Butchering An Entire Cow

Bumped into a really helpful video “How To Butcher An Entire Cow: Every Cut Of Meat Explained” from Bon Appetite. If you’re ever in the mood to butcher a cow, or want to learn about the different cuts.

Has anyone here ever butchered a cow?

Squirrels, rabbits, deer, hogs and elk. But no cows…yet. But I’m getting older and my eyesight is starting to degrade, so who knows? It might be just a matter of time.

Goats, sheep and pigs, yet. But cow is also a no from me.

Curious, why not cow?

Speaking for myself, it’s because I don’t raise cattle, and the local ranchers cop a real attitude when you shoot theirs.


@DParker Lol makes sense.

HAHA! Actually I believe most families in days of yore had a problem with the vast quantity of meat beef provided with no refrigeration so they were more inclined to stick with butchering pigs, lambs, goats, chickens. Beef was more of a corporate idea to serve the masses of the market.

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Not had the opportunity yet. But a full grown steer is a bit big for me to tackle. I’d probably call in a friend who is a trained butcher and just assist.

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That actually makes sense - didn’t think about that.

Was that corporation Cro Magnon, Inc.? Cattle have been domesticated for several uses, including as a food source, for somewhere between 6,000 - 10,000 years. And which brands/models of refrigerators would you guess are installed in these Maasai inkajijiks (mud huts)?


Butchering and disposing of cow(s) has traditionally been a whole village process though. Simply due to the size of the beast. A pig, sheep or goat could be handled by a family group.

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Home raised and slaughtered beef was actually a relatively common item on individual family farms in colonial North America (18th century or so).



Which brings beef charcuterie to mind. Salt beef. … Jerky… bresaola. … yumm…