Author Topic: Tips on breaking down primal cuts  (Read 1603 times)

Offline phillamb168

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Tips on breaking down primal cuts
« on: August 12, 2011, 01:44:48 AM »
I have a new 8 cu ft freezer, woo! Well, "new" we got it used, only two years old, Bosch, bought for about 1/8th the price of a new one. So now I need to put stuff in there.

I've considered buying primals (like a side of pig or quarter cow) because 1. it's cheaper and 2. I can cut it the way I want - THE AMERICAN WAY. Just try buying real st. louis ribs around here, just try it.

So, I have dealt with what I guess you could call 'sub primals,' for example shoulder + trotters of a pig, I can find the gaps in the bone and get through the cartilage without killing myself, but what I really want to do is break down an entire side. I know I need, at the very least, a band saw (was going to buy a manual one) and a cleaver - no using my wusthofs on these babys - but what else is there? Is there a guide out there in internetland that can help me step-by-step? Anybody done this before?
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Offline MDixon

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Re: Tips on breaking down primal cuts
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2011, 04:26:38 AM »
I'm pretty sure I have that in a few books on the shelf. My suggestion would be YouTube.
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Offline SpanishCastleAle

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Re: Tips on breaking down primal cuts
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2011, 07:25:47 AM »
My extremely limited understanding is that Europeans cut primals a little differently (and generally into smaller primals) than the US. Do you know which you'd rather have?

Offline phillamb168

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Re: Tips on breaking down primal cuts
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2011, 01:04:12 PM »
My extremely limited understanding is that Europeans cut primals a little differently (and generally into smaller primals) than the US. Do you know which you'd rather have?

I asked my butcher, and he told me he could do literally a half a pig, cut down the spine with a bandsaw... What I'm looking for basically are a ham to sugar cure for thanksgiving, a side of belly for bacon, ribs for bbq, loin for loiny things, and shoulder also for bbq.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Tips on breaking down primal cuts
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2011, 01:41:53 PM »
Have you seen this Phil?  Maybe your butcher could watch it and learn to do it the correct, American way.
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Offline tubercle

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Re: Tips on breaking down primal cuts
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2011, 04:56:00 PM »
A regular hacksaw works fine too. Butchered many hogs as a young man. Heavy cleaver and grandma's butcher knife.

 Meat grinder should be on your list along with a sausage stuffer.
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Offline phillamb168

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Re: Tips on breaking down primal cuts
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2011, 12:39:36 PM »
Have you seen this Phil?  Maybe your butcher could watch it and learn to do it the correct, American way.

I had forgotten about that episode. Awesome. But that video looks excellent! Good enough for me to get the idea of how to do everything... Thanks!

Tubercle, I picked up this recently: http://www.amazon.fr/gp/product/B000RO9WKI/ref=oss_product Meat grinder is great, and it comes with a sausage stuffer attachment which I haven't tried yet.

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Offline gmac

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Re: Tips on breaking down primal cuts
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2011, 03:58:38 AM »
You should need a cleaver if you have a band saw. We butcher deer every year. I can do it but I don't think I can describe it. Of course, my way would be the correct Canadian way...

Offline Kit B

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Re: Tips on breaking down primal cuts
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2011, 08:10:58 AM »
You should need a cleaver if you have a band saw. We butcher deer every year. I can do it but I don't think I can describe it. Of course, my way would be the correct Canadian way...

Deer...
Nothing over the top is really necesary, if you've got good, sharp filet knives.
...Just something tough enough to cut bone.
We use filet knives & a simple hack saw.
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Offline gmac

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Re: Tips on breaking down primal cuts
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2011, 05:47:37 AM »
I meant to say you "shouldn't" need a cleaver, not should.  Typing faster than I'm reading.