Home Butchering Picture Tutorial (Steer)

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by monkeyman, Nov 18, 2005.

  1. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Well, the weather here has cooled down nicely and we have had the top highs around 50 this week and lows in the 20s or so. So when I saw the forecast I decided it was time to butcher the steer. A beef really should hang in cool temps for at LEAST 2 or 3 days. Ideally this would be in a cooler that you could keep at around 30-33 degrees and hang them for several days but not many of us have access to one of these so I just wait for the weather to be as close to this as possible. We shot and butchered (skinned, gutted, and split) the steer Wed., and tomorrow (Sat we will be cutting (cutting up into steaks, roasts, etc.) the carcass.

    I have built a 'gallows' to hang animals from for butchering and got a chain hoist for raising them but a heavy tree limb or a heavy beam in a barn or whatever works fine also, for things like pigs and such even a kids swing set works and the timber type might work for the bigger critters if its tall enough. If none of this is available it can still be done on the ground. I did this one hanging the whole time but, especially for a beef, it is common to do the skinning by putting it on its back and using blocks of wood to keep it in place with the feet straight up then skin down as far as you can then roll it to one side and skin to or just past the back bone then flip it to the other side (using the skin as a blanket to lay it on) and skin from the other side to get it off.

    So keep in mind that even if you don't have the same set up that I do, neither did I when I started off and the way I do it is just that, the way I do it, there are other ways it can be done based on what you have and whats easiest for you, this is just to give you the basic idea of what needs to get done regardless of how you choose to do it.

    So, lets get started with the beef.
    BenP likes this.
  2. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Here are the supplies you need for the butchering portion (killing, skinning, gutting, splitting, hanging).

    100_0277_141. 100_0264_121. 100_0263_187. 100_0262_113. 100_0292_508. 100_0266_988.
    BenP likes this.
  3. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member


    This would be an appropriate spot for a safety warning. I don't care if you use a .50 BMG to shoot them with and hit the sweet spot, the nerves and muscle's WILL NOT DIE INSTANTLY! As long as you hit the right spot they will not be in any pain as the brain will be destroyed (if they start to get their feet under them trying to get up you missed the spot or had a bad angle and ricocheted off the skull or something, shoot them again). They will drop like a sack of rocks and may be still for several seconds or even a minute but they WILL 'kick out' or violently kick and thrash as the nerves and muscles die. BE VERY CAREFUL AROUND THE ANIMAL FOR AT LEAST 10 MINUTES!!! Even though they are gone and cant aim a kick or horn the can still do a LOT of damage by kicking you, also a good reason NOT to kill them in the bed of a truck, had a friend get the bed of his truck destroyed by doing that with a pig that kicked it to pieces.
    100_0268_171. 100_0269_108. 100_0270_147. 100_0274_153. 100_0278_875.
    Keeping this in mind, you want to get the animal 'stuck' (the throat cut) as soon as possible since the time while it thrashes will also help to pump out the blood and get it bled out good. You can set a knee on the muzzle and hold an ear, it wont necessarily hold it in place but will at least help warn you when it starts to flop, just be as careful as you can, avoid the feet and horns and be ready to jump back as needed.
    BenP and Marck like this.
  4. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    If you don't have a gamble you can use a heavy stick with good rope tied to each end or one method I have used was a piece of galvanized pipe with a cable through it then tie the legs to the ends. The best one I have had is a piece of re-bar bent at each end then the middle with another piece of re-bar welded on as a brace across the bottom, its the one in the pics if you want to make one but remember to have the top and up turned ends all one piece and the bottom just a brace to hold the sides apart so the welds don't have to support the weight.

    100_0285_204. 100_0286croped_198. 100_0287_841.
    BenP and Marck like this.
  5. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    MM, I can use the burner now, I think I have it sorted out. The only remaining problem is text, I don't have a way to directly caption the pix. Even with dialup, for this effort, winter is here, and I'll have some time to let things download, so if you or another monkey can add the captions and post them or e-mail them, I'll burn happily along. Once the first CD is burned, copying however many are needed is an easy thing, and willingly done. Alternatively, if anyone can tell me how to use either Paint or Paintshop to do it, I'll add captions here.
  6. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Now start at the middle of the skinned area on the bottom (closest to the nose) and skin down to the nose and around to the slit in the throat.

    100_0293_235. 100_0295_111. 100_0297_398. 100_0299_287. 100_0300_192. 100_0301_176. 100_0302_143. 100_0303_207. 100_0305_210. 100_0306_398.
    BenP likes this.
  7. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member


    100_0307_106. 100_0308_435. 100_0309_153. 100_0314_208. 100_0316_597. 100_0318_159. 100_0319_136. 100_0320_193. 100_0327_114. 100_0328_138.
    BenP likes this.
  8. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    The main thing for that will be when I can get a copy of that book sent to you since I cant get a scanner to run on here. I figured I could send you a copy of it and let you scan it onto here then any of us that want to could download it. I dont think there would be any copyright issues since for one it was an advertisement so I would figure it would only help them, besides that its not available anymore and hasnt been in print since about 1950. As I get this done I figure I will add the beef and maybe a rabbit on here then finish the CD by adding chickens and pigs and probably some recipees and such and offer the whole thing for sale for probably $10-$15. I know Tina was in the process of copying the book, Ill have to see if she got it finished and if so Ill see about sending you a copy.
  9. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Now you can tie off the rectum or not and insert it into the cavity. I lost the pic but you would also slit the skin the full length of the tail.

    100_0331_789. 100_0332_173. 100_0335_167. 100_0339_624. 100_0337_803. 100_0341_697. 100_0344_397. 100_0346_431. 100_0347_480. 100_0351_318.
    BenP likes this.
  10. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Like so...

    100_0352_156. 100_0353_143. 100_0354_188. 100_0357_384. 100_0359_357. 100_0361_120. 100_0363_536. 100_0367_204. 100_0368_972. 100_0371_123.
    BenP likes this.
  11. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    You may need to trim it a bit to loosen the guts but don't cut the guts...its not a pleasant aroma if you do and means you have to clean the meat a lot more.

    100_0374_148. 100_0375_214. 100_0378_115. 100_0381_577. 100_0384_153. 100_0389_111. 100_0391_289. 100_0393_176. 100_0394_201. 100_0396_938.
  12. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    That brings us to one of the parts that always gives me the hardest time. Start at the rump and as best as you can cut down the center of the spine all the way to the end of the neck. If you get off a little bit just do your best to get back to center, this cut forms the top of the T-bones. Also if you are concerned about BSE (mad cow disease) you will want this to be centered so you can trim out the spinal cord as this and the brain would contain the disease and it is required in commercial plants to be removed. I don't worry about it since I don't feed bone meal or other forms of ground up cow to my own cattle and butcher them young, you generally don't have to worry about BSE in cattle under 3 years old.

    100_0397_768. 100_0399_879. 100_0400_112. 100_0402_812. 100_0407_168. 100_0409_159. 100_0420_446. 100_0417_104.
  13. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Well, thats whats done so far, we'll be doing the cutting tomorrow and getting pics of it so I'll try and post them later this weekend or the first of the week. If you notice problems Ive missed here let me know.
    KAS and Tully Mars like this.
  14. Clyde

    Clyde Jet Set Tourer Administrator Founding Member

    Wow. Great info mokeyman.
  15. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    I imagine there should be a tanning tutorial at a later date?
  16. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Strongly suggest starting a new thread for the cutting. This one is getting to be a long download.

    Lookin' good so far. b:: b:: b::
  17. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Thanks. There arent nearly as many pics of the cutting process so I will probably just add it here, I know what you mean though, Im on dial up too. I figure when I may do something on a tanning thread and may try to tan one out and do pics along with some other critters to put on the CD that I want to try to sell.
  18. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    OK, now that the carcass has hung for a few days in low temps to chill its time to cut the meat. How you cut the meat is pretty well up to the individual since each section of the carcass can be made into various cuts depending on preference, this is just how I decided to do it this time.

    100_0426_106. 100_0427_334.
  19. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    This pic didn't come out as well as I had hoped but the top of the hind leg is #1 the rest of the leg is #2 then to the right is #3 below is #4 left to #5 down to #6 and so on. These are the primal cuts or the sections the carcass is cut into and the individual cuts are taken from them. I didn't get many pics of cutting the carcass up because you just cut along these lines. Here are the names of the section that correspond to the numbers and some of the table cuts they can be made into.
    1-hind shank; soup bone or boned for burger

    2-round; the section highest in this pic is the heel of round and is a good pot roast or could be ground for burger or cubed, the rest of it is where you get the round steaks

    3-rump; rump roast

    4-loin end;sirloin steaks

    5-flank; this section is the flank steaks

    6-flank; this section is best suited to stew meat or grinding

    7-short loin;from top to bottom,porterhouse, T-bone, and club steaks

    8-ribs; ribs, boned for stew meat, boned for grinding

    9-plate; rib roasts, I fake it as more 'kind of' T-bones and some 'chunk 'o meat' roasts

    10-brisket is the chest part of this and the front leg is the fore shank; brisket is brisket, corned beef, or burger. Fore shank is a soup bone, slim roast or boned for burger

    11-chuck;pot roasts, burger, mince meat, stew meat

    Tully Mars likes this.
  20. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    A beef has 13 ribs. The line where you quarter it (also the line between the flank/short loin and the ribs/plate) is between the last 2 ribs. The ribs are separated from the chuck between the fifth and sixth ribs. When you separate the quarter you will need a hand if its hanging. start by the back bone and cut toward the front stopping at least 4 or 5 inches from the edge then use the saw to cut through the back bone. Now one person needs to get a hold of the front quarter and have a helper finish the cut to cut it loose.

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