Pig Processing or How to Butcher a Hog
Karen DeGroot, assistant manager at D & T’s, said the business processes around 45 hogs a month. Customers bring in their animals, tell the staff what kind and how thick of cuts they want, and within a couple weeks, pick up their order.
In between the drop-off and the pick up the staff at D & T’s cools, cuts, brines, smokes and performs other tasks to prepare the meat. Ivan Tinklenberg, who has owned D & T’s for 17 years, said the average hog weighs around 300 pounds when it’s brought into the meat market. By the time he and his staff are done, the hog has been turned into about 160 pounds of packaged meat.
Tinklenberg usually handles the first step in the process, slaughtering the hog in a back room. That usually happens on a Monday, according to DeGroot. The animal is then hung in the cooler until Thursday when employees cut it up, based on the order.
Customers can choose how thick they want their pork chops and how many they want per pack, whether they want country style ribs or pork steak, bacon or side pork, fresh or smoked ham, and if they want the ham whole, cut in half or cut into steaks or roast. Customers can also choose to have the trim meat that’s cut off the bones made into sausage, brats, patties, links or bologna.
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