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Thanksgiving Tradition (hog butchering q-view)

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

Each year over thanksgiving week my family butchers 2 hogs and a steer.  The attached q-view is how we process hogs. 

We start by killing the hogs and taking off the head.  Then we use a propane weed burner to burn the hair off the hog (it's quicker than scalding and a take on the tradition of cooking hogs in a buried pit). 



We then brush/scrub off the soot from the hog and take it to be washed off by the pressure washer.




From there we start splitting the hog down the center with a knife and use a saw to cut throuth the sternum (cartilage between the two sides of ribs) and the front of the hips.



We then hoist the hog to roll out the inards.



After the inards are out, we split the hog using a splitting saw down the back of the spine.



From that we wash out the two sides again.




Then we hang the meat in the walkin freezer.




When the meat cools, we split the front shoulder from the rest of the hog by cutting above the third rib.



We skin the front third.



We then cut the pork hocks from the front.



We cut through the picnic as we generally use this as grinding pork or roasts as we need that.



Whats left is the butt roast.



We take out the ribs and vertabrae and package for smoking.



Then we roll out the tenderloin from the back of the rib section.



Then we seperate the middle section from the hind section between the 5th and the 7th vertabrae.



Then we mark the line between the ribs/bacon and the chops from the mid section before we cut this.



The Pork Chop Section



The ribs bacon section



We then roll out the ribs









We then trim the fat and skin off of the chop section.



Then we cut the chops.



We then trim up the back leg.



We then cut the hocks from the back leg



We then cut the rest for roasts.  If you wanted hams about here is where you would leave the rest in one piece. 






We then grind the trimmings for ground pork and sausage (sorry didn't get a pork pick so had to use a beef pic but the idea and process is the same.)



I will finish with the sausage making in a different thread titled Thanksgiving Sausage. Thanks for looking.

Edited by Rstr Hunter - 11/27/11 at 7:53pm
post #2 of 27

Very cool! Thanks for posting that.


How long do you age the beef for?

post #3 of 27

That was way cool! I never get tired of seeing animals processed...I tried to show your Thread to my Wife but She insists, " Meat comes on Pink Foam Trays wrapped in Plastic! I Don't want to know how it gets there!!! "...JJ

post #4 of 27

Great post!  What a great way to illustrate the different cuts of meat. It could be very beneficial if these shots and the naratives could be incorporated into a wiki along with some more indepth explanation of the cuts.

I'd love to have half of that equipment to do my wild game.. I'm stuck with a knife, a saw, and desert temps to deal with..

post #5 of 27

Thank you verry much for the post.Dang thats alot of meat.36.gif

post #6 of 27

I have one question, why char the hide if you are going to skin it later? Sterilization?

post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 


We hung it for 9-10 days depending on which section. 



Otherwise you get lots of hair into the meat.  Traditionally, we would have scalded and shaved the hogs, but this is much more efficient.  In case you were wondering these hogs were black when we started, if you did this with a white hog after you washed it, the skin would still be fairly white.  Only tip is if you are planning a big meal later, you will want to be the guy with the torch not one brushing or scrubbing off the burnt hair.  Makes for a different sort of Thanksgiving dinner. 

post #8 of 27

Great Post. Thanks

post #9 of 27

I gotta get out of the suburban life... I'd kill to have a hog I could kill..


post #10 of 27

Great post!!!

post #11 of 27

Great post,lot of memories of life I left behind to come to the big city. Thats a good set up you have to work in,thanks for taking the time to post.

post #12 of 27
Originally Posted by Pit 4 Brains View Post

I gotta get out of the suburban life... I'd kill to have a hog I could kill..


Me too, Pit!

Great post; I would also love that set up ffor game processing! We are also primitive with kniveas and hand saws, but we sure do enjoy the process!
post #13 of 27

Your post marks the first time I have seen the process in step by step detail. Thank you for taking the time to chronicle your skill for us... - Steve

post #14 of 27
post #15 of 27

Awesome post... I would love to do that...........icon14.gif



post #16 of 27

Great post!


Thanks for spending the time to show us this!

post #17 of 27

Never did the first steps of the process, always got them gutted but with the head still on, some were already split, most I had to split myself with a handsaw; boy that electric saw would have been great, lol!  Most came in scalded and scraped but in the 70's more were skinned; some pretty good but a lot were hack jobs, lol, then they'd complain they didn't get enough fat for lard!  I used to take in custom cutting to do after work and in one night could usually process 3 hogs, grind the lard, make the sausage (breakfast) and grind fresh pork, cut the chops/pork steaks, and brand the bellies and hams to put down in the brine using dad's meat room and clean up for extra money, 10¢/lb. and dad would get another 10¢/lb for processing the hams and bacons and/or shoulders, hocks, ears, snouts, tails, whatever they wanted pickled and smoked) for them.  Linda would come over with George Jr (we lived in an apartment across the street from the store) in the carriage and skin lard for me and cut up meat for sausage, one foot on the carriage rocking it while we worked, lol... but usually interrupted by mom and dad coming downstairs (lived over the store) and wanting to see and play with the baby, lol (he's now 37 and we were just at his house along with his brother and in-laws for Thanksgiving!).  Lots of memories from the early days, sorry to reminisce!  Good times tho, as this process will be remembered for many years to come; enjoy it!   

post #18 of 27

That was very interesting. Thanks for sharing!!

post #19 of 27

That was an excellent post. Getting to see something like that is a 

once in a lifetime experience for some of us. Very enjoyable. 


Thanks Again.



post #20 of 27
That was way cool! Thanks for sharing that with us!
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