It's basically a result of how they convert different vitamins into fat.

If you are selling to a packer you will get docked for yellow fat so if you were to sell culls or feeders you probably would want to finish them out on grain if you want them to grade out better on the rail.

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