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Hi everyone! We have 10 pigs that we are raising and butchering with some family and friends. We want to get the most meat and fat out of the pigs and waste as little as possible. I know growing up when we hung our deer or other game, we would gut it, put a stick in the ribcage, and leave it to hang with the skin on. Which helped protect meat from drying out. Could you, or would it even be helpful to leave the skin on a pig if you were hanging it for a week? Would it affect the meat in any way? Thank you in advance for any advice!
 

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I skin them and only hang them in the cooler a couple days, just enough to firm up the meat good for butchering.
Any animal is much easier to skin right after it's killed.
 

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I skin them and only hang them in the cooler a couple days, just enough to firm up the meat good for butchering.
Any animal is much easier to skin right after it's killed.
I've done it both ways. I like the skining better. Most won't agree on this but I use a carpet cutting knife. Double sided blade , but it's what I got used to...
 

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I've done it both ways. I like the skining better. Most won't agree on this but I use a carpet cutting knife. Double sided blade , but it's what I got used to...
Why do you like skinning it right away better? Also how long do you let it hang? Thanks!
 

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I've done the scraped method with hot water. It just takes time. I do have my own walk-in cooler and about everything else. Were are going to do a steer this year. Three or four days on the hanging.
 

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Pork you generally don't hang long. I prefer the skin on scraped clean method. You can leave the skin on for the hams and roasts to get more food value. Tender cooked skin is good for your nails and joints. If you make headcheese a generous amount of skin can be added to that to give it the gelatin it needs to harden.
 

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Having no refrigeration, I do my hogs in late fall when it's just above freezing (up to 40 degrees) during the day and just below freezing at night. They generally only hang overnight or maybe two nights at most (depending on how many I do and if I can get them done in one day). I scrape and leave skin on my baconers (especially the shoulders, hams and bacon) and scrape the skin my larders.

After being scraped of fat the skin from some of the larders is used for pork rinds . The rest is thrown in the pot to be rendered and becomes lard and cracklins. Ham, bacon, shoulders, jowls and hocks are salted in the saltbox for a couple of weeks or so, washed and hung to spring then cold smoked... usually with apple but occasionally with hickory or corn cobs. They are then hung to age anywhere from 6 months to several years. I also make, cure and smoke several different kinds of sausage.
 
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Hanging up game or any butchered animal with the skin on is the absolute worst way to handle meat possible. Get the hide off while the body is still warm, preferably within twenty or thirty minutes. With hogs we always scalded and scraped the hair off, then cut them up into manageable pieces. We smoked the hams, cut the bacon into two or three pound pieces and smoked that as well. Everything else went into sausage. Everything got used and eaten even the ears.
 

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Hanging up game or any butchered animal with the skin on is the absolute worst way to handle meat possible. Get the hide off while the body is still warm, preferably within twenty or thirty minutes. With hogs we always scalded and scraped the hair off, then cut them up into manageable pieces. We smoked the hams, cut the bacon into two or three pound pieces and smoked that as well. Everything else went into sausage. Everything got used and eaten even the ears.
Why scald and scrape if you were skinning?

I usually do groups of two, or maybe three at a time (normally 6 - 8 total). Dispatching, bleeding, scalding, scraping, halving, hanging, and then emptying, rinsing and scraping the intestines for casings is an all day job (which can't wait until day two). The butchering, sausage making, salting and boxing, and rendering is the whole day number two.

The hanging ins't to age but merely because it all can't be done in one day... that's why it's done when nights are at or slightly below freezing (natural refrigeration)... been done that way around here for many, many generations.
 
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I don't know if you killed your pigs yet, but here are a few tips...

shoot em and then stick em as soon as they hit the ground. You have to get the blood out and the heart will pumplong enough to get it out if you do it right away.

get the innards out. Don't cut the pooper! You should split the pelvis and keep the dirty end outside the body cavity.
Hose the body cavity out good when you are done. Don't poke the bladder or guts. Take your time here.

get the hide off asap. Stay close to the skin with your knife if you want to save the fat.

hang em up and let em cool. they have to get to 40* or less. if you ave a cooler, you can hang them for a couple of weeks if it's cold enough in there. We will be doing a few soon and plan to hang them for at least two weeks.
 

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The old methods seem to have been skin on for hams and then plastering the exposed meat/joint with rendered lard. That makes sense to me since the enemy would be oxidation and well, what grows when you have oxygen present... My plan is to try it that way but having said that, I have no direct experience with pigs yet.
 
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