How much meat can I fit in a 5.0 cu ft freezer?

by (56616)
Updated about 10 hours ago
Created September 02, 2010 at 5:15 PM

I'm drawing up meat orders and don't want to order more than I can take! Here is my model. I'm loving it so far :)

1457 · August 24, 2011 at 2:25 AM

Is this a trick question?

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10 Answers

13983 · September 02, 2010 at 6:21 PM

This beef seller has a great little tool on their website for figuring freezer space. It also has a great little tool for figuring out how much to buy!


7821 · September 02, 2010 at 6:27 PM

Wow, my wife and I literally JUST bought that exact freezer to handle an overflow of meat after the cow I got from a farmer was just a little bit bigger than I expected. Actually, it was probably 75lbs bigger than expected. AND my fridge/freezer combo died the morning I was scheduled to go to the farm to get the cow.

That was a fun day.

Anyway, I was able to get a 550lb+ hanging weight cow into a 14cu. ft standing freezer with the GE 5 cu. ft chest freezer as emergency overflow, and with a normal above the fridge freezer for the last box of roasts. One key warning here is that the shape of the cuts you're ordering will make a difference in how much you can pack in there - the rules of thumb I've seen on various hunting websites about how many lbs of whatever will fit don't always work. My 2lb tubes of ground beef were pretty volume efficient, but the roasts I piled in after making a dent in the ground beef pile are not. I'd hazard a guess and say that I have about 50-75lbs of beef in there, not counting the bones I put in the bottom section. I'll get a picture and a more accurate count when I get home.

2933 · August 24, 2011 at 12:21 AM

cubic feet? argh wish you guys would speak English! ;-) anyway based on those freezers an The Home depot website as a kid my family in NZ had a 20ft?? chest freezer as did just about everyone else I knew, one that big was standard only little old ladies living alone had a 5ft?? one. Funny how your perspective changes after living in Japan where secondary freezers are rather rare. even a 5ft?? cheest freezer looks big!

So as a kid my family lived in.. I guess what you could call exurban, we rented two paddocks behind our house from the landowner. Our neighbors had a chicken coup there we used to buy cheap eggs of them, and we raised 1-2 cattle at a time for consumption. I gave them names - Ponch, Baker, Daisy, Boss Hogg, BJ ( can you guess the era :-)) they used to get put into a horse float and taken to the 'works' (slaughterhouse) and then came back to our freezer. I was only little and didn't initially put two and two together I thought they were going to a bigger farm to be with more friends! ignorance is bliss

IIRC one slaughtered cow took up a good chunk of the large freezer, half a cow left lots of room for frozen veggies and two litre 'tip top' brand ice cream tubs. So I will give you 1/4 of cow worths of space for 5ft?? which seems to fit what everyone else has generally conferred.

1676 · September 02, 2010 at 6:17 PM

I bought a quarter cow once and had the same problem. I called the CSA people who said the meat was transported in coolers so I asked how many coolers and what were the cooler's dimensions. From that I was able to make an educated guess that I had the room.

352 · September 02, 2010 at 6:17 PM

If this: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_density_of_1_pound_of_ground_beef

is to be believed, then beef is about 950 kg / m^3 ~= 59 lbs / ft^3, so your max capacity should be around 59 * 5 ~= 295 lbs.

That's just a ballpark figure, though. Bone-in beef is going to have a different density (not sure if it's gonna be higher or lower) than ground beef, and you aren't going to be able to pack every cubic inch of your freezer; some space is inherently going to be wasted.

1085 · September 02, 2010 at 6:13 PM

I have the same freezer and got 1/4 beef in it. It also might depend on what cuts you get. I had to put a little in my refrigerator freezer. I really like that little freezer. Edited to add: It would also depend upon how large the animal is. Ours weighed about 1300 lbs. before butchering.

1387 · August 24, 2011 at 12:24 AM

I was able to fit a quarter cow in mine last fall no problem. Still have a little beef. Added half a pig a couple months ago. Also keep extra stuff for my German Shepard, which makes it a little tight at times.

285 · August 23, 2011 at 11:17 PM

We have a 7cuft chest freezer from Lowes [Holiday brand].

Packed 100% full, it almost holds a 1/2 cow (approx 220 lbs out of the total 260 lbs we purchased)

2427 · February 23, 2011 at 11:57 AM

You should be able to fit 5 cubic feet.


Sorry, couldn't resist.

2261 · February 23, 2011 at 3:47 AM

Another visual: how much freezer space is does a quarter beef take?


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