Pork FAQ's

How old is a pig when it goes to market?

ANSWER:

A hog is normally between 9 and 12  months old when it is ready for slaughter, depending on the breed of hog and how it was fed.  Usually the hog is approximately  220 lbs. on foot when it is ready for the market, although many farmers prefer to wait till they are around 240 to 250 lbs. before they butcher their own hogs.  They usually do this to get a nicer size bacon.

We have a lot of frozen hams and would like to thaw them, then cut into portions and refreeze. Is this OK to do this?

ANSWER:

You can thaw, cut and refreeze hams. But you should only do it once though, if you thaw and refreeze more often, then the taste of the meat begins to degrade.

Also, if possible, donít thaw completely. There still can be ice crystals in the meat when you cut it. I donít know if you are using a saw or a knife to cut the hams, but a saw (especially a band saw) would make it easier for you.

Another tip, as soon as you have cut the hams, refreeze them immediately, or soon as possible. And try not to overload your freezer. The longer it takes to freeze the ham portions solid, the less the taste of the meat.
Which part of a ham, butt or shank, is better? I was led to believe that the butt end provides more meat, but now I'm not sure. Please advise.

ANSWER: 

The butt is usually considered the best part of the ham.

I have a friend that has asked me to slaughter a Pot Bellied pig, so that we can make sausage from it. I would like to know if you have any sausage recipes that would be more suited to a pot belly other than the standard pork, I have found a couple of boar recipes, but would like to know if there is a better one that I could try.

ANSWER:

I last processed a pot-bellied pig about 5 years ago. The only thing I would suggest is to make sure and trim as much fat out as possible. These pigs are a lot fatter than the normal pig. I would suggest using seasoning that you usually use when you make normal pork sausage. Also, my slaughter man told me that a 200 to 300 lb. Live weight pot bellied pig has a very thick hide, so make sure and skin the hog as close as possible to the meat. And I found that it's next to impossible to cure the belly (for bacon). It is usually only about 1 inch thick at its thickest.

 

 
 

I would like to know how to deep pit a pig ,from the pit to the rocks to what to do with the pig for prep and how long, what is the whole process?

ANSWER:

Pit roasting is cooking meat in a large, level hole dug in the earth. A hardwood fire is built in the pit, requiring wood equal to about 2 1/2 times the volume of the pit. The hardwood is allowed to burn until the wood reduces and the pit is half filled with burning coals. This can require 4 to 6 hours burning time. Cooking may require 10 to 12 hours or more and is difficult to estimate. A meat thermometer must be used to determine the meat's safety and doneness. There are many variables such as outdoor temperature, the size and thickness of the meat, and how fast the coals are cooking.

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Last Updated:  Friday, March 09, 2012 05:44 PM