Redl's Home-Grown Beef Ltd. - FAQs -
(Frequently Asked Questions)
What is Hanging Weight?
Once the carcass has reached the point in processing where it is ready for the cooler (head, hide, organs removed: carcass washed), the butcher records the weight. It is this weight prior to hanging that is called "Hanging Weight" and is the basis for determining the price of any quarter or side derived therefrom. Now, a couple of things to remember! The hanging carcass contains bone, some extra fat called trim, and will lose some moisture during the hanging process. The amount of this loss depends on the duration of hanging: obviously the longer the period, the more loss (more trimming required and more moisture loss). This has direct implications to you, the customer. Why? Some customers want their beef hung for 21-23 days believing it is necessary for tenderness. This may be necessary with older animals. On the other hand, our animals are young in comparison being "long" yearlings: about 18-26 months old; requiring only 14-17 days hanging to achieve the same degree of tenderness and without the extra losses in yield during hanging.
How is price calculated on a Side or Quarter beef?
We use the "industry standard" for pricing our beef. And that is by taking the Hanging weight (of Side, Quarter, Whole) and multiply by the price per lb. we charge. ($5.50/lb.) Our price includes all butchering costs AND most delivery.
What exactly is a Quarter beef?
Once half a carcass is cut in half, the result is a front and hind quarter. They are not the same in quality. Therefore, we prefer to fully process a Side into individual packages, then evenly split the packages into two separate orders called "Quarters": even though in reality we're selling a half of a Side.
How much do I get in a Side with a hanging weight of 260 lbs?
Depends on how the Side is further processed. We offer custom cutting with orders of Sides. So, if European style is chosen where the bone is removed from the beef cuts, about 160-170 lbs. of beef; filling 6-7 paper grocery bags, will result. There will be a higher volume and weight resulting from a North American style cut which features bone included in the beef cuts. However, the important thing to remember is that there is essentially the same amount of actual meat from these two different cutting styles: it's just that with North American, more freezer space is required due to the extra bone volume. It's probably best to note here that we offer only European style cut (bone out) for orders involving Quarters. It is considered a higher-end style of cutting and has the added advantage of less volume to freeze. (Has a special appeal to those folks who have limited freezer space.)
What is Chain-Of-Custody?
When a product is sold to the consumer that has a guaranteed point of origin; (usually bearing some special characteristic or status different than the norm) it is said to have chain-of-custody in place. Why is this important? Well, let's look at the wood products industry to illustrate the point. There is growing demand for lumber, and products built with lumber, that are sawn/produced from logs originating from ecologically-sensitive harvest operations. In fact, these "eco-friendly" certified logs are tracked through various manufacturing steps as they are bought/sold in the market-place to ensure that their unique status and origin are not lost or mixed with other non-ecofriendly logs. This process of monitoring and tracking an item having special status through several manufacturing phases with guarantees of authenticity when offered for sale is made possible by Chain-of-Custody. It is most important when items are presented for sale in niche markets under the critical eye of discriminating buyers.
We feel the same principles and benefits apply to beef products as well. If beef is sold with guarantees of no antibiotics, no added hormones, etc., how is it possible to make these claims without knowing the animals' health and dietary history; without having the ability to track these special animals through the processing stream; and without controls in place during delivery? We believe it's impossible without some form of Chain-of-Custody in place.
How do you achieve and guarantee Chain-of-Custody?
As beef producers, we must ensure Chain-of-Custody is not compromised in three areas as every animal moves through its life stages with us from a young animal to arriving on your dinner table. These are:
1) raising the animal here on the ranch (from a calf through to finish
2) at the butcher shop (slaughter, cutting, wrapping, labelling, boxing,
3) transport and delivery to our customers.
So, more on Item #1: Here on the ranch, every calf gets an ear tag having a unique number which is used for record-keeping purposes to document any remedial action taken to address health &/or feed related issues (if any). This may include the type and amount of medications administered should an animal become ill. Later, when animals are selected for our natural beef program (usually at weaning time), any animals having received medications are culled and sold through the local auction market as feeders. Only med-free animals advance through this selection process destine for further rearing and finishing on our pastures and meadows as candidate animals for Redl's Home-Grown Beef.
Item #2: Due to an unfortunate injury to Frank Rohls, we have changed butchers and are now using a facility in Agassi, BC. These folks are Scott's Meats and have been processing our beef for about two years. We are confident that the beef we receive from the butcher shop is in fact the beef we delivered to them from our ranch.
Item #3: Delivery of our beef to our customers is handled by ourselves: no intermediaries, no delivery companies, no chance of a mix-up with other producers' beef.
So, we hope it is clear why we feel Chain-of-Custody is so important. With some record-keeping and care in handling our beef through the various stages of the animals' development, processing, and delivery; we can guarantee to you that what you receive from us is truly a healthy, remarkable choice for natural beef.
Can I get my beef order custom cut by your butcher?
Depends on what you order. We do not offer customized cutting on Quarter beef orders. However, you may customize your cut on Sides. Some considerations: Perhaps you want a greater percentage stew than extra lean ground beef; greater percentage of steak to roast; bone-in rather than bone-out; more steaks per package; thicker steaks; or extra quantitiy of soup bones. These are just some options to think about.
What is Dry Aging in beef processing?
We prefer the old-fashioned way of aging beef to achieve a tender, tasty, eating experience. Our beef are hung (in a cooler) for 14-16 days prior to cutting/wrapping. This is DRY AGING; as opposed to the new industrial way of handling beef involving the immediate cutting/packaging (cryovac) of beef after slaughter where the product ages within the package during transport to, and while on the shelves of, the supermarkets. This is wet aging and considered inferior by many to the older, more time consuming method that was so popular before the days of industrialized beef production.