What is “dressed weight? and why is it important?
When buying a side (or quarter) of a cow/sheep etc, the final weight you receive will be less than the total listed by the farmer.
Dressed weight, otherwise known as “hanging weight” is the weight of the carcass after the animal as been killed and the head, blood and offal removed.
So this dressed weight includes all the meat, fat and bones from the “side” of an animal.
From here, the butcher will prepare your “side” or “quarter” based on your specifications.
Some loss of weight can occur through the process of “dry aging” where the meat is allowed to safely “age” this helps to tenderize the meat, but results in some weight loss.
The cut specifications can also have an impact on your final weight, for example, T-bones with bone out will weigh less than bone in.
Dressed weight is used as it is the “most fair” and “most correct” method of weighing an animal for processing.
On average, “boxed weight” can be anywhere from 20% to 30% less than dressed weight.