Hog Scalding topic/questions

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by VApigLover, Oct 6, 2004.

  1. VApigLover

    VApigLover Well-Known Member

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    All, I've seen posts in the past where the best method for scalding hogs is 150-160 degrees of water, usually with ashes (lye). Has anyone tried "Old Baldy" hog scald, if so I would like to hear how it worked. Also would like to know if anyone has ever used a high temp pressure washer to scald hogs, my brother swears by it, but I am sceptical. Any thoughts would be appreciated. I also really enjoy reading everyones posts, really cool information out here.

    R/ VAPigLover ( I do really like them pigs )
     
  2. romancemelisa

    romancemelisa Well-Known Member

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    i was reading my foxfire books last night and there is a chapter on this, it is in the first book, seems like they all used heated water and scraped them clean.
     

  3. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    I use Old Baldy and I will never scald another pig without it. It took us a while to get it right since the directions, except for the water temps, are not included. The water temperature really must be between 129 and 139- I have a laser temp gun. It works better on the lower end of that temperature. The hog must be dipped for two minutes. This makes a very large hog impossible to do unless one has either four strong men and a vat on the ground or some type of lowering and lifting device. It will not do to pour the water over the pig (that was one of our mistakes). With Old Baldy the hair and pigmentation comes off in your hand- you don't need to scrape at all unless you missed a spot. Since most of our pigs are 50 pounds and under when we butcher, it is a great time and work saver for us. I just dip them into the vat and throw them on the table. Let me know if I can help answer any specific questions.
     
  4. cowgirlone

    cowgirlone Well-Known Member

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    Tango, where do you get the old baldy? I would like to try it. We just scald and scrape with a bell scraper or a knife
    .
    Romancemelisa, those Foxfire books are so interesting, lots of good info.

    VApiglover, I haven't tried a pressure washer, but I've used a blow torch on them. It singes the hair off and a couple layers of skin. It works great for hogs we cook in the ground, we don't eat the skin on these.
    When we cook one over the fire and want nice crispy skin, we scald.
    I might just have to give the pressure washer a try too! :D
     
  5. VApigLover

    VApigLover Well-Known Member

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    Everyone thanks for response

    Tango, In an earlier post (way back) you feared that Old Baldy might provide too much chemical in the skin, does using this product effect the flavor and quality of the skin?


    As far as pressure washer goes I would really have to hear some positive results, otherwise the expense of renting one would likely prevent using the thing, but if one does this enough?

    VAPigLover
     
  6. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    I bought it online at Allied Kenco
    the page is at Old Baldy
    We used to scald and scrape but this way is ten times faster :) and we reuse the water a few times when we've done several pigs in a month. Still have most of thepowder left. You use just a little bit.
     
  7. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Wow what a memory! :) You're right. When we first ordered it and I opened the package I wasn't too happy. It looks and feels like laundry detergent. But the skin is not affected at all- no smell or taste to it. And we are HUGE pig skin (called rind?) eaters here. Very little goes to waste

    We have a pressure washer but I think the pressure itself would remove the skin as well as mark it up. I've sliced through my foot with mine :rolleyes: trying to hit a mosquito and forgetting it was a pressure hose and not a garden hose.
     
  8. cowgirlone

    cowgirlone Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info AND the warning about the pressure washer. :)
     
  9. VApigLover

    VApigLover Well-Known Member

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    romancemelisa, I have a FOXFIRE book somewhere in the house, filed it away for safe keeping, and like my old pig scrapers I filed away ten years ago, I can't find them either!

    "Old Baldy" sounds like it will do the what I hope it will. I have three hogs that will be around 280-350 pounds and anything that will help save time scraping would be good. As I get older, simplifying the process is about the one thing these days I strive to do!

    Back years ago the belief that was passed down to me was quite different in terms of technical details over the scalding process. We used a 275 gallon barrel (cut in half) for scalding. The way to test the water for proper temp was to place a clean shovel in the hot water and when you pulled it out, if the water would evaperate within say five seconds or so, the water was "Just Right!". The five second rule applies to pig cooking as well, if you could hold your hand on the top of the cooker for "Five Seconds", without burning the skin off it, the temp was "Just Right!".

    Another belief was that Pine needles in the water would aid in the hair removal, not sure where that came from as I could never tell the difference. The revelation of using wood ashes never came up, although I hear the Lye it produces helps with hair removal.

    I think I'll go buy some Old Baldy and give it a shot, glad to hear it does not effect the skin adversely, as we like the rind as well!

    VAPigLover
     
  10. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    I gave the wrong water temp above - it is from 139 - 149 and the lower end is the better one imo. I just butchered a gilt that weighed in the 60 pound range this morning. It took me three hours total from the time I put the water to heat to the time the caracass went into the fridge to chill. It was the first time I had done one alone.
     
  11. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

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    Hi Tango, how much of that time was waiting for the water to boil, and how much was handling the pig? for me, shot, stick, gut, skin, butcher, package and clean up is about 3 hours. But I injured my arm and skinning is getting harder
     
  12. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Hi George, missed you around here. The pig was about 45 minutes from shoot to completely cleaned and roast ready. My three hours was from prep time collecting wood and setting up the barrel to letting the water heat up to clean up afterward- that took at least an hour. I clean the head, ears, and feet very carefully and they take the longest. I didn't package or cut. We are roasting on the spit today (wood is fired up and we're waiting for coals). Wish ya'll were here :)
     
  13. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

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    Hi Tango,
    We've had house guests for the last week, so didn't get on line much. Thanks for the sentiments. I usually give the feet and head to the dog (after baking separately to alter the scent, although I've been thinking mabe I should at least pull out the tongue), so it sounds like I could really cut down work time with your idea. What do you use as a scalding pot? You think a metal garbage can would work? Or maybe it would have chemicals in the galvinization that would make it not safe for consumption like lead? Any sources for a scalding pot? It sounds like the biggest pigs I would deal with are about the size you work with, since I have PB's which depending on age will be somewhere between 60-120 pounds live weight.


     
  14. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    We purchased a metal barrel from the town recycling center. They welded the seams and cut it in half lengthwise and we have another that is 2/3 of the original height. By law, the metal barrels have to be chemically clean of all residue before being taken to recycling and the owners of the place have dealt with one guy for a long time.
     
  15. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

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    Recycling center? wish we had a real one. Here recycling to many means pouring some whiskey in you beer can to not dirty a glass.


     
  16. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    :haha: