The Front Quarter of Beef: A Tasty Choice for Grilling


When it comes to choosing your portion of cow, taste is key. By considering your cooking and eating preferences alongside the available cuts, you can make an informed decision. Let’s start with the front quarter, which is an excellent choice for grilling.

The Rib Primal

At Source Farms, the front quarter of our beef includes everything except the lowest two ribs, which are part of the rear quarter. This section contains the highly sought-after ribeye cut, known for its tenderness and marbling. The rib primal also offers bone-in versions of the ribeye, including the flavorful rib cap muscle. Additionally, this section provides options for roasts such as standing rib roast, cross-cut rib roast, or prime rib roast. It can also yield flanken, short ribs, spare ribs, and more. We can customize the thickness and type of steaks based on your preferences.

The Chuck Primal

Also known as the shoulder, the chuck primal yields approximately 40 pounds of meat. It offers a variety of cuts including chuck roasts, under blade steaks, mock tender roasts, mock tender steaks, top blade steaks, and shoulder center cut roasts or steaks. This versatile section can be transformed into roasts, steaks, stew meat, ground meat, or a combination of these options.

The Brisket Primal

The brisket, located under the neck, consists of hard-working pectoral muscles. As a result, it has a fairly tough consistency, making it ideal for slow cooking or smoking. Brisket is commonly cured and smoked to create corned beef. Alternatively, it can be made into roasts, stew meat, or ground meat.

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Ground Beef

Approximately 35% of a beef share consists of ground beef, which comes from the well-trimmed steaks and roasts. At Source Farms, our standard 1/8 shares aim for a ground beef composition of 75-80% lean.

The Plate Primal

The plate primal, located in the belly area, is the smallest section of the front quarter. While often fatty and tough, it can be transformed into delicious bacon when cured and smoked. It’s also suitable for skirt steak, fajita strips, ground beef, and stew cubes.

Ordering a Front-Quarter

Front-quarter packages from Source Farms offer great value for the included cuts. When selecting an option, consider factors such as freezer space, budget, and your cooking and eating preferences. Typically, a front-quarter weighs around 170 pounds but can range from 120 to 220 pounds. After customization, you can expect a yield of approximately 120 pounds of finished beef. The average cost for a front-quarter is $1000, equating to $6.25 per pound.

Different Front-Quarter Packages:

  • Front Quarter “Summer Cuts” Package: This package includes various cuts and is priced at $7.00/lb. It comprises briskets, Tomahawk ribeye steaks, flat-iron steaks, seamless premium kebab chunks, Denver steaks, preformed burger patties, all-beef franks, and bulk plain ground beef.
  • 1/8 Front Burger: This package consists of about 90% ground beef and 10% steaks. It is perfect for quick and affordable meals such as grilled burgers, meatloaf, meatballs, potstickers, and cutlers. The cost of a front-eighth is approximately $500, or $6.50 per pound.
  • 1/8 Front Roasts and Braises: This share includes prime rib roast, pot roast, flanked ribs, cross-cut shanks, stew cubes, and ground beef (though in lesser amounts compared to other packages). The total package costs around $1000, or $6.75 per pound.
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Hanging Weight and Yield

Hanging weight refers to the weight of the front-quarter of the animal when it hangs in one piece on a hook after being killed. On average, a quarter of beef weighs 170 pounds. However, during the 10-12 day dry aging period and the butchering process, some weight is lost due to evaporation, gristle, bones, and scraps. Roughly 60-66% of the hanging weight becomes finished beef. For the “1/8th front/burger” share, the yield is lower at about 55% as it is entirely processed into ground beef. A front-quarter requires approximately five cubic feet of freezer space, while an 1/8th requires about 2.5 cubic feet. Beef can be kept in the freezer for two or more years.

For more information about our beef and to place an order, visit Hook’d Up Bar and Grill.