How Do You Butcher a Hog?


Quick Answer

To butcher a hog, remove the animal's skin, head and intestines, then sash the casings immediately. Cut the hog in half, and chill the carcass at 35 degrees Fahrenheit before cutting the meat into smaller portions.

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Full Answer

  1. Skin the hog

    Hang the hog from its back leg using a chain, and cut the skin in 3- to 4-inch vertical sections, beginning at the back legs. Pull the sections of skin downward toward the animal's head to remove the skin.

  2. Remove the head

    Cut along the first joint of the backbone on the back of the neck, around the ears and through the windpipe to the jawbone. Pull the head down by the ears to assist in removing it.

  3. Remove the intestines

    Make a shallow incision from the area between the hams to the throat, and cut through the breastbone. Make a shallow cut in the abdominal wall behind the breastbone to reveal the stomach, and place the entire hand and knife inside the cut with the sharp edge of the knife pointing outward away from the carcass. Pull the hand downward while holding the knife to loosen the intestines, and use the knife to split the aitchbone between the hams. Remove the bung gut, which is located directly below the split aitchbone, by attaching a rope to it and pulling downward, and pull the intestines away from the carcass. Pull the intestines outward, and cut through the gullet and any remaining tissue to completely remove the intestines.

  4. Prepare the casings and meat

    Wash the casings with warm water immediately, and split the hog into halves. Chill the hog to 33 to 35 degrees Fahrenheit before cutting it into hams and other usable portions.

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