With our first hogs of 2022 heading into the butcher this week, we want to pass along five tips for saving money on custom processing for those filling out cutting orders for the first time.
Less processed equals less expensive. Large cuts like roasts are cheaper than ground. Ground is less expensive than sausage or brats. Uncured hams, belly, and loin are less expensive than the cured and smoked versions.
While curing bacon at home is a bit time consuming (but fun, delicious, and doable!), brining a ham for a couple days before your holiday meal is super easy to do! You can also cook and shred an uncured ham the same way you can any other roast cut.
If you really want to get into home curing, we recommend this book as the best place to start. We will also be adding some of our own recipes and maybe even build your own smoker instructions to the website eventually!
Save money on packaging by selecting paper instead of vacuum sealed. To be honest, we actually prefer the cheaper paper packaging over vacuum sealed for most cuts!
Leave your lard unrendered. You can leave it completely unrendered or you can ask to have it ground but still leave it unrendered (this is our usual request). Rendering lard in a crock pot is minimally labor intensive and you get the bonus of delicious cracklings as a by product! Don't use lard? We will buy it back from you for $2.00/lb to use in our homemade soaps!
Eat as much of the animal as you feel comfortable. Any time something is listed as an option for "trim" you can select that and have it added to your ground meat- I promise you will not even notice. Part of your processing is based on hanging weight which includes these cuts so if you pass on adding them to trim you are getting less meat for your money. Want to save the most money? Consider selecting a home butchering workshop next time you order. For a set processing cost (less than half the cost on average), we will spend a day teaching you how to break down and package your own meat. We will even send you home with a recipe or two for home curing and the curing salts needed to make it!
While our processor does offer an excellent online ordering system, do not hesitate to call them if you have questions or need help getting exactly what you want. They are great about working with special requests.
If you have a concern after your order we will help you work it out the best we can. While we can't go back and change or replace your order, we consider your experience with our processor equally important with the meat itself. If our customers are unhappy with the processing experience, we want to hear about it. I remember the first time we had to submit an order for custom processing and I was so nervous! I didn’t want to get anything “wrong”. You know what though? There was nothing to be worried about. Through the years we have tried new things and learned a lot. If you have questions your first time or want us to walk you through it, don’t be afraid to give us a call or send us an email!