Learn what butchering equipment you need to butcher your own deer, pigs, goat, sheep, or any other farm animal at home!
In PART 4 of our series A Butcher Demonstrates How To Properly Butcher a Deer, Jason Tarzia of Tarzia Meat Packing lists 7 tools you will need to butcher your own farm animals at home.
- Boning Hook – This will save your finger and hands from being cut (and even being cut off… YIKES). The boning hook not only saves you from getting hurt, but it will make you a more accurate butcher. A few dollars to improve your product and save your fingers is well work it!
- Breaking Knife – You don’t need a huge knife… Buying a huge knife is a beginner mistake! A 9 or 10 inch breaking knife is fine!
- 5 Inch Boning Knife – A smaller, stiff blade knife, the boning knife is a very important knife for the DIY butcher!
- Steel – If you have not used a steel in the past, use a medium corse, not a polished steel. If you are a beginner using a polished steel will ruin your knife!
- Gambrel – A gambrel, while lightweight, can hold hundreds of pound up in the air, making it easier for you to work on the animal at a comfortable height. The Gambrel also will spread the animals legs apart and keep them apart, making it easier to gut, clean and cut. (In addition to the Gambrel a Block and Tackle will aid you in lifting the animal off the ground to work on.)
- Meat Saw – Get a 25 inch meat saw. Smaller saws will not work right, and larger saws, like 30 inch and bigger are unnecessary and will just make your arm sore at the end of the day! A good meat saw will help you take the animal and break it into primals, and that makes it easier to work on the carcass, breaking down larger muscle groups into steaks and roasts.
- Cutting Boards – You will find all sorts of cutting surfaces in a butcher shop. Stainless steel, wooden blocks, and plastic boards. DON’T cut on a stainless steel table or surface. You will ruin your knives quickly on a stainless steel table top. Wood butcher blocks are the best to use, but can be expensive. Sometimes you can find grocery stores getting rid of their plastic butcher boards, (some states require in the health code groceries to update them after so long) you can get those for free or cheaper than buying them at the store!
In addition you may want to purchase yourself a Meat Grinder to make delicious hamburger, sausage, and other yummy dishes! For the DIY at home butcher 1 HP or even a half horsepower grinder (Like the LEM Grinders ) is enough power to do all the grinding you need in a reasonable amount of time.