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Getting a Whole Hog

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  • Bogy
    Club Member
    • Mar 2016
    • 510
    • North Central Iowa
    • Blaz'n Grill Works Grid Iron
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    Getting a Whole Hog

    Just had a member of my congregation, who I buy at least a half a beef from next year, stop by my office. Next week he is going to drop off a hog for me at the processor. All I will need to do is pay for the processing. And tell them them how to cut it up for me. This brings us to the part I'm asking advice on. What to tell them I want. The processing cost will of course be more the more I have them do. Smoking hams, or bacon, making brats, all will cost more. Since I do a lot of smoking myself, with so many great recipes here, I'd like to keep the amount they do to a minimum. What would you do in my situation?
  • Donw
    Club Member
    • Jul 2017
    • 2578

    #2
    Boy Rev., I think you are going to get a lot of suggestions. Meathead’s instructions and recipes are a good place to start. You can do marvelous things with that as a basis. The one question to ask yourself is how much space you actually have available to accomplish what. Curing all the hams, bacon, etc. can really take up refrigerator space, but are fun to do. Do you have a grinder? I have 2 full sized refrigerators, 2 upright freezers, and a chest freezer dedicated to meat and I still run out of space.
    And I’m sure you are busy with your congregation. Again it is a balance of your time serving others and how much time is available to yourself. In the long run paying the butcher to do some of the work might actually work best for you as you balance your life, space and time. Sorry I can’t be more specifc.

    Comment


    • Bogy
      Bogy commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for the comments. We've got two refrigerators (now that it's just the 2 of us we have the biggest refrigerator we've ever had) and a chest freezer. We get our half a beef in October, so the freezer has some room right now. Although I need to get everyone home so I can get rid of the 15 lbs. of pork butt that's in there now.
  • EdF
    EdF
    Club Member
    • Jul 2016
    • 3173
    • Atlantic Highlands, NJ
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    #3
    My wife and I have bought pigs in the past several times. Our experience has been to skip having the processor do the smoking - it's not nearly as good as you can do yourself. Same for sausages. I thought I had a few example cut lists around, but I can't find them. Sorry about that.

    Comment

    • HorseDoctor
      Charter Member
      • Sep 2014
      • 1149
      • Central Iowa

      #4
      You may want to check around and see what reputation the local processor has for smoked meats, especially hams. Lots of different processors here in Iowa. Some do an awesome job, while others may be just passable. I love doing my own bacon but would gladly let a GOOD processor handle the hams. The rest of the processing/cuts are very much personnel choices depending on what you want and how you'll be cooking them. A good processor will able & willing to help you with decisions if you spend a little time chatting with him/her about what you like and how you cook. Good luck & enjoy!

      Comment

      • ComfortablyNumb
        Club Member
        • May 2017
        • 3040
        • Northeast Washington
        • KBQ C-60
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        #5
        Around here there are two charges, one for slaughter, the other for butcher. Slaughter runs around $50-$60 and is done by a person who comes out with a refrigerated truck. The hog is killed, skinned, gutted, cut into half, and then delivered to the butcher. The butcher fees are based on hanging weight, which is how much those two halves weigh. Around here it can run from $1.00-$1.50 a pound, which is for cut and wrap. Fees for curing, smoking, or stuffing are extra.

        HorseDoctor makes a good point, talk to the butcher and tell them what you like and they can help guide you. However, you can do your homework beforehand. Here is a website describing cuts. It is the first one I came across, you can Google for more.

        I also came across two videos. This one is hand processing a hog, he explains the cuts in more detail. If you can find someone to do it this way it is pricey.



        This one is the typical custom butcher shop.

        Comment


        • EdF
          EdF commented
          Editing a comment
          That guy in the first video is a master!

        • Henrik
          Henrik commented
          Editing a comment
          What EdF said! Great video.
      • jgreen
        Charter Member
        • Oct 2014
        • 2653
        • Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
        • Cookers:
          Broil King XL
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          Accessories:
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          and, maybe some other toys as well

        #6
        Sorry I don’t have any great ideas, but that will make some great eats however you cut it. Big cuts will keep your processing costs down, but if it is only two of you most of the time some smaller pieces are a good too.

        Comment


        • ComfortablyNumb
          ComfortablyNumb commented
          Editing a comment
          Big or little, two chops per pack or four, shouldn't matter on price, unless it is different where you live. Our local custom butchers charge on the hanging weight alone.
      • ComfortablyNumb
        Club Member
        • May 2017
        • 3040
        • Northeast Washington
        • KBQ C-60
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        #7
        I forgot to weigh in on the curing, smoking, and stuffing. My suggestion is to have your bacon cut into three pound slabs and do the curing and smoking yourself. Have the hams cut into manageable size roasts and cure yourself. Have your trimmings ground and wrapped into a manageable weight (three to five pounds) and make your own sausage. That way you control the spices you mix in. Stuffing is optional, you can just make patties. For under $100 you can get a grinder/stuffer, For $120 you can get a vertical.

        Comment

        • Bogy
          Club Member
          • Mar 2016
          • 510
          • North Central Iowa
          • Blaz'n Grill Works Grid Iron
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            Thermoworks ThermoPop
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            2 iGrillminis - from before they were Weber.

          #8
          ComfortablyNumb , thanks for the videos, very helpful. My guess is that my processor will do things more like the second video than the first, but watching both of them was helpful, just so I have a better idea of what we will be discussing on Tuesday, when I talk with them. Both you and HorseDoctor offered good advice on talking things through with them. This is a processor I have dealt with before, but with beef. In the 13 years I've lived in this location I've gotten anywhere from a 1/4 to a whole beef each year. Over that time I've used four different processors, and this is one I have been second happiest with. Unfortunately, the one I liked best, and that was the most local, decided to go a different direction, and they don't do custom butchering anymore. I have had samples of some of their smoked beef, but I don't think I've had any of their cured or smoked pork. Anyway, when I do a beef with them they already have my preferences, it's just matter of minor changes.

          All the processors around here do things a little different than around ComfortablyNumb 's neighborhood. My friend will deliver the live hogs to them tomorrow, where they will be slaughtered. Part of our cost will be the slaughter and offal disposal. Then, the cost of processing will be according to hanging weight. As you said, in our area, it doesn't matter if you want 2 or 10 chops per package, the price will be the same.
          Right now, watching the videos, I'm leaning toward having one half done as spareribs/shortribs, and half done as country style ribs, and having it cut more into roasts that will give me flexibility. I also like the suggestion of getting ground pork instead of sausage. I have family members who have developed some food sensitivities, and so I will probably be better off doing my own seasoning.

          Thanks for the advice and suggestions. We've discussed doing a hog like we do beef, but never pulled the trigger. Looking forward to it.

          Comment

          • Dadof3Illinois
            Club Member
            • Jul 2017
            • 636
            • Southeast Illinois

            #9
            Sounds like your getting some great advice here. We have them give us a few lbs of breakfast sausage in 1 lb tubes and have them cure one whole ham then cut the other into 3/4” thick slices and package it 2 slices per pack.

            Comment

            • Mudkat
              Club Member
              • Feb 2017
              • 2128
              • At a river near me, MD
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                Home Built 55 Gallon Ugly Drum Smoker - "MUDS"

              #10
              I don't know but how cool!

              Comment

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