Scraping vs Skinning

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by Mr. Dot, May 8, 2005.

  1. Mr. Dot

    Mr. Dot Well-Known Member

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    Howdy
    I gather most people who home butcher these days skin rather than scrape due to it being easier. In the old days it seems as though most people scraped - judging from books I've read and folks I've talked to. It seems to me the old timers were sharp enough to figure out the easier way so there must have been a reason to go to that trouble of hot dipping and scraping. Does leaving the skin have an effect on storage or smoking or...?
     
  2. emke

    emke Well-Known Member

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    We did both skinning and scraping last year. We found that scraping was easier.

    The way we scrape is to get two barrles of water boiling. Bring the hog to the barrels and shoot it. Then we put it on a piece of plywood, to keep it out of the grass and leaves. Then we took an old wool blanket and laid it over the hog. We dipped a metal bucket into the boiling water and poured it over the blanket. We only did a section at a time. You could actually see the skin draw up as it heated up. Then we took a knife that was stiff and scraped the hair off. It came off as if you were shaving the hog it was so easy. Then we just moved on to another section. It was much easier to do it with the blanket method then sticking the hog in a barrel of water. We could never get it fully scraped that way.

    We skinned 6 small hogs on Thanksgiving day last year and made them all into sausage. They were hung by their heads to make the skinning easier. It was still harder to do than scraping.

    We like to keep the skin on the bacons, hams and shoulders, as they seem to smoke better after being in the salt. The bacon tends to shrink up without the skin, in my opinion.
     

  3. highlands

    highlands Walter Jeffries Staff Member Supporter

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    Needs change. With refrigeration and freezing the helpful storage effects of the skin are not as necessary today for most people. I suspect that is a big reason. I've done it both ways. Skinning is faster for me. One thing I then do with the skins if I'm not tanning is to slice them up into strips and roll them up for the dogs. Usually I butcher in the Fall or Winter and have the whole outdoors for a freezer for the next five months or so.
     
  4. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    I skin. I used to scald and scrap but I find it much faster to skin. I usually wash the live hog with the garden hose if the weather isn't too cold. After dispatching the animal, I hoist it up on a flatbed trailer to where it is convenient to work. With the animal on its back I slit the stomach skin front to rear. Then I cut the skin from the half of the hog nearest me, leaving the skin in one piece. Then I skid the animal around and do the same to the other side. I lift the animal with the tractor and remove the entrails. Using the technique usally takes me a little more than an hour for a market hog. The big plus is that since I have the animal skinned I do not have to do anything but cut the meat into manageable pieces for the meat grinder for the sausage. If I cure the hams there will be more shrink than if I scalded but since I do not sell the meat there is no consequence. I would not be eating the skin on the cured ham regardless.
     
  5. Mr. Dot

    Mr. Dot Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the responses. I had a notion it was probably about preservation qualities but hadn't come across that info anywhere. And I like hearing the specifics of both methods. Interesting about the blanket - that's a new one on me. That sure sounds easier than hoisting and dipping. And the dog strips is a good idea. My dogs are seriously pig ear addicted.
    I think I will probably scrape hog number one and see how that goes. I think both scraping and skinning are one of those things you have to actually put your hands to before you know what it's really like. Reading about it's one thing - having a killed hog in front of you that needs to get finished is probably another.
     
  6. Ramon

    Ramon Active Member

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    My cousin told me that what they do in the Philippines is that they do a big pot of boiling water and they dip a cup in the boiling water and pour it over a small section they are going to scrape, then scrape, then move to the next small section, eventually working their way around the entire pig. Haven't tried it yet, but intend to.
    Ramon
     
  7. 2story

    2story Well-Known Member

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    i skin mine (5 in december) too much work to think about right now! anyone skin and then chill, I have been killing, chilling over night and then skinning the next day. any thoughts?
     
  8. mink

    mink Well-Known Member

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    id think they would skin much easier while their still warm. i know deer do.....mink
     
  9. mink

    mink Well-Known Member

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    another thought on the skinning....last fall when i bought a beef to the butcher to be cut up. he told me that with pigs he cut them down the front and down the back too as the skin comes off easier and the hides is going out with scraps anyways.
     
  10. BDB

    BDB BDB

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    I tryed skining one chilled its not as easy as when there warm I skin mine the same as deer or beef cut em down the stomach cut down the inside of the legs take it all off in one I have scraped pigs before to much work i can be doin other stuff on the farm with the time I save skinin
     
  11. Snakeoil

    Snakeoil Well-Known Member

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    six of one, half dozen of the other, if your not set up to scald then skinning is the way to go. Skinning is by far the faster.
     
  12. quailkeeper

    quailkeeper Well-Known Member

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    Skinning is much faster and easier. My husband and I skinned out a 200 lb hog in 15 minutes our first time. Don't skin in strips though, its a big waste of time. Just skin out in one big piece or a couple of big pieces.
     
  13. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    We scald and can't imagine doing it any other way - all that lovely crackling.

    We have an old cast iron bath, boil the water in the dairy cylinder (it helps that we milk cows :) ), get the water to 65F and drop the pig in it. Leave it for 3-4 minutes, turn it over and start scraping the hair off the side that has already been immersed, turn it over again and do the opposite side. Takes about 10 minutes to take the hair and toenails off (I like the trotters).

    I've had pork that has been skinned, it doesn't keep so well in the freezer but in fairness it was wild pork that didn't have a lot of fat on to start with.

    I guess you have to go with what you prefer.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  14. Mr. Dot

    Mr. Dot Well-Known Member

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    I like the bathtub concept too Ronney. I've scavanged two tubs and plan to use one to heat the water by placing it over a fire pit and the other for the dip. What with the stinky pigs and a yard full of bathtubs I'm sure getting into the rural swing of things. :) Do ya'll use a bell scraper? I'm planning to order up a couple from Lehman's unless there is a better way to go at it.
     
  15. thornapplehill

    thornapplehill Member

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    Has anyone tried the peeling method of skinning on pigs? For deer (preferably fresh), I hang them by the neck to a strong beam, cut the skin loose from the neck and skin for about 6 or 8 inches. Then I put a fist sized rock on the flesh side, wrap the skin around it and tie it with some strong rope. The rope goes to a truck or tractor or anything that pulls good. I've even used my wife's car. I slit the legs at the knees and to the stomach so it comes off ready to salt. Put her in gear and off it comes, no problem. I can do about 16 deer in an hour. I haven't dealt much with pig skin, but I'd imagine it might work.

    Shawn
     
  16. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    thornapplehill, pig skin is not the same as deer or cattle. The skin on a pig is attached to the fat under the skin and you have to cut the skin loose from the flesh. I use the same technique as you use for deer however. Skinning deer is an easy chore compared to a pig.