Butchering Hogs

Read the title of the post before you read on.  I know some of you don’t like these type of posts but I blog about my life and last weekend we butchered hogs and that’s what I’m blogging about today.

We have friends that we butcher hogs with each year.  They have some awesome equipment that makes the whole process tolerable.  I can’t say that I love the actual meat processing but I do love hanging out with the kids..and I definitely love having a freezer of meat.

This time around, we were processing 5 pigs.  Typically it goes a little like this…Friday afternoon Hubby and a couple of the guys get the hogs to this point.

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I hate that part and stay away from it.  I’m so thankful that there is some in our bunch that can do the deed as if it were up to me to do it, I’d likely be a vegetarian.

From there it gets all cut up.  Some cut with a meat saw…the pork chops, ribs, hocks and roasts.  The rest is hand cut by knife.  We don’t save out hams.  As of yet, the guys don’t have a good way to cure them….besides, we all love pork sausage.

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Some of the meat comes my way…I’m the wrapping at the station with my trusty helper Karl.  Everyone hates dealing with plastic wrap so that’s where I get stuck. See?
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The cut up meat that was in the tubs gets seasoning and is ground.  Here they have packages of pork sausage and we’re trying something new this year….Summer Sausage.  I can’t wait to give it a try.  Karl is trying out the clamp.  It puts the metal ring on the summer sausage.

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Here’s Buck.  He’s busy making some of the rope sausage into brats.  He’s having fun…it’s his first time doing this job.

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We are so lucky that we have friends that allow us to use their equipment to butcher.  It makes doing this so easy.  We’ve been doing this for several years.  We started in a basement with older equipment.   I love that we started out there.  Some of the equipment was similar to what our grandparents would have used.  I love seeing what they did to feed their families.  It was more labor intense but always tons of fun.

Now the equipment has improved bu always I’ll be thankful we started out on the other equipment.

From there the meat that is being smoked goes to a smokehouse.  There is typically get a slow cold smoke that lasts all night.  In the morning the meat comes to our house and we start in on packaging.  Here’s Kalissa and Craig packaging the rope sausage.

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Carver is learning that we are a busy family.  Here he’s watching Auntie Kelli wrap.  It was so cute.  Each time she would rip off a piece of freezer paper he would get all giggly and laugh.  It made us all laugh.

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He hung out for a couple hours and was good the whole time.

It’s a big job and I have a house full of people here the weekend that all this happens but I like it.  We end up with a freezer of meat.  The kids do too.  I’ve learned over the years that everyone gets along better when we’re working on a common goal whether it be working on the house, garden or butchering hogs.

Looks like that job is done for this year.  I don’t mind the work at all but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m sure glad to have it done.

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11 thoughts on “Butchering Hogs

  1. Kate

    Oh wow, such a trip down memory lane – I grew up on a farm and this was an annual event. You didn’t mention all the COOKING to feed everyone involved. I remember my mom and grandma just cooking and cooking – we did a community kill, so there were probably 25 hogs being processed each year, which requires lots of people working.

    I’ll be over later to pick up some of the sausage !!!

  2. Stephani in N. TX

    My husband’s family did not do the whole hog thing, but did make their own fresh Kielbasa. I learned from them and did it a few times. The sausage skins in your photo reminded me of that process. I could buy sausage skin packed in salt and did all the steps necessary to attach it to the hand grinder-filler and then twist every so often. My mother-in-law started out with her mother’s hand filler, wooden or horn, carved maybe. They moved on to electric equipment but by the time that was to come to us, we had moved away. We found a local fresh Kielbasa (only they call it German sausage) like the family ate in the German community near where we live now. Were never smoked sausage consumers the way meat markets sold it in Buffalo, NY. We so loved my in-laws fresh sausage and what we can buy here is close to the taste. I buy it and take it when I visit my son and family.

  3. Debra Hageman

    We used to do that at the inlaws up until about the last 15 years or so. The week before Christmas we would butcher 2 beef and about 8 hogs. Talk about work!! We wrapped meat continually for that entire week!! After the inlaws passed away, we quit. Now we take it to the locker. I don’t see how I would have time for that anymore, anyway :)

  4. Cheryl in Dallas

    So many laughs in this post. I know exactly what you mean about becoming a vegetarian if you had to do all the tasks associated with butchering hogs. Your crew worked HARD to tackle five hogs at once. Commendable.

  5. Ann R.

    Thankfully we have a good butcher who does our pork and beef. However we do raise and process our own broiler chickens in the summer. That is a whole family process as well. My husbands sister and daughters come and stay for the week at his mom’s.

  6. Paula

    My husband will occasionally shoot a deer or wild hog. Always glad to have something different to eat. Fortunately all I have to do is seal up with FoodSaver. We used to have lots of wild duck meat, but lately, he’s been letting the young men who hunt with him take the meat home.sigh!

  7. Michelle

    I’d much rather read about it on your blog than glance out the kitchen window and see the neighbor butchering a pig in his driveway across the street!

  8. Maureen

    OK, so this was not one of my favorite posts, but it was still interesting. I know a family that farms pigs and that’s just part of raising livestock. I will say that the Country Threads pictures in the previous post made for much more enjoyable viewing. That quilt is on my list!

  9. Colleen

    What fun! I have memories going to my grandfathers cousins house to butcher deer. It was what we ate for meat as a kid. Unfortunately that hunting culture disappeared when we moved from PA to NC. I hope the summer sausage turns out. It’s my favorite!

  10. Kim LeMere

    I grew up on a cattle farm and I do know where meat comes from and I also know it is a big job to process any animal. Its wonderful that everyone pitches in and get it done and then everyone has meat. You know more about what you eat if you know where it came from and how it was raised. I loved getting beef from my parents farm for many years after I married and the site of a freezer full of meat made me happy. Thanks for sharing the process.

  11. Ellen

    I love how “nuclear” your family is…to be able to gather on a regular/irregualar basis a few times a year is AWESOME! You are all creative and energetic and pull together so that many hands make light work. Farming is HARD work-grew up on a dairy myself. My 4 living siblings and I are in 3 states and too far for driving a quick trip to be together. We do every 5y which is a lifetime between the older I get (55 now).

    YEA for family time :-) I shall live happily vicariously through yours!

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