LAKE JOY FARMSTEAD BEEF OFFERS FANTASTIC GRASS FED AND GRASS FINISHED ANGUS AND AMERICAN WAGYU BEEF GROWN ABOVE THE SNOQUALMIE VALLEY NEAR LAKE JOY IN NORTH KING COUNTY.
Purchase quarter, half, and whole beef that are processed by the best local butchers. Fill your fridge with tasty, humanely raised, local beef. Price is based upon the hanging weight of the portion purchased when received at the butcher before cutting and wrapping. The price includes the cost of the meat from us, plus the cost of having the butcher come to the farm to slaughter the cow, age it in the cooler, and then cut and wrap it per the customer’s instructions. The American Wagyu grow more slowly, take longer to mature, and are fed longer, hence the higher price.
We sell portions of animals as small as a ¼ of a cow to customers from the farm. When purchased, these portions are picked up by the butcher at the farm, and he takes each customer’s meat back to the shop to age, cut and wrap, and then freeze per their instructions. When this is completed, the customer is called by the butcher to pick up the frozen, wrapped meat from the shop. We can sometimes be available to pick up and deliver. In our online store, to simplify the process you pay one price that includes both the price for meat and the butcher fees for the slaughter, cutting, wrapping and freezing.
Grass Fed/Finished vs. Grain Finished
The calves that we butcher are raised until they are 18-24 months (American Wagyu 24+) old and we do NOT finish with grain. Many other cattle farmers finish their beef in the last 90-120 days on grain at feed lots. We do not, which means slightly leaner finished product but better for you according to most experts. This produces meat that taste like the best steaks you get at the store, but you know these cows have not been given hormones, fed antibiotics, or harshly treated.
Live Weight vs. Hanging Weight
These are fancy cattle with good carcass genetics from registered Angus cows, bred by the top Angus and Wagyu bulls available, animals that we have raised with care and kindness.
Let’s assume an average sized 20 to 24-month-old animal weighs approximately 1,200-1400 lbs.; that weight is called the “live weight.” Once the animal is slaughtered, the skin, head, non-usable organs, and hooves are removed, and the carcass is split down the middle. This part of the process is done at the farm. The two sides are then tagged and transported to the butcher shop. At the butcher shop, the two halves are weighed, giving the butcher the “hanging” or “carcass weight,” which is usually around 60% of the live weight. This weight is then used to determine the cost of the portion purchased, and the store automatically charges the customer’s credit card this amount (minus the reservation deposit). The carcass is then hung in a cooler for 10-15 days to dry age. This improves tenderness, enhances flavor, and further reduces weight due to evaporation.
Hanging Weight vs. Boxed Weight
After dry aging, each side is processed into individual retail cuts based upon the instructions given to the butcher by the customer. The weight after this process is called the “boxed,” “take home,” or “retail” weight. It’s important to know that after butchering, the boxed weight will be significantly less than the hanging weight. The percentage of the hanging weight that remains is called the “yield” for short and is generally around 55% of hanging weight. This percentage varies based on a number of factors, including:
- Bone-in vs. boneless – Removing cuts from the bones will dramatically affect the remaining weight; it will not significantly affect the actual amount of meat you receive.
- The amount of fat remaining on the meat cuts – The yield will vary based on how much surface fat the butcher leaves on the cuts, trims off or adds to the hamburger.
- Leanness of ground beef – If the ground beef is made very lean the yield will be less than if the ground beef is made with a higher percentage of fat from the animal added back in.
Once the meat is cut and wrapped, the butcher will call the customer to arrange a time for pick up. Get the barbeque ready!
Freezer Space and Shelf Life
The rule of thumb is 1 cubic foot of freezer space for every 35-40 lbs. of cut and wrapped meat. Generally, the chest freezers offered at the big box stores will hold a half of beef. Wrapped cuts of beef have a freezer shelf life of one year. After that, the flavor begins to diminish.