TOTM May 2020 - Local Butcher

Discussion in 'Survival Topic of the Month' started by Dunerunner, May 3, 2020.

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  1. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    I started thinking that with the invoking of the Defense Production Act to keep meat processing plants open, just how many folks have a local butcher any longer? I know a local processor that will cut and wrap your annual deer or elk harvest (if you get lucky enough to get one) but in the cities, I doubt you will find such a person. I am talking a sterile FRPed or Stainless processing room, temperature controlled and vector free with a wash down system that has been county inspected and passed, not your buddies garage or back porch..
  2. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    Yeppers. Got a USDA approved poultry processor, 2 custom cutters, and a couple of farmers with some big walkin's. Oh plus the feed stores.
  3. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    My "local" butcher is 18 miles up the highway. He now has plastic sheets all over the place in honor of separation of hacker and buyer. If anyone is going to have it around here, he will. There are a couple feed lots that will process and sell to your order, but it's a pig in a poke so to say, you get whatever they grow. Quarter cow minimum, cut and wrapped according to what you order.
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  4. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grampa Monkey

    We have a local guy in a mobil rig who can butcher what ever we need done!
    We usually buy sides or whole animals butchered the way we want and packaged, but some times the butcher truck is the better option! 3 seasons ago, we had 3 Elk to process and while they were gutted and skinned, it was too big a project for just the two of us, so we had him come out and do the heavy work with the primal work and we broke down the rest and packaged it all up for the freezer!
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  5. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    Got three around here...probably a few more down the road a bit.
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  6. Lancer

    Lancer TANSTAFL! Site Supporter+++

    Yup. Have three I patronize depending on what I want. For the high end stuff, like prime rib-eye or tenderloin I'll go to a tiny, ancient place roughly 14 miles off that services most of the local table cloth restaurants. His prices are decent once he knows you, and doesn't mind special orders for odd cuts or exotic meats. Emu tenderloin anyone? I purchased one each of whole tenderloin, rib-eye, pork loin, a dozen pork tenderloins, and 50 lb ground chuck when the restaurants all closed for the current nonsense. I figured I'd stock up the chest freezer, and help him clear inventory. The others are farm stands where I can point at the animal and pick it up a week later in butcher paper.
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  7. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    New Hampshire is great butcher desert, at least the western and southern part of the state, last 2 real butcher shops I know of have closed. No state inspection system, so have to make arrangements with Feds to slaughter, one private place I know of still does. Everyone who has tried to cut up a few critters has had the neighbors call the health inspector on them, hang something to age, not allowed, hair on deer and some might get on meat, call the health inspector, kill a hog, 5 years later still fighting with zoning board and ASPCA on you with protesters at least. We import 97 % of out food, nearly 100 % of our energy, all our fertilizers, insecticides, cloths, shoes, in fact everything into rural New Hampshire. Don't see too much hope of hanging onto preps if it really hits the fan and at this moment, local Walmart has no toilet paper, no paper towels, no vacumn cleaners, no sanitizers or bleach, out of many foods and limits on bread, soups, canned goods, dish soaps, laundry detergents. many aisles empty, seeds bought out, garden starting stuff bought out, beans, rice, noodles,and such storge foods bought out and 2 limits when they do get some. No panic yet here but the last time I saw it like this was when power was off for 10 days after an ice storm. Price of most things up, no store sales, cheaper brands are sold out and only expensive brands for sale, 99 cent store brand spaghetti is gone, $2.49 organic hand made available in limited amounts. Next 3 or so weeks going to be interesting and I have no idea what will happen, Walmart supply chain to China is showing problems, is more on way, if so where in the line. Lots of unanswered questions and all the news shows is 24 hour corno virus updates that are useless, but keep the sheep quiet.
    Last edited: May 3, 2020
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  8. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    We have a local abattoir I have used for the past 40 yrs to slaughter the annual steer and a childhood friend who owns a butcher shop who does the cutting. I wrap and we flash freeze. We usually start around 6pm when he closes the shop and we finish up around dawn. The older we get the more it takes out of the both of us. I split the steer with the farmer who raises him then split my half with with my daughter. Any then any left when I'm ready to slaughter another I donate to someone the town tells me is struggling
    Last edited: May 3, 2020
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  9. Thunder5Ranch

    Thunder5Ranch Monkey+++

    IL still has State Dept of Ag inspected shops and USDA Inspected plants and then the Custom Exempt operations that can only do processing for personal use. Then there is the Retail Exempt which can take a whole carcass or one broken down into primal and cut to order which is County Health Department Inspected and Certified. I personally use a IDOA Inspected Plant that is 10 minutes away from the farm to kill and quarter under inspection and then I operate under the retail exempt rules for cutting, processing and packaging. Drawback to my way is I can only sell my products in IL. and to the end consumer. The second drawback is plant I use is small and can only process 250 hogs and 20 steers per year Under Inspection and HACCP for me.

    Within 50 miles of me we have 3 larger USDA Plants, 2 IDOA Plants and 17 Custom Exempt operations (5 of which I use to deliver customers hogs to for their personal custom processing) Been doing business with the IDOA Plant and the 5 Custom Plants for 20+ years so we have very good working relationships. Until last year I did around 100 head of processed pork cuts as wholesale to restaurants and had to be a IDOA licensed meat broker and warehouse. I decided to get rid of the whole sale side as the profit margins were razor thin and to be honest Restaurant owners are just a pain in the ass :) I know this because I am a Commercial Kitchen and Food Truck and soon to be brick and mortar restaurant owner and I am a pain in my own ass :)

    For Poultry I have my own private facility that is and is not inspected. I do 4,999 birds per year under the IL Poultry Inspection Exemption and can do up to 50,000 if I want a State Plant Inspector on site for processing. Under the Exemption I can only sell direct from the farm to the end Consumer. Inspected I can sell wholesale, at farmers markets or consignment via stores. I will never again open that up to the public...... because producers are a pain in the ass as well....... I know this because I am a producer and am once again a pain in my own ass :)

    I will say this even my regular plant is backed up processing custom for individuals personal animals. Inspected plants can also do cutom exempt processing without a inspector on site and without the HACCP paperwork mountain. But no shortage of processing options here in Southern IL. except for poultry and that is a 100-200 mile trip to the closest poultry plant. Thus many of us that raise volume have a private facility or use the Exemption and its restrictions.

    What I would not want to be right now is someone new and not have a solid and good relationship with 1 or 2 of the plants or even a custom exempt trying to get on the schedule. That 250 pound hog will probably be weighing closer to 450 before you get in.
  10. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    The abattoir slaughters only the steer. My butcher friend is safe. [LMAO]
  11. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grampa Monkey

    I have the advantage in that my baby Brother is a State/Fed certified butcher/ professional chef and has all sorts of certs and training, if he isn't able to help hands on in person, he is only a phone call away and has taught my self and my other brother how to do most of it beyond the general skills we all learned from processing our kills, which, while it works, is a hell of a lot better since my bro taught us how to really do it right! I have to say, since then, the quality has improved quite a lot, and we actually have to scrounge quite a lot to have enough for summer sausage, usually requiring we add bear to it to get enough to get us through! I don't hunt Bear anymore, but my Middle Bro still does, so we work a trade, usually for Reindeer or Stag, and we all get by quite well! Only trouble is, the three of us need to harvest 5 animals per season to have enough meat for every one, some years that's difficult, so we usually hire a hunt to fill out the differences, never a problem, but it didn't used to be this way! The other thing were exceptionally good at is processing fish, (especially me) with Salmon and Steel Head, Tuna, and Halibut, all three of us brothers, My two sons,, two cousins, and their two boys and one daughter have all done it pretty much since we could walk and hold a fishing rod, And my middle Bro is training his little ones now! I can fully break down a 30+ pound Salmon in about 1 min while harvesting all usable flesh, and my filets are perfect every time, I DO NOT do Steaks EVER, filets only! LOL
  12. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    Fortunately, we have Mr Prime Beef, a vertically integrated outfit with farm to table

    Not cheap, but quality never is....
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  13. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Same,3 with-in 5 miles here.
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  14. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    I know someone in south Bama that could use a steak and a hug?
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  15. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grampa Monkey

    Ha, you know @Tully Mars too? That's mighty nice of you to include an offer for a steak and a hug for our good buddy who may be in need of both! LOL
  16. ColtCarbine

    ColtCarbine Monkey+++ Founding Member

    We have a local butcher in our town. A few weeks ago, 1/4 and 1/2 beef was $4.49/lb. cut and wrapped. Unfortunately, one will be waiting 2 months for your meat if ordering large amounts.

    Next closet butcher about 10 minutes away in a smaller town then mine was a 3 week wait for large purchases.

    There are plenty of other butcher shops in our area.
    Last edited: May 10, 2020
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  17. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    I was trying to get a hog chopped up from a local butcher ,, and he say's his hog farmers are saying they don't have one they'll let go of . Guess I'll just have to keep looking . The man makes and sells some pretty good sausage ,, so , maybe I'll just get me a 100 pounds of sausage .
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  18. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Dadgum.....sounds like a depressing place to try to live.....
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  19. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    We probably have ( I haven't honestly kept up in a long time since we do ours), 6-8 I have personally used over the years. USDA inspected doesn't mean much quite honestly...they will wear an apron, hat/hairnet and won't smoke while cutting your meat (yep....seen it), but as far as much else, you don't get it. The largest custom processor in the area I finally quit taking mine to and started doing it at home because I suspected my boxes were always short (they have a retail shop out front), and on more than one occasion after being in their freezer for several days, I'd get my boxes home to find down in the center packages NOT frozen.....they either pack them to tight or too much in a box, or their freezer is operating minimally. I understand from people that do take their in local places are booked out past this coming December.....

    So for the last dozen years, we do it in a "back porch off the garage" :D

    Cut a hole in the back wall of the garage:
    Got a 12x22 slab ready to pour. Built a flue for a wood cook stove while I was at it.
    Floor poured, walls framed from wood off my mill. Little window looking hole in the back wall is for the window AC unit that will cool the walk-in.

    Framed roof, tied into existing garage roof.

    Found a commercial cooler door on Craig's List, built the walls out of foam board/fiberglass panels in the inside for easy wash down. Cooler is to the right is walk in pantry.

    Hog halves hanging in cooler. I have to quarter beef, too tall and too much weight.

    Rest of the room. Tiled halfway up so I can hose the room down to a center floor drain. Water heater under counter, I rigged a 20' hot water rated hose so everything can get hosed with hot water. (Cabinets now have doors).



    Whole pork loin:

    Whole pork loin cut up:
    May be a home operation, but I'd guarantee we would beat ANY custom processor on cleaning standards. My wife, retired school food service supervisor, is a cleaning FREAK....everything gets bleached, hosed down, wiped before, during, after....she is constantly grabbing my cutting boards from under me, slapping a clean one down, and off to the bleach water with the old one.

    We have 2 upright freezers we only use to flash freeze meat packages because they spread out nice on the shelves, then the frozen packs go in chest freezers and the uprights are cut off, and stored in the walk-in (I put all our freezers on mobile bases to make them easy to move).
    Last edited: May 21, 2020
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  20. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    Darn few people who butcher their own animals are going to take dangerous shortcuts, ignore sanitation, ot tun multiple shifts without cleaning their equipment and even fewer will butcher downed animals. Stopping home butchering has always been a matter of control and money revenue by the state. Can see attempts to educate, but not to control.
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