Getting my hands on a whole hog.

Discussion in 'Meat Selection and Processing' started by jimmyh, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. So I've put an order in for a whole slaughtered market hog. I was informed yesterday that the carcass should be arriving on Friday. This will be two sides of chilled and government inspected pig! It will most likely total around 90 - 95kg carcass weight (just a little better than 200lbs). Now begins the final decision making. I know that I am going to be keeping both bellies for bacon. The loins are going to be turned into boneless pork chops (or boneless pork loin steak if you want to be fancy). I will be keeping both sets of back ribs as well as both slabs of side ribs. Some of the trim (at least 30 lbs) will be made into cold smoked farmers sausage (for the fry pan or grill). I may have to sacrifice some of the shoulder for this trim. I think that at least one of the shoulders will be kept for pulled pork. Hopefully I have enough fat trim left over to mix in with the deer meat I have in the freezer (for sausage). This leaves the legs. At least part of one will be used for fresh pork roast. I am seriously considering trying to artery pump the other and have it as a ham.

    Am I missing anything? Does anyone here have experience with artery pumping hams? The carcass will be relatively fresh so I am expecting the artery to still be long as it hasn't had all of its fat cover removed during slaughter.

    If I remember, I will try to take a few pictures and post my progress.
  2. bluebombersfan

    bluebombersfan Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Wow sounds like you got your hands full!!  Look forward to seeing some pics!!!
  3. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Pops is the one you need to talk to... HE'S THE MAN, when it comes to pork
  4. shoneyboy

    shoneyboy Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If you don't mind.....what did it cost a pound ???
  5. I'm not too sure what the cost per pound is going to be. I was told it would be "market" price. This week's market price as far as I can see is $168 per 100kg. So that would work out to about $77cwt or .77 c/lb. This for a carcass. I am told that this particular slaughter plant skins, rather than dehairs, so I am expecting that the carcass will be without feet and head. I am a school teacher for the public school system on a fairly conservative, religious, agricultural commune. I have college training in meat processing so some of the leadership on the colony offered their facilities for processing in exchange for showing some of the older students how to cut up a hog. I think I will end up breaking and deboning the pork there and will make the sausage in my brother in law's shop...this is where we have our smoker. I am looking forward to this. It has been a few years. 
  6. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You can either artery or broadcast pump your leg or shoulder.  You will find the exposed artery on the leg near the aitch bone, whereas on the shoulder it will be near the opposite of the cushion.  In artery pumping, you insert a straight, non-perforated slanted-tip needle into the artery and slowly fill the leg or shoulder with brine, massaging the meat as it fills to force it throughout the meat and into the capillaries so it reaches all sections of the piece.  

    Broadcast pumping is easier because you use a perforated needle and inject the meat into the major areas of the piece and around the bone.  You just have to make sure you pump all the sections and don't leave any uncured areas.

    You need to use a good quality brine pump, such as this Morton® Brine Pump that comes with both the artery and broadcast needles:



    perforated broadcast needle (stitch pumping)


    slant-tip artery needle (artery pumping)

    Photographs courtesy The SausageMaker, Buffalo, N.Y
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2012
  7. Thanks Pops. I assume 5-7 days covered in a brine would still be a good idea after pumping the ham? I am most likely going to be doing a dry rubbed cure on the bacons and wouldn't mind smoking bacon with ham for at least a portion of the process.
  8. Keep us updated please-this is interesting!
  9. let see whats left and what to do with it

    Head...... make Souse or some people call it Hogs Head Cheese.  Its good, I remember as a boy when dad would bring some home.  Make sandwhiches or just eat it as a finger food.

    In mexico they would roast the whole head, nose, eyes, ears, jowels, brains, lips the whole thing and put it out on the table and dig in.

    Feet....... oh gotta have pickled pigs feet

    pig knukels..... pickled of course.
  10. I am getting a smaller hog from the neighbor next month.  We are going to cook it underground in the back yard.  We did a 150lb hog a couple of years ago and it turned out great.  Good luck with your ham, I hope everything goes well.
  11. WOW I am jealous .. I have to search around to find a hog around here .. Good luck I am sure everything will turn out great

  12. I am in a unique situation here. I normally know a few pork producers who might be willing to sell a hog or two. The only problem is I would have to slaughter it myself and find a place to chill it. Right now I am sitting at my desk reflecting on the school day that was and can look out the window to the north and see the hog barn that my pork is in (it is alive as we speak - going in to the slaughter plant tomorrow). The pork will be taken to the slaughter plant about 15 minutes away. It will be killed in a licensed facility and will be inspected and approved by a government inspector. The colony is taking a grand total of 9 or 10 hogs in to the plant tomorrow. I teach the community children and the community owns the hogs...not to worry, I am not taking advantage of my position...I will be paying for the pork!
  13.  I'm along for the ride. Very interesting. 

  14. I think its a great lesson for any younger or older person to have .. My father used to have his own slaughter house / butcher shop .. I was just too young to glean any info from him .. Think I was 4 when he went to get that pack of cig's and loaf of bread [​IMG]
    That's one of the downfalls with living in the city tho .. you don't get to see the workings behind the wall .. you only get to see whats on the grocery isles .. Even tho we are in the city I do my best to teach my kids where and how stuff ends up in the grocery .. I plant a garden every year .. and always try and incorporate a unique plant .. like peanuts etc .. They love it and then we will go through the canning process as well

    Gonna watch [​IMG]
  15. I grew up on a farm and was part of a family that took part in hog killing bees up until the early 90s. I was the happiest kid out there when my parents let me stay home from school on those days. Later in life my dad and I cut up lots of pork by ourselves and sold it to friends and family. Not all hogs are of the perfect variety wanted by the large processors so we had to market them somehow. Even now when my parents' car is parked in the drive instead of the garage (in town) the neighbours know that Pete's making sausage. 
  16. Awesome [​IMG]   

    I am kinda mental when it comes to making stuff myself .. Figure it got on the shelves somehow .. and I am going to be the one to figure out how [​IMG] Gotta stop someplace tho .. my basement is getting full of all my Have to have for this and that stuff .. from making beer and mead to cheese to canning and dehydrating, quilting stained glass .. I am sure the list goes on ..
  17. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I love this sort of stuff[​IMG].We did our own cattle & lamb back in the day where we killed them ourselves.Pigs I did with one of the neighbours & then with Italians when I  moved to the big city. Bit harder here with our hot climate.

    Has any thought been given to blood sausage by any of its many names or variants? I have recipes here if you want them.I havent made it myself.I have an old recipe here for Sanguinaccio which is sweet not savoury.I know it sounds just that little bit to far left field but it is a really old school thing. It has almonds,citrus peel & chocolate in it.[​IMG]  Yes I  know it sounds wacky just think of it as nutella's long lost Italian ancestor[​IMG]

    There is obviously jowl bacon,tongue & liver for sausage or pate.

    If that slaughter house is so close & they are the communities hogs seems a shame not to use all the bits. None of my business of course I just had it drummed into my head as a kid not to waste stuff.[​IMG]
  18. I don't expect the slaughter plant to be returning any of the offal. The head and feet will most likely be missing as well seeing the plant is a "skin" only facility. No dehairing going on here. The blood will be drained away and processed into fertilizer. The pigs should be dead by now already. I expect they are hanging in the cooler chilled to the bone. The plan for tomorrow is to get to the colony early and break the sides into primals and subprimals and try to as much of the boning as possible. Perhaps bone the loins and cut the boneless chops. Once 9am nears I will be cleaning up and heading back to the school to teach for the day. Saturday morning will see me come and pick the meat up and take it to my brother in law's to do the curing and sausage. I am hoping for a ham and definitely two sides f bacon out of the deal.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2012
  19. So I arrived at school an hour early this morning, rushed over to the kitchen basement and proceeded to break the pork. I was able to bone the loins, take the ribs off of the sides, bone one shoulder for trim and split the other into picnic and butt, and squared up the legs for roasts and ham. I was so excited to finally get my hands on a whole hog that I totally forgot to take any pictures of the process. My camera was there but left unused! After about 3/4 of an hour I put everything away in the cooler, washed up and rushed back to the school for a day of learning! I will be turning the loins into chops and one leg into roasts tonight. I promise I will take some pictures of that! Tomorrow is farmers sausage day (as well as curing the ham and bacons).

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