Meat Cutter knowledge

Discussion in 'Messages for All Guests and Members' started by nwdave, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I know many are looking for new projects (at least I hope so), so here's a suggestion:

    Just a subtle hint or a whisper in the right (or left for that matter) ear, many of us (well, me anyway) would to like improve our meat cutting skills to take advantage of the bigger offerings we find at Costco and elsewhere as an example.  I've trolled  YouTube and have found some fair to good technique information but I gotta tell you, just as an example, I've seen 4 different ways to trim and cut Top Sirloin into steaks, roasts and leftovers for hamburger, which is ok because I prefer to make my own hamburger, but the skill level of the presenters ranged from "shade tree cutter" to an instructional video for beginning meat cutters (which I really enjoyed and learned a lot from).  I’ve found some good basic information on this site dealing with “where on the beast the meat comes from” but as to the meat cutter stage, well, there’s the rub.  Being raised a city boy, I’d didn’t have the benefit of many of you so, perhaps somebody or two would take this on, perhaps as a wiki.  Beef, Pork, whatever. 
  2. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Yep, those are the "beast charts" I was talking about.  The skill set information I seek is:  Let's take a walk through Costco, you're cruising the meat section (a very familiar section to many of us) and you see this hunk of meat in cryovac claiming to be about 10 lbs or so of Top Sirloin.  The next question to form in my feeble mind is:  How do I cut this thing up into steaks, roasts, and the new term I learned last weekend, what to do with the top cap (they had some fancy, dancy french word for this piece), how to separate the two pieces, how much fat do you really need to remove, the effect silverskin has on the cooking process. 

    After my first attempt at a Top Sirloin (purchased at the Cash 'n Carry, a resturant supply store open to the public as well) about 11 lbs on sale for $2.45/lb), well, let's just say that I was reasonably successful.  The wife laughed as I was making the selection in the meat case.  She wanted to know why I was massaging the meat.  I don't think she believed me when I said I was trying to determine how much hard fat versus soft fat there was.  OK, maybe I learned a lot from one of those youtube vids.  I guess you could say I never sip knowledge, I have to drown myself. 

    This is what I'm pointing towards.  Somehow, I fail to believe I'm the only one who would like to acquire this skill set to further enhance the pleasure of grilling and smoking.

    Gotta tell you, those steaks I cut from the meat really tasted excellent.  The meat quality just seemed to be better.

    A note to self, get my favorite forum sites loaded onto the laptop.  We're hitting the road tomorrow, o'dark early, starting with 6 days of dry camping in Idaho.  But the RV campgrounds after that offer free WIFI, so we'll be back on the air (so to speak) the evening of the 9th.  And yes, the smoker travels with me.
  3. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hey Dave

    I too have wondered about this several times

    Maybe SOB or POPS will tell us where we can go to get more info
  4. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Youtube is a great resource for tips and "how to do" stuff, especially for projects.  I have made youtube one of my regular searchs when trying to learn stuff.
  5. pops6927

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

    I wish I could find a meat room where I could do videos and stills of 'how-to' pictorials on all cuts of meat; beef, pork, chicken, lamb, turkey, stewing fowl, roasters, etc. and post on line for all to utilize, going from basic 'stab'n'slab' processing to full blown muscle-boning of all cuts.  Just making a breast of lamb or how to bone and roll a rib roast, cut up a chicken or fowl, hand-cleave pork chops to butterflying pork loins. 

    But, in the meantime, I'm always open to any PM's on any how-to's I can provide on any cut of meat.  The advantage I have is that I was brought up with carcass animals; fores and hinds of beef, whole and half pigs, plucking and eviscerating chickens and turkeys so I learned full carcass cutting from age 5 on up, compared to today's meatcutters who never broke a hindquarter in their life, working box beef and not understanding the relationship of whole muscle integration and separation.  I've seen pigs cut up by chain store cutters that you couldn't even recognize the ham or bellies!  But, it went from a craft to an exercize in mass production to now centralized cutting mass production, no craft needed.

    I find many pics on Bing and Google imaging that help explain what cut is what, but I'd love to make a custom library of my own to share.  If I'd only carried a camera in the 40 years in meatrooms!  Oh well, the day will come!
  6. smokingohiobutcher

    smokingohiobutcher Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Pops is right on this where I am involved. The first 5 years of my training I only got to work on Hanging beef once a year...County Fairtime.  I Have worked in the meat industry for 22+ years and am jealous,and in awe of , Pops knowledge.  With his help I will do what I can as far as cutting pics but I have to becareful spending too much time at work working on tutorials for on here. I have access to many machines and tools that will cover pretty much any cut you will be getting at the resturant supply stores or the discount box stores.

    Just do me a favor....remember the little guys out there....if things continue the way they are there soon wont be any choices left!  You will get meat the way they want to offer it to you and not the way you want it.


    Pops ... anything you want to have put into images let me know. 
  7. pops6927

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

    Here's a link to a website showing some basic cuts separating carcasses that might be of help, showing bone structure, etc.:

    There's also other pages on there concerning most all meat processing productions.  Pics look like from the 50's, but they haven't changed cows and pigs in a few hundred thousand years!
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2010

Share This Page