How to Butcher a Pig

For those of you trying a hand out at butchering pigs for the first time, you can now learn how to do this in easy, swift steps.
AnimalSake Staff
It may seem revolting to some to think about the idea of butchering a pig themselves but it is actually a way of life for some people and a hobby for others. The thrill of hunting for your own meal and then having it prepared from scratch literally, is where all the excitement lies. Pig meat is succulent and tender when cooked well, and has an abundant content of juiciness and flavor. The meat can be carved out in such a manner where you can eat the pork meat without the fat, or keep the fat layer intact for that added buttery feel and taste.
How to Butcher a Pig at Home
Before you get down to butchering your pig, make sure you have all your essential items in place. Once it has been stripped of its hair and skinned until you only have the meat in front of you, the butchering stage commences. To remove small tough hair around the pig, use a blow torch to eliminate it completely.
➲ Things You'll Need for Butchering
Make a checklist of the things you'll need and have a small area a little off to one side of the kitchen for all your butchering needs. Avoid using the same countertop for both meats and other foods since this can be quite unhygienic. Things you'll need at your butcher's station are, good range of butcher knives, work goggles, gloves, apron and plastic sheets. The most important thing to own is a reliable butcher block table. It will serve as a great platform to place your meats and have them slaughtered the right way using a trusty countertop.
➲ Getting Prepped
Before you lay the pig atop a butcher block table, make sure you first place the plastic sheets above this to avoid staining the countertop with the pig's drippings and other fluids. Apron and gloves including the goggles must be on before you cut up the pig to avoid being drenched in its unmentionables or getting bits of bone flinging towards your face. The first step is to make an incision along the middle of the pig as it lies down on its back on the butcher block table. All abdominal cavity organs must be removed and discarded before continuing on.
➲ Removing of the Head
The next step is to detach the pig's head from the body by aiming for its neck using powerful blows to break it away from the top. Once the head comes off cut up the rest of the pig along its backbone, careful to work your way along its spine using strong strikes to separate the meat from the bone. The three parts that need separating are the shoulders, ribs and loin where you need to constantly stab through the meat to make it easier to cut up the connecting meat chunks into parts.
➲ Carving Away Fat
To remove the fat you'd first have to lay out all your chunks and carefully trim away this layer using a sharp butcher's knife to do the job. Be careful not to rip the meat away from the fat but to gently carve it away in small portions to have neat chunks left intact from the pig.
Once you have all your pork portions separated and ready for either consumption or distribution, you'll find it easier to butcher pigs or any other animal once you know where to begin and end. Always remember to use a sanitized area to do your slaughter work and to immediately clean up the area with a disinfectant once you finish what you started. It would be advisable to separate the butchering area from your actual kitchen space so as to avoid any messiness and uncalled-for smells. If you're using rubber gloves, make sure you wash these thoroughly with a disinfectant as well, and hang them out to dry completely. Even your apron should be soaked and washed separately using a strong detergent, and the plastic sheets need to be discarded if they aren't reusable.