If u bought a whole pig..........

Discussion in 'Pork' started by got14u, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. got14u

    got14u Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If u bought a whole pig what cuts would u get out of it? I plan on buying a whole pig and having the butcher do some of the work. but plan on getting alot of sausage out of it. but i would like some ideas on some of the cuts u would save before the sausage. thanks for any advice in advance...
  2. tn_bbq

    tn_bbq Smoking Fanatic

    Loin & Shoulder for sure.

    I'd also want some chops and/or pork steaks

    Best bet might be to consult with the butcher.
  3. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If I had the smoker I would barbecue that baby whole and stick an apple in it's mouth just because!

    A whole suckling pig is heaven if you ever get the chance. All meat off it is good and you'll never wish you'd made sausage out of it neither.

    We don't often get the chance to roast a whole pig much in our lives, let alone a whole HOG, but that is heaven if you ever get the opportunity.

    Depending on its size, I would say barbecue it whole if you're able to. You can always get sausage anywhere. Just an opinion. [​IMG]

    Best smoking to you whatever you decide!
  4. the dude abides

    the dude abides Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I've never personally had 'em, but I hear the cheeks are the finest part of a pig.
  5. hog warden

    hog warden Smoking Fanatic

    Here are a couple links.....



    Do a google search for "pork cutout chart" and you will find more.

    Traditional use on a hog was to save everything but the squeal! At the minimum, two each of these.....hams (you can cure yourself), loins, ribs, bellies (cured to make bacon), butts, picnics, etc. All your trim will go into sausage as will anything else you don't want to mess with (snouts, hearts, tongue, hocks, etc). The cheeks are called jowls (favorite food of Granny Clampett) get cured just like bacon. The liver into liverwurst. If you find too much backfat for your sausage (not likely on modern hogs) you can render that down for lard.

    This is the basic breakdown of a hog. You can pick and choose what to save as primal cuts and what to grind.
  6. kennymn

    kennymn Meat Mopper

    buy two - 1 for processing and 1 for roasting . A roasted pig GREAT it will drive the neighborhood crazy . I know a butcher that will inject it for even more flavor .
  7. got14u

    got14u Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    thanks feelas...i don't have a smoker big enough for a whole pig and really want to make alot of sausage. but i do want to get some of the better cuts also.
  8. got14u

    got14u Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    that is true...cheeks are usually some of the best meat. we make them in to tacitto's most of the time.
  9. reinman

    reinman Fire Starter

    They could make some sausage from the front shoulders, and still leave you a couple big pork roasts if you want to smoke them. If they scooped out the loins you would have 2 full sized pork loins plus the baby backs and the spare ribs.

    Below and behind that would be your bacon and hams. Now you'd have to decide if you want them to cure that for you, or if you want some of it fresh. If you have them cure the bacon, you might want to have them save you back a bit for fresh side. This is basically bacon that is not cured. Fresh side is getting tougher to find nowadays.

    If you'd like to give curing a try yourself, it's pretty easy.

    In 2 gallons of water add 1 pound of non iodized salt, 6 TBS of Prague Powder #1, and 10 TBS of Sugar. You can double or triple if you need more solution to cover the meat.

    I put everything in a 5 gallon bucket and put in a fridge. Bacon would take about a week or so, and big ham, injected, would take a couple weeks. You can also inject a porkloin and leave it in about 4 or 5 days.

    When I smoke any of this I cold smoke and do not cook. You can slice the porkloin and have cured porkchops, or bake and thin slice for Canadian Bacon.

    You'll find pork cured this way will be much jucier then what you find in the store.
  10. got14u

    got14u Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    aswome advice. I am diffinetly doing all the curreing and processing my self. I need to break in my new grinder and I also got a "smoke daddy" for cold smoking. It actually just arrived today. I just need a 55 gallon drum and will start making my cold smoker. sounds like u know quit a bit about your cuts.....much appreciated
  11. alx

    alx Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Save loins for something other then sausage.Head cheese is good stuff.
  12. reinman

    reinman Fire Starter

    My folks owned a small town locker plant many years ago, so I grew up doing stuff like that. We cured all our own hams and bacon, along with dried beef, and made our own summer sausage. The recipe I gave you is basically the one we used back then, only reduced to work on smaller batches.

    I usually buy porkloins when they are on sale and cure them, and then slice them for cured pork chops. You can also bake the loin afterwards and thin slice for ham for lunchmeat. If you can buy a loin for under $2 a pound on sale, that's a lot cheaper then the shaved ham you buy at the deli.
  13. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Assuming like most all hogs, this one has been split down the middle. You'll find the same parts on each half - I'll talk about processing one half:

    Starting with the head, you'll want to cut out the jowl, use it as you want (recipe, sausage, etc. - only a few oz. of meat).
    Next, right behind the ear, is the neck. Trim out for sausage, and as on all of the following cuts, you'll have a layer of backfat and skin (if it wasn't skinned first - some skin and some scald and scrape and leave the skin on). De-skin all the backfat and cut into chunks to grind, put in a separate bucket and save as you go. You can cut the backfat into long strips about 2" wide and, with the skin down, hold the end of the strip with one hand while cutting down and away into the fat down to the skin and roll it off the skin cutting away from you, then reverse and finish the end you were holding onto. Cut up the fat into chunks for grinding. When all the fat's been skinned off, have it ground once through the fine plate into foodgrade plastic bags. Take home and put in pans and render down in the oven into the finest lard you've ever made pie crusts with!

    After the neck is the shoulder and butt. Cut that off square to the side the neck is cut off about halfway up the curve of the hock (about 8" parallel to the edge where the neck was cut off of). Turn over and take off the ribs and backbone, then cut the butt off the shoulder cutting horizontally across it about half way down it. You could save one shoulder or butt for smoking and pulling and put the rest into sausage if you want a lot of sausage, or you can cut the butt into pork steak or country style ribs. The shoulder can be roasted or smoked for pulled pork whole, center slices taken out of it and the ends boned out into sausage, or cut up the whole thing into sausage, or bone and roll it for a pork roast.

    Next, is the belly and loin. Down at the other end is the ham. If you cut the ham off the loin/belly parallel to the the hock being cut off square, it's about the right angle. There should be just a small roundish bone showing.

    Cut the loin from the belly with a saw, leaving ribs about 4" long in the center of the loin. The loin consists of 3 parts: the first 7 ribs from the shoulder is called the rib end pork loin, then the center, then the loin end, about 10" from the end of the loin.

    The rib end can be roasted, cut in half then into strips for rib end country style ribs, boned and rolled, cut into ribend chops thin, reg or thick, boneless chops or put into sausage...

  14. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The cc loin can be chops, boneless chops, butterfly chops, thick chops, boneless roast, crown roast, canadian bacon (as can the rib and loin ends too).
    The loin end roast can be all the same plus sirloin chops. You really should want to do something other than sausage with the loin, be it roast, chops, etc.

    Under the loin is the belly. On top are the spare ribs, cut those off and head straight for the rub! Cut down each side of the belly about 1-1½" for sausage and leave the centercut belly for sidepork (fresh belly), salt pork (pickled belly) or bacon (pickled and smoked belly).

    Last is the ham. I would cut off the shank third of it and bone out for sausage, leaving the butt and center cut slices for smoking or roasting.

    Then, you can judge by your lug of pork trim how much more you want to put into sausage, such as the butts and/or shoulders, etc. You want to maintain about 20% fat to lean in your sausages.

    Hope this helps!

    This chart shows the cuts pretty well! You can view it full size on Google's images, put in "pork cutting chart" and it will pop up.

    Pops §§
  15. got14u

    got14u Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    awsome help...thanks for shareing your knowledge

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