3 Ways to Gut a Pig

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3 Ways to Gut a Pig
3 Ways to Gut a Pig

Pigs, both wild and farm-raised, can provide an immense amount of meat. Knowing how to properly grow a pig, cover it, and slaughter it will keep your fridge stocked for months to come. With the right tools, you can learn to make smart cuts and eliminate waste and bad parts in the cutting process. See step 1 for more information.


Method 1 of 3: Preparing the Pig

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Step 1. Get the proper equipment

While the process itself is easy, slaughtering a pig takes a lot of effort - on average a 115 kg pig produces 65 kg of ready-to-eat cuts of meat. This represents a lot of valuable pork to manhandle, so it's important that you take the time to get the cutting equipment and do the process correctly, reducing any possibility of waste and scrap. We are not talking about a hare here. To cut a pig, you will need:

  • Sharp stainless steel knives, at least 6 centimeters long

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  • A meat hanger and hook, available at good outdoor and sporting goods stores

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  • A chain saw or saw, used to separate the ribs.

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  • A tub or barrel big enough to let the pig submerged in, along with a heat source big enough to heat the water until it boils.

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  • a bucket

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  • A smooth, large outdoor surface, a few wooden planks on waist-high trestles already serve as a good surface.

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  • A meat grinder for processing small pork parts (optional)

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Step 2. Select the right pig

The ideal slaughter pig is a young male that has been neutered before reaching sexual maturity, called a “barrow”, or a young female, called a “gilt”. Generally, pigs are slaughtered in late autumn when temperatures start to cool, and to the point that pigs are ideally between 8 and 10 months old and between 80 and 115 kilos. Suspend all food 24 hours before slaughter so that the animal's intestines are clean. Provide plenty of fresh water for the animal to drink.

  • Old, intact males are called wild boars, and will have a distinctively strong taste, a result of hormones from the olfactory glands, while the sow – old female – has a similar strong touch to its flavor.
  • If you are processing a wild boar, you will need to remove the genitalia and the olfactory gland near the hindquarters immediately to avoid subsequent “contamination”. Some hunters take some fat and fry it to check for a strong smell before going through the whole swine skinning process, or you can go ahead anyway and process the animal indifferently, because some people don't. they care about the taste.
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Step 3. Kill the pig humanely

Whether you are slaughtering a farm-raised pig or hunting a wild animal, you should ensure that you are starting the process as cleanly as possible using a quick kill, immediately draining the animal's blood to further improve the meat's flavor.. The question of killing the pig by draining its blood is a common debate.

  • The morally preferred method of killing pigs is to use a rifle of at least a.22 caliber and shoot it through the animal's brain to kill it quickly and without pain. Draw an imaginary line from the base of each ear to the opposite eye and aim for the intersection of these two points. Pig brains are extremely small, making you need an accurate shot.
  • Traditionally, many butchers prefer to kill pigs by drawing blood after having hammered them to knock them out, as shooting them is very complicated. A common belief is that if the vein is cut while the animal is still alive, the blood is drained more completely and the meat eventually tastes better. In many commercial slaughterhouses, pigs are electrocuted to go out and are then killed with a cut to the jugular. For some, however, this is an unusually cruel method.
  • In the United States, the Humane Slaughter Methods Act of 1978 (HMSA) prohibits the taking of life from an animal with inhumane slaughter methods, such as that of pigs, used for commercial purposes. Technically, this only applies to hogs slaughtered in USDA approved facilities, not on private property. However, some states have imposed rules that agricultural activities can only be processed in these facilities, making it important that you research the state laws on the subject. You can read federal regulations here.
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Step 4. Cut the pig's throat

After you have shot or killed the pig, feel the chest bones, and insert your knife a few inches above, making an incision through the front of the throat, at least 6 inches long. Insert the knife into your incision, and push it 6 inches up, at a 45-degree angle to the tail. Rotate the knife and pull it out. This is the fastest way to “bleed” the pig. Blood should start draining immediately.

  • Some people go to great lengths to find the point they need to bleed the pig quickly. If you're not sure whether you found this spot or not, all you need to find is the jugular vein. Some people will just make a deep cut through the throat, below the jaw line, all the way to the spine. You'll know you've hit the vein by the volume of blood that will spurt.
  • Be extremely careful when you bleed him if he's still struggling. If you just shot it out, you might have to slit its throat before you can hang it. Be extremely careful. He may be thrashing about involuntarily, making cuts with a sharp knife dangerous. Place the pig on its back and hold the front legs in place with your hands, letting someone else use the knife.
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Step 5. Suspend the pig

After killing or erasing the pig, you need to suspend it, preferably using a meat hanger, which is like a large clothes hanger made for hanging meat. Hook a chain to the hanger and attach it to the hook, or to the back of a pickup truck if you like.

  • Start by sliding the hooks on the underside of the hanger through the pig's heels, inserting enough depth to support the pig's weight. Then use a hook to lift the pig and allow gravity to do the draining work. This should be done as soon as possible after the animal is killed. It will take a pig 15 to 20 minutes to lose all its blood.
  • If you don't have a meat hanger, you can also make a small incision behind the hamstrings in the pig and insert a wooden peg or piece of pipe as a substitute. You can hook a piece of chain to the end and create your own meat hanger.
  • Barn beams make a perfect place to hang the pig, as do sturdy low tree branches. Find a comfortable place, preferably near the slaughterhouse, before you have 115 kilos of dead weight in your hands. If necessary, place the pig on a wheelbarrow to move it to the drain location.
  • Use a clean, sterile bucket to store the blood, if you like. Place the pig's head entirely into the bucket to ensure you collect all the blood. Pork blood makes an excellent sausage and is a popular culinary ingredient.
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Step 6. Blanch the skin in hot water if you want to keep it

Many butchers will likely want to retain the skin, which includes bacon, abdominal fat, and crackling, making them very useful, delicious, and slightly more intense in flavor than if you just want to peel your skin off. If you want, the best way to remove the hair is to soak the pig many times in scalding hot water and shave the skin thoroughly to remove it.

  • The best way to heat water is usually the most rustic: start a fire in a safe fire place and place the bowl inside or on top of a sturdy grate. It doesn't need to boil, but it should be at least 65 degrees Celsius. Make sure it's absolutely safe. Keep the pig on the hanger, gently dip it into the water for no more than 15 or 30 seconds, then remove it.
  • If you don't have an outdoor tank large enough to dip the entire pig, some people have had success by dipping a bag in hot water and placing the pig in it for a few minutes to soften the hairs and remove them with a scraper.
  • Wild boars with large layers of fur will likely need to be trimmed with clippers or clippers before being soaked like a domestic pig, whose fur is usually finer.
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Step 7. Shave the hairs using a sharp knife

After dipping the pig, place it on a smooth surface and start working. Scrape the hair off using a sharp knife. After dipping the hog, place it on a flat work surface and get to work. Some easels with wooden planks and a tarp can work just fine, as might a picnic table if you have one. A couple of sawhorses with plywood boards and a tarp can work perfectly in a pinch, as well as a picnic table, if you've got one. You'll want the waist-length pig. A sharp knife works extremely well for scraping the fine hairs from the skin.

  • Start on the side of the belly, placing the knife blade perpendicular to the pig and scraping along the length of the body, gently. This can take a while and requires several repetitions for all the hair to be removed. Some people like to use a small torch to remove the remaining hair if necessary.
  • Pig scrapers or bell scrapers tend to be commonly used in processing pigs, but have been very difficult to find. Many people go to the torch more quickly, and it is very effective in removing the smallest and hard-to-find hairs on the skin.
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Step 8. Remove the skin if you don't want to remove the hair

If you don't have a tank big enough to scald the pig, or don't want to put in the effort, it's perfectly fine to go for skin removal and proper disposal. Skip to the next method to remove the entrails, then work your knife through the flesh to begin skinning.

To remove the skin, pull the skin out and work with a very sharp deboning knife underneath, going down gently and trying to retain as much grease as possible. The removal of the skin should take between 30 minutes and an hour of your time

Method 2 of 3: Removing the Organs

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Step 1. Make a cut around the anus and pull it up

To begin removing the entrails, work a smaller knife around the anus (and vaginal opening) of the pig, about 2.5 to 5 centimeters deep. Make a circle about 5 centimeters wider than the anus so you don't pierce the colon. Gently grasp and pull, then use a rubber band or a seal to secure it. This closes everything up, and then you'll be able to withdraw from the other side when you open your chest.

  • Some butchers wait to remove these organs until after removing the offal and intestines, but it's good to take precautions because these are the parts where the animal's bacteria live that can contaminate all the meat.
  • Remove intact boar testicles if you haven't already done so. Wrap a rubber band around them to gather the testicles and cut them. It is best to do this as soon as possible after slaughtering the animal. To remove the penis, pull it out of the animal, and work your knife down, cutting the back muscle that goes to the tail. Pull it out and discard it.
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Step 2. Cut from the sternum to the groin

Squeeze the skin near the base of the sternum, where the ribs end and start the abdomen, and toward you as far as possible. Insert your knife and gently work your way down the center line of the pig's belly, between the two rows of nipples. Be very careful not to pierce the lining of the stomach and intestines. Keep working your knife until you get all the way between the animal's legs.

At some point in this process, gravity will tend to work in your favor and your bowels will start to fall out without you having to do much. Once you start opening your belly, it's a good idea to have a large bucket or tray to pick up your organs. They will be heavy, and it is important that you handle them gently

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Step 3. Enter the cavity near the groin and pull it down

Everything in the digestive tract should fall out relatively easily with a little force, including the large intestine you tied up earlier. Use your knife to trim any stubborn connective tissue. The kidneys and pancreas are perfectly edible and popular items to store.

  • Some DIY will save the intestines to serve as the sausage cover, although this is an intensive and difficult process.
  • Adipose tissue is a layer of fat found near the pig's kidneys, and is popularly reserved to be turned into lard. You don't need to remove it now, but be gentle with the cavity as you work on removing the organs into the bucket. It can be retracted by tearing the fabric, essentially pulling it free with your hands.
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Step 4. Separate the ribs at the front, dividing the sternum

After the bowels are removed, you need to open the chest to remove the rest of the organs. You can use the knife to separate the front of the rib cage, working your way across the layer of cartilage that connects the sternum. You shouldn't have to use the saw to do this. After separating the ribs, remove the rest of the organs. The heart and liver are usually reserved and eaten.

  • Some people start by reinserting the knife into the previous puncture and cutting towards the tail, while others find it easier to start closer to the stomach and work towards the head. Do what feels most comfortable to you in your workspace.
  • You should cool any organ you hope to save as soon as possible. Wash them well in cold water and cool them, loosely wrapped in brown paper, in the fridge. They need to be kept between 0 and 4 degrees Celsius.
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Step 5. Remove the head

Behind the ears, work your knife in a circular direction around the throat to separate the head, using the jaw line as a guide. Once you separate the flesh and expose the neck bone, you may need a cleaver to break the vertebrae with the firm rib to get there.

  • If you want to remove the head and leave the cheeks intact, cut towards the corner of the mouth, into the ears, separating the flesh. Cheeks are great for making bacon, while others prefer to clean and keep the head intact for making head cheese.
  • You can also remove the feet on the "wrist" joint from the top of each hull. Use a hacksaw or power saw to cut through the joint and remove the feet.
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Step 6. Clean the cavity thoroughly with water

Hairs can be especially tenacious when you're processing a pig. They will stick to the fat and be hard to find. Before leaving the rest of the meat for a day to process, it is important to give it another good wash with clean, fresh water, and let it hang to dry completely before moving it to refrigeration.

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Step 7. Refrigerate the carcass for at least 24 hours before splitting it

To dry the meat, the pig will need to be aged for about a day in a cool temperature, between -1 and 4 degrees Celsius. A large cold room is the easiest way to do this, or if you are in a very cold season, processing your meat can be done in a garage or shed.

  • Making the necessary cuts to break the pork is nearly impossible with pork hot, or even at room temperature. The whole process of making the necessary cuts that butchers make is much easier with cold meats.
  • You can also make an "ice brine" by putting ice in a tank large enough to ice the pig, with a handful of table salt to keep it warm. Wrap the meat in ice to cool it.
  • If you just don't have the space and can't leave the meat, you'll need to break it down to a manageable size and keep it cooling down. When space is limited, some people use the sawmill or a hand saw to cut the bones in the back as well as the pelvic bone, separating the pig into halves.This will be the next step regardless, so it's a good idea to do it whenever it's the most convenient for storage.

Method 3 of 3: Processing Meat

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Step 1. Remove the hams

Place one of the halves up, and find where the spine ends, near the fleshy part of the thigh (which is the ham) on that side. Start with a sharp boning knife to expose the ham.

  • Trim around the belly, following the outline of the ham back towards the spine, cut at the narrowest point. Turn your knife over and cut straight down until you reach the tip of the pelvic bone. At this point, swap your knife for the saw (or your heavier cleaver) and cut the bone to remove the ham. You should be able to see this point relatively easily if your cut along the spine was well centered.
  • Hams are usually cured or smoked, so it is also a good idea to prepare them to make them uniform, especially if you have a very fat ham. The wedge-shaped meat left near the spine after removing the ham is a premium cut, perfect for roasting. It is, in fact, where the phrase "high over the pig," comes from.
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Step 2. Remove the shoulder

To remove the shoulder, turn the flesh sideways to where the skin is facing up. Pull the limbs up, exposing the "armpit" of the shoulder, and work your knife through the connective tissue underneath. All you have to do is use your knife to keep working on the joint, which should easily pull away, pulling it back on itself.

Pork shoulder or "butt" is the best pork to cook slowly and make a tender. It's a fat cut, and cooked slowly in smoke, it makes an excellent meal

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Step 3. Remove the cutlets and filet mignon

Turn sideways once more, with the side cut facing up. Starting from the smallest rib at the narrow end of the side, count the third or fourth rib and use a cleaver to cut the spine at that point between the ribs. Remove everything below that line and set aside the meat to grind, or discard. If you have an electric butcher saw, this process is much easier.

  • To find the sideburns, turn on your side and look at him from the front, looking at the column on the side that had the shoulder. Find the "eye" of the loin, which should be on the side of the spine. It's a dark patch of thin flesh a quarter the size (maybe bigger or smaller, depending) that sits on the side of the spine, surrounded by a circle of fat. Perpendicular to the ribs, use a cleaver or a saw to cut the ribs, which separates the rib section, which you can cut into ribs, from the bottom rib, which contains the bacon and rib frames.
  • Turn the rib section lengthwise so that you can cut slices and form pork chops, just as if you were slicing bread. Start with the knife, cutting through the bone, before moving back to the saw. You want them to be really, about 2.5 centimeters thick, cutting through the bone. It's a difficult process if you're doing it by hand, so use a hacksaw or butchers saw if possible.
  • To clean the hulls from bones it is a good idea to make them as even as possible so they won't tear the wrapping paper in the fridge, which can promote deterioration. Have a helper come back on each chop with a metal pad and scour to thin out any burrs and trim excess fat, leaving no more than 2 inches of each. If there are any shards of bone, clean them with a little cold water, file them while you work.
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Step 4. Separate the bacon

The lower, thinner section on the side contains everyone's favorite pork: ribs and bacon. It's better to separate the bacon first. It's just below where the ribs end, and it must look quite fat.

  • To remove it, insert your knife under the ribs, cutting the connective tissue and pulling the ribs back and away. Leave the cartilage attached to the rib section, not the bacon. Use this as your cutting line. It should come out quite easily. You can cut the bacon, or leave it whole for easy storage, until you're ready to do something with it.
  • Leave the entire rib section, or separate it into rib portions if you like. It's more common to leave the whole side.
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Step 5. Bone the neck and make some sausages

The remaining meat is usually set aside for grinding and making sausage. If you have access to a meat grinder, you can grind pork to make sausage or basic pork hearth. It is usually best to cool the meat again before inserting it into the grinder, since cooler meat tends to grind itself more evenly.

Cut along the neck to skin the flesh and separate the bone. It doesn't have to be super-clean once it goes to the grinder

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Step 6. Store meat properly

Once you've broken out the pork, it's important that you wrap it neatly in clean wrapping paper, label it with the cut, and date it using a marker. You can refrigerate the meat you plan to use right away and find freezer space for the rest. There won't be a lot of meat to deal with, so it's usually more common to freeze most of it right away.

It is a good idea to double-wrap the pig in brown paper, which is particularly susceptible to frostbite and frostbite. This particular case is for the larger portions, which have sharp bone fragments that can cut through the paper


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