Hog Killin on December 29th

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Hog Killin on December 29th

Postby George Collins » Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:35 pm

I've got the hog and the finicky bastard should have finally gained sufficient weight by December 29th to put him out of my misery.

(As an aside, this pig has taught me that just because a hog might can eat anything, don't mean he will eat anything. This pig is an intact male that was intended to be fattened on tree crops, primarily acorns but also pecans and hickory nuts. As such, his 20,000ish square foot pen is situated under four heavily producing live oaks and a pecan tree. And the floor of his pen is littered with uneaten acorns, pecans and hickory nuts (the later of which were supplied from an outside source.) But the fool got to where he wouldn't eat anything. I have no clue what the Blankety-blank lived off of for sometimes weeks on end as we each tested the resolve of the other. I was the one that finally caved and put him back on store-bought feed. First serving he devoured like a hog possessed. Thereafter . . . he nibbles at it. Lesson: NEVER raise just one pig at a time. I heard they would gain weight more slowly if raised along but until seen first hand, the difference, to me at least, is unbelievable. But I'm a believer now.)

So now you know why, on December 29th, he'll be put outta MY misery!

For his grand departure, we'll be doing something that hasn't been done in our family for approximatly 30 years - having a hog killin at home!!

Between now and then, I have to make all the necessary arrangements. Towards that goal, I asked all the old men whose help I've solicited about any preparations that I need to make. Their reply, to a person, went something like, "Well, you need a big table and a long knife and it helps to have a .22 rifle. Oh, yeah, bring your Daddy's big wash-pot."

"Anything else?"

"Nah, that's about all I can think of."

While I'm sure the whole process CAN be done with nothing more that the above mentioned items, I'm also sure that, the day of, after the hog is laid up on the table, one of them old fellers is gunna look over at me and say, "Now what we need is a/the _____________. You did bring a/the ______________?"

"Actually, when I humbly inquired your majesty's advice, your majesty said nothing of bringing a/the ____________."

"Cuss words, cuss words, cuss words . . . "

And there I'll be, . . . a-runnin by buttocks off all day!

So, to avoid as much embarrassment as possible, I would like to avail myself to the collective wisdom of those here that might know of such things. If you were faced with a similar set of circumstances,

What preparations would you make to kill a hog at home?

Here's my list so far:
Sausage grinder
Source of running water, hoses, nozzles
Scrapers to remove hair
.22 rifle with standard velocity, solid lead nosed bullets
Table with impervious surface (will likely get more than the one we currently have)
Bone saw
25 Gallon iron kettle
Propane bottle with back-up
Will be constructing a smoke house in the near future
Lots of pecan and hickory wood
Single tree and tripod of sufficient strength/height to hang a hog
Several of what we can "wash-pots" and "foot-tubs"
"Solve world hunger, tell no one." "The, the, the . . . The Grinch!"

"If you can't beat them, bite them."
George Collins
 
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Re: Hog Killin on December 29th

Postby matt walker » Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:19 pm

I'm looking forward to following your lead on this one George. My friend and I spoke recently about our first home hog processing event which we both agreed is coming up sometime after the new year.

As for your list, the obvious omission I see is packaging materials. Vacuum sealer and bags or butcher paper, wrapping sheets, and tape.
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Re: Hog Killin on December 29th

Postby George Collins » Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:50 pm

What about pork chops?

The way I understand it, pork chops, at least in this part of the world back when hogs were home processed, weren't sliced. Instead, the whole loin was cured or cooked quickly. Regardless, knives and a bone saw seem insufficient to make the precision cuts that are required to assemble meal-sized portions of uniformly sliced chops.

Any ideas about how to address this issue?
"Solve world hunger, tell no one." "The, the, the . . . The Grinch!"

"If you can't beat them, bite them."
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Location: South Central Mississippi, Zone 8a

Re: Hog Killin on December 29th

Postby matt walker » Tue Nov 20, 2012 5:13 pm

Well, I've had the loins processed a couple different ways, and I can say that I do like pork chops a lot so I'll always do at least one side of the hog in chops. The other thing I like is cured/smoked loin, which is pretty much canadian bacon. That and the belly are a great excuse to fire up the smoker after you've had 'em in cure for a couple weeks. You also get the ribs if you choose to cut the loin from them. So, for me, a side in chops, a side in ribs/loin roasts.

As for the tools, well, if you're fancy you'd have a meat band saw. Us regular folks use a Sawzall as a cheap approximation. Also a BIG cleaver and mallet will help with the hard bits.
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Re: Hog Killin on December 29th

Postby George Collins » Thu Nov 22, 2012 12:24 am

What type of blade do you use with your sawzall?
"Solve world hunger, tell no one." "The, the, the . . . The Grinch!"

"If you can't beat them, bite them."
George Collins
 
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Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:57 pm
Location: South Central Mississippi, Zone 8a

Re: Hog Killin on December 29th

Postby matt walker » Thu Nov 22, 2012 12:45 am

Here's some specifically for butchering. Finer tooth blades will cut cleaner, to a point. I think I had a 14 tpi blade on mine, but I haven't done it enough to know if that's the better choice or not.

http://www.cabelas.com/butchering-knive ... es-3.shtml
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Re: Hog Killin on December 29th

Postby George Collins » Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:12 am

Hog . . . fattened.

Gun . . . loaded.

Sourdough . . . doubling.

Knife . . . sharpened.

Strong backs . . . committed.

Salt . . . bought.

Weather . . . tentatively cooperative.

Corn whiskey . . . ;) . . . obtained.

Yep. All systems are a go.

The day of, I'll awaken at 4:00 a.m. Not to make preparations but rather from nervous energy. Breakfast for the hands will be sourdough biscuits, jowl bacon, ham, grits and red eye gravy. The hog will be prepositiones tomorrow shortly after noon. His last meal will be the one that coaxes him into the trailer. When day breaks on the 29th, breakfast will have been long over. Shortly thereafter, it'll be go-time.

Lunch will be spit roasted liver washed down with . . . ;)
"Solve world hunger, tell no one." "The, the, the . . . The Grinch!"

"If you can't beat them, bite them."
George Collins
 
Posts: 535
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:57 pm
Location: South Central Mississippi, Zone 8a

Re: Hog Killin on December 29th

Postby matt walker » Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:50 am

I can feel the excitement from here George. Heck, I'm sorta nervous myself, vicariously. Good call on the corn squeezin's. I know I'd need 'em.
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Re: Hog Killin on December 29th

Postby George Collins » Sat Dec 29, 2012 3:04 am

Less than 12 hours from now, if all goes according to plan, I will be elbow deep in butchering my first hog.

I'm so pumped.

I'm SO nervous.

My oldest daughter has been designated camera-man. I'm sure by this time tomorrow night I'll be posting many pictures and writing a full review of the process.
"Solve world hunger, tell no one." "The, the, the . . . The Grinch!"

"If you can't beat them, bite them."
George Collins
 
Posts: 535
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:57 pm
Location: South Central Mississippi, Zone 8a

Re: Hog Killin on December 29th

Postby pa_friendly_guy » Sat Dec 29, 2012 1:40 pm

Today is the Day!!!! Go George, Go George, Go George !!!!! I thought maybe a little pep talk would boost your self confidence level, ;) Hope all goes well, and if there are certain things that do not go as planed, well you always have the corn likker to make you feel all better. I am sure it will be a day to remember. I am also very sure that this is a day that your Kids will remember all of their lives.
Never doubt that a small group of dedicated people can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has.
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