I am a weekend smoker and am looking to get more involved in making smoked products summer sausages, brined hams, and bacon, etc.... I am sending a 260 lb hog to the butcher as I have in the past, however I have always ordered traditional cuts of meat to stock the freezer for family food use. I have done a little research on these products but would like some advice on what cuts to order to make bacon. Grind topics such as coarse/fine, straight pork or should fat trimmings be added, best cuts to have ground, I plan to cure the hams how should they be cut and any other advice you all can send my way. Thanks.
Processing advice needed on hog going to butcher want to get into summer sausages and bacon.
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Good advice so far. I would add that you should take the time to sit down and talk to him about what you plan to do. Most meat processors are geared toward taking certain cuts and either making bacon, hams, and breakfast sausage for their customers. Some that don't have their own smokehouse send those cuts out to be done. Make sure he understands you plan to do those things yourself and you want those cuts like they would go to the smokehouse. At that point you have some serious choices to make. For instance if you have never done this before you don't want a 50lb bag of sausage trim to do at one time. Ask him to course grind and package in 5lb bags. You can take it out and regrind in the batch sizes you want. I don't know how much experience you have but a whole hog is a serious investment so consider all these things ahead of time.
These folks on this forum will be a great help.
Good luck and happy smoking.
One other thing. Have him package any fat in 2lb bags then you can grind and add as needed.
Edited by Red Dog - 12/2/14 at 6:13pm
On the ham question what kind of hams do you want to do? Shoulders and picnics can make country style hams. But you can also make ham out of other roasts.
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Hey thanks for the quick replies. The info really helps out.
dirtsailor2003 thanks for the bacon info that was spot on as far as what i was looking for. I hadn't heard the term buckboard bacon but new other cuts could be used for bacon. I've read up on using loins and buts since your post and will look into the cures some more, I see there are a few products on the market for premixed cures. As far as ham I want to do the country style hams but will do some research on some of the other roasts.
Red Dog on the sausage grind. 5lb packages course grind and 2 lb fat trim packages sounds like the right amount for what I am planning on getting into. I dont have any experience with linked sausages and summer sausages. I had a butcher in Florida I used for many years before I moved up here to South Carolina and have raised several show quality hogs that have went to the freezer. The butcher I used did not smoke meat only processed traditional cuts. I used another butcher this last year and had them smoke some hams and slice into hamsteaks and also had them make some smoked sausage links. They were average and an extra expense to get only a small amount smoked. I have gotten pretty good at smoking butts, ribs, chicken, briskets and I know with a little investment and some good times learning I will be making some quality bacon and sausage and hams. I appreciate the info.
What exactly is the sausage trim? Not sure if the fat content in the different cuts would effect the completed sausage product. I guess my question is are there certain cuts I should have ground or not ground for summer style sausages due to fat content of that cut or could I essentially have the whole hog ground with the exception of the fat trim and the traditional cuts I want to keep?
Thanks again for the info,