pork belly butchering

Sausage making and curing meats.

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boomer453
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pork belly butchering

Postby boomer453 » Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:16 am

bit of an odd question for you all.

I have three semi-feral hogs that i have been wormed and fattening up in a hog trap for about 5 weeks. Well, a buddy is doing most of it while i'm overseas working. They are being free fed rice bran and commercial pig feed to put on as much weight as possible. They should end up at around 90#'s on the hoof

I'd really like to make some bacon out of these but not sure how to butcher for it. I'm not planning on scraping these as i really don't have a place and set up to do it. so is there a way to skin these and still get some belly out of it.

thanks for any suggestions
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DATsBBQ
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Re: pork belly butchering

Postby DATsBBQ » Fri Nov 26, 2010 1:36 pm

Not sure, been years since I butcher a whole pig and even then it was more like dressing out a buck.
Every thing I've read says to scrape.
http://www.watersheds.org/history/hog.htm
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“A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer."-Bruce Lee
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Stan41
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Re: pork belly butchering

Postby Stan41 » Fri Nov 26, 2010 1:49 pm

It's been years ago, but one time a buddy & I decided to skin a hog. Believe me it's NO fun.
I would figure out some way to scrape.

A 90# pig won't make much bacon, no matter what you do.

Stan
Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. - Will Rogers
old timer
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Re: pork belly butchering

Postby old timer » Thu Dec 30, 2010 1:03 pm

I butcher hogs all the time. Let me start by saying that a 90# hog will not yield much bacon. However, if you choose to continue, here is my method.

I kill and bleed the hog, hang them with hooks put under the tendons on the rear feet. Hose them off really well. Take a sharp knife or a razor knife(my preference because you can set the depth and run with it) and cut a ring around both hind legs up near the hocks. Then just cut lines (only through the flesh) about every 4-6 inches. From those rings you cut all the way to the neck. If you want the skin left on the bacon, just don't cut or pull the skin off the belly. Otherwise start to skin it from the back legs down. (Make sure you are careful around the anus and penis sack. Just skin a few inches around each and leave those areas alone until you go to gut it.) I found that if you start by skinning with your knife just the first few inches, you can then just pull on the flap of skin you have created and it will generally pull the skin off all the way to the neck. Do this all the way around the hog until all the skin you want off is hanging around the hog's neck. Then you can just cut off the head and do whatever you normally do with it.

From here I rinse the hog again and then gut it and split it in half down the spine. I usually cool the two halves overnight and then butcher them. At this point you should have two sides of pork. The bacon is easy to trim off from just under the ribs. It is where your abdominal muscles would be. Just lay the hog half with the stomach towards you will the skinned side down. Then simply lift up gently on the ribs and cut a line the roughly follows the ends of the ribs from one end to the other and that is your bacon.

I hope this helps and would be glad to help if you still have questions.
boomer453
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Re: pork belly butchering

Postby boomer453 » Fri Dec 31, 2010 8:18 am

appreciate the help, you were all correct in that there wasn't enough "bacon" to make it worthwhile. bought 20# from a butcher and it's been curing for a week now. I'm going to let it go another day or two and then they'll hit the smoker.
The pig we butchered is quartered and in a cooler now-she'll get cut and wrapped today or tomorrow. This mornings smoke is 5# beef jerky.
boomer453
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Re: pork belly butchering

Postby boomer453 » Tue Jan 04, 2011 8:16 am

used the LEM bacon cure, called for 4-6 days of curing but due to some other things happening it ended up curing for 9 days at 38 degree's. smoked it in 2 batches for 9 hours each at 110-125. Bought an LEM 7 1/2" slicer at academy and sliced up about 5#'s. I'll leave the rest as whole slabs until needed (should keep better than sliced).

I'm really happy with the way it came out and recommend the LEM cure if anyone else wants to give it a go.

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