How much will meat processors do?

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by designer, Sep 27, 2004.

  1. designer

    designer Well-Known Member

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    We're considering getting 2 or 3 pigs to raise for meat, but having never done it before we're conserned about what we would get. I mean, when you think pig you thick bacon, sausage, country ham, sugar cured ham, etc. Well we can't do any of that stuff. We take a cow to a small family owned meat processor each year and get back frozen packages of different cuts of beef. If we take a hog to a meat processor will they just cut it up and freeze it or will they do curing and stuff like that? I know it largely would depend on the processor how far they go, but what is the norm? Does anyone raise pigs and have someone else do the curing? If it would be up to us we better just forget the pigs all together. :haha: That would be way over my head.
     
  2. bare

    bare Head Muderator

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    When I call our processor, I tell them how many hogs I have for them and they come out to get them. Shoot, gut and skin on the spot and load it in their truck

    After they get back to the plant, they weigh them and ask how we want them processed and packaged, just like your beef. They'll ask what you want smoked like hams, bacon, sausage, hocks or what ever you want. I doubt any modern processor does sugar curing because it is pretty labor intensive. They do brine in a sugar solution prior to smoking.

    I have done everything myself, but man, for the price they charge, I'll have it done everytime. Our processor is pretty accommodating in that I don't want nitrates in my meat and they do an excellent job of smoking. Your mileage may vary.
     

  3. quailkeeper

    quailkeeper Well-Known Member

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    I don't think any meat processors actually smoke your meat any more. The use an injectable smoke solution that gives it a smoke flavor. We had our bacon done on our first pig, it was horrible. We just bought a $30 Brinkman smoker that will hot smoke the hams, bacon, and shoulder. It works on the same principle as a charcoal grill. We are going to try it out next week.
     
  4. bare

    bare Head Muderator

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    I guarantee that ours smokes, as do all of the processors in a wide area around us. Just to make sure though, you'd better ask up front because, there is a vast difference between smoking and injecting liquid smoke.
     
  5. quailkeeper

    quailkeeper Well-Known Member

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    I have to agree, there is a considerable difference between actual smoking and injectable smoke. No one even close to here will smoke, I would guess its because of the chance of ruining the ham. And they just don't want to mess with it. Thats why we intend to do it ourselves.
     
  6. MullersLaneFarm

    MullersLaneFarm Well-Known Member

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    Our processor also smokes. He'll cut and package to order. He also makes different sausages, keilbasa, bratwursts (bulk or rolled).
     
  7. Siryet

    Siryet In Remembrance

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    Our processor cuts, wraps freezes all to our specifications.

    We get chops, steaks, bacon, hams, ribs, hocks and sausage( spiced just the way we like it.)

    We have the hams, and bacon smoked and they are really smoked not injected.

    We deliver our hogs to the butcher cause that saves us money and we do have the time and equipment to do so easily.

    Good luck with yours.
     
  8. landlord

    landlord Well-Known Member

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    Our processer does not have a smoker, but he does send the hams and bacons to someone to smoke them for him. Nothing better than fresh smoked ham steak with eggs on a chilly morning.
     
  9. designer

    designer Well-Known Member

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    what's the difference between smoked and cured? If you go to the grocery store and get bacon, a honey ham, and country ham slices(the biscuit kind) What have you gotten as far as smoked or cured? Is the bacon smoked? the ham cured? the biscuit slices smoked? And pork chops, not processed?
     
  10. bare

    bare Head Muderator

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    There are two kind of curing, brine curing and dry curing. Anything you get from the supermarket is likely brine cured.

    Dry curing used to be more common when there was little refrigeration. In that process, you use a sugar/salt mixture and rub it in and around the meat, with the idea of drying out the meat for preservation. It makes an incredibly salty product and one that most folks nowadays find intolerable. It is a lot of work and you may very well end up with a spoiled product.

    Brine curing is a salt/sugar/nitrate solution that is injected and the meat is allowed to soak in for several days. It's what gives hams and bacon most of the flavor that you expect from hams and bacon.

    Both cures are then smoked. It used to be for added preservation, but is used more today for flavoring rather than preservation.