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Discussion in 'General Preparedness Discussion' started by roaringaslan, Jul 5, 2010.
does anyone have any suggestions for a good book on how to butcher animals?
What kinds of animals? Check to see if your local community college has a culinary program and take their butchery class. Culinary school is where I learned to butcher
As far as books, I don't know of any. I am sure I have some text books that have sections on butchering, and if you have a specific animal, let me know and I can give you pointers, as well as others I'm sure! The only thing I haven't really done is pluck chickens the easy way. We used to do it the boiling stinky way when I was a kid, and I haven't had a live chicken as an adult.
If you have a local "mom and pop" butcher shop or a small farm that does their own cutting, stop in and ask them if you could volunteer your time doing some of the menial tasks ( mostly clean-up work ) required while you observe the process.
roaring, sorry that this is deviating a tad from your request, but there is butchering for market and then there is, for most animals, butchering for home use.
Standard, wrapped in plastic market butchering would be very difficult for you for larger animals -- deer, beef, etc -- because it requires lots of bone cutting. That's a real hassle if your are using a hand saw.
With home-use butchering, you can butcher an entire aminal without cutting bone even once. That involves boning the entire animal, and where long-bone cuts must be made, you cut at the joints.
Several advantages to boning out an animal in addition to not having to cut through bone with a meat saw a hundred times is that it takes less space in the freezer and for many kinds of animals, not cutting through the marrow prevents the "gamey" taste.
After that long-winded reply, I'm sorry to say that I don't know where you can find a bone-out book, but you'd be hitting a gold mine if you find a deer hunter who butchers his own deer. Chances are, he bones it out and he'd appreciate your help with his next deer.
This is the book my Dad gave me:
Amazon.com: Butchering, Processing and Preservation of Meat: A Manual for the Home and Farm
It seems very detailed.
Looks like a great book to add to the library.
I have this book and it's the best one I know of for learning how to process meat of all kinds.
horseman09 made a very good point. If it's for home use you don't have to be to picky. The idea of butchering is to get the meat from the animal in a useable form for human consumption. We make roasts, steaks, cubes and burger. Roasts are large pieces (muscle tissue) to be cooked whole. Steaks are muscle tissue sliced across the grain in the thickness you desire. Cubes are just that - muscle tissue cut into cubes - you pick the size. Hamburger or ground meat is just the leftover meat scraps ground up.
The Indians made jerky by taking large muscle groups and cutting off thin layers like peeling an apple, leaving it in one long, narrow strip of meat. They were hung over poles outside to dry slowly. Modern methods are a little different but now we do it for the flavor instead of long-term storage.
When working on pork you'll want to do some curing (the book listed above tells how) or it won't be anything like what you buy at the store.
When processing deer and elk we cut away 99% of the fat and do not cut through the bones. All meat is extra lean and deboned because the fat and bone marrow sometimes gives it that "wild" or "gamey" taste people associate with wild game.
The book will give diagrams and advice on the different cuts but don't make it more difficult than it needs to be. If you get the meat off the bones, cooked and on your plate you've done good.
That is basically what I do as well - get it from something "huge" into little baggies that can be served as a single meal. I "weigh" each bag into 1/2-pounders or 1-pounders - guesstimate is close enough.
The only thing that I might suggest for butchering is to keep things clean and keep the knives sharp. When I butcher deer, I keep cool / cold water flowing over the meat to help wash-out excess blood and I have 5 different knives all ready to use. I use small knives to cut the meat away from the joints, medium knives for larger cuts and a chopper for big cuts. I don't really cube the meat, anything too small for the BBQ ends up in the grinder for making burgers, chilli and casserole - swap ground-beef in any casserole recipe for deer, elk, bison, etc. :2thumb:
We use the cubed venison chunks in gravy over mashed potatoes and/or biscuits! Yum!
I have been butchering all my life and I still got a book to make sure what I was doing because the older folks did it there way and sometimes didn't let the younger generation in to help except to stir this or that and take care of the fires so was kind of lost.So I bought the book called Basic Buthering of Livestock & Game By John J. Mettler,Jr.DVM It is in depth and shows a lot Of not just farm animals but wildlife also.It is sold by Storey Book co.When I bought it 10 yrs ago it was 14.95.Hope this helps
You probably don't need to look any further than your state wildlife department for good and free literature . Also , the farm extension service will have free lit. on preserving and cooking your game . Do it wrong , and you could end up with a nasty case of the nasties . Good luck
I know this sounds dumb, but search Youtube.
Well, I am interested in learning how to butcher any animals that we'd hunt, large or small. Thank you all for your responses, I am impressed and pleased that several of you suggested that I go straight for that hands on experience. I honestly hadn't even thought of learning straight from a butcher - that's a great idea. Thanks for the book suggestions too.
Roll up 'yer sleeves
Books are great and we have several on raising specific types of animals and the butchering specific to each. Although we have found these books to be very helpful, we have made our own adjustments to the information given in the books. Nothing beats "on the job" training. We raise meat rabbits and have refined the butchering process we learned from our books. Example: we have added a few non-traditional tools to expedite certain steps. My husband uses a heavy duty sharp set of pruning shears to remove the head and feet of the rabbits and also to cut through the front of the pelvis. We use a pair of hemostats to grasp and remove the gallbladder from the liver. Once you find a book you like with good butchering diagrams of the type of meat you want, just start practicing. The first attempt or two won't be the prettiest you will ever do, but practice does make perfect.
Not dumb at all. They have some very informative videos on dressing game, etc.
I have the same book as hillbilly
Amazon.com: Basic Butchering of Livestock & Game (9780882663913): John J. Mettler: Books
It is really a great book. When I started to learn to butcher my own animals I used it thoroughly. Like a lot of the others here I now debone all my large animals and don't cut with a bone saw. I watched a video on the interent on deboning deer and that is how I have done it for a few years now with hogs as well. I will search around and see if I can find it.
I found it here is the link