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How Much Freezer Space Do you Need for Bulk Beef and Pork?

posted on

November 4, 2022

When you buy a mixed quarter, a side (Half), or whole of Meeting Place Organic Farm beef, or a whole or half pig, it’s delivered (FREE) to your door - fresh frozen (which means as soon as it is cut, it is frozen quickly to preserve the integrity of the meat).

For lots of our customers, having a freezer full of beef is, well, something new. And, usually, people have questions…

In General...

A rule of thumb is one cubic foot of freezer space for each 25-35 pounds of cut and wrapped meat. Allow slightly more space when the meat is packaged in odd shapes.

How much freezer space will my beef take?

For a mixed quarter (about 85 pounds of meat), you’ll want to have 4 cubic feet. And for a Side (half), around 8 cubic feet. A whole cow will need 16 cubic feet. 

How much freezer space will my pork take?

For a whole pig, you'll want about 8 cubic feet, for a half pig, you'll want about 4 cubic feet.

What if I don’t already have a freezer?

If you don’t have a freezer, you might be surprised to learn they’re surprisingly affordable. Whether you get a chest freezer or an upright is a personal preference. 

Depending on space and overall preference, Here are measurements for both upright and chest freezers.

  • Small (5-9 cubic feet), upright = 21–25″ W x 55–60″ H x 22–26″ D, and chest = 29–38″ W x 32–34″ H x 22–27″ D
  • Medium (10-16 cubic feet), upright = 23–30″ W x 60–73″ H x 27–30″ D, and chest = 54–65″ W x 33–36″ H x 24–28″ D
  • Large (17+ cubic feet), upright = 27–33″ W x 64–76″ H x 29–30″ D, and chest= 72–84″ W x 31–34″ H x 27–32″ D

How long will my beef be good in the freezer?

Assuming it goes right in the freezer and it’s kept ice cold, and the packaging is not damaged, it will last at least 12 months.

How do I defrost my meat?

For ground beef, burger patties and steaks there are two ways. Either defrost in the refrigerator (24-48 hours), or place the meat in a bowl of cold water and let it defrost on your kitchen counter for 1-3 hours. For roasts, defrost in the refrigerator for 48-72 hours.

Can I cook my meat frozen?

Generally no, but recently we came across a method of cooking frozen steaks which we’ve tried out with excellent results! Here’s a 3 minute video from America’s Test Kitchen that shows how to do it: https://youtu.be/uLWsEg1LmaE

Freezer Tips:

If you don’t want to pay full price for your freezer, look around at your local FB buy sell trade for discounted freezers. Four of our six freezers are second hand. 

If you absolutely can’t handle the golden color of your used freezer, you can always paint it with appliance paint or better yet, chalk board paint! Write on the front a description of what is inside.

From experience, I’m finding that I like to keep all our beef separate from other food items. Pies, ice-cream and frozen lasagnas can get lost in the ocean of beef. 

If you don’t have enough baskets to keep things orderly, we cut out card board dividers and placed them perpendicular making “walls” to separate product. 

Some freezers create ice build up through out the year so when your freezer is almost empty, take this time to defrost and clean it. Simply take out remaining items and place in cooler. Then unplug your freezer, and let it thaw. Proceed to soak up excess water and give it a good wipe down with clean water and rags. Return your items to freezer but if it’s empty, leave the door open until it’s ready to be replenished to keep it from smelling.

Do you have more questions - feel free to email or call us.

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