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1st. Time Butchering 1200 lb. Cow?

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by VTmtn.man, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. VTmtn.man

    VTmtn.man Well-Known Member

    Any advice on what to look for in a butchering set... quality of the steel, shape, size etc. I don't mind spending a couple hundred $ on a good set that will hold up for my lifetime of game/cow butchering. I plan on using a sawsall & bandsaw for the bones. Any FYI advice would be appreciated!
  2. wild willy

    wild willy Well-Known Member

    My advice is to get somebody that knows how to do it to help you.The internet is not the best place to learn how to cut up beef.
  3. toiville2feathers

    toiville2feathers Well-Known Member

    Go to a butcher shop/restaurant supply house. You will get better cutlery there than you will at your big box stores. If nothing else you will get to see what you like and maybe you can buy it on line and save some money.
    You will need a couple boning knives, a large slicing knife, a couple meat cutting knifes with 7-8 inch blades. Also a good steel and a diamond knife sharpening block, 4" x 10". A good cutting board is necessary also, I prefer wood.
    My knives are "Old Hickory" brand [no longer available] that I inherited from my dad. They are good steel. I would steer away from stainless steel, they are hard to sharpen.
  4. VTmtn.man

    VTmtn.man Well-Known Member

    'Toiville2feathers', THANKS for the responses. We all have to start the learning process somewhere.... I'm buying the cow primarially for my 13 wk. old German Shepherd puppy. The butchering job doesn't need to be perfect but with your advice I'll stop by a chef supply store and demo a few of their cutlery products. Initially I was just going to buy a set from Cabelas etc.

    I do have a thermostatically controled root seller, what would the ideal temp setting be for a Jersey cow, hanging, not heavily padded with fat?

    Any suggestions on what/how to make use of the hide, it's a quite beautiful tawney brown...
  5. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

  6. primalmu

    primalmu Well-Known Member

    Steels don't sharpen, they hone. They don't remove metal and proper use will make your knives last longer than if you sharpen them every day.
  7. VTmtn.man

    VTmtn.man Well-Known Member

    Thanks 'Gordon', seems like a good place order some sharp knives from...
  8. toiville2feathers

    toiville2feathers Well-Known Member

    A 13 week old puppy isn't going to eat a 1200 # cow. He will be burying it and rolling in it when its rotten and stinks to high heaven. If the cow isn't sick, You better help him out. Save the tenderloins and back straps just like you would off a deer. Grind the hind quarters up into hamburger and let him have the rest IMHO.
    Nothing wrong about jersey cow steak. That burger king cowboy can't even tell it from Angus. Been around cows all my life and I have yet to be able to tell if its angus or wombat when its ground into hamburger.
  9. VTmtn.man

    VTmtn.man Well-Known Member

    Well, 'Toiville2feathers', I'm told it's a 1200 lb cow so I can expect aprox. 550 lbs of meat if my butching skills are 1/2 adaquate. another couple hundred in bone weight, frozen, for the pup to chew on. If I vac-seal a good portion of it and wrap the rest I'm expecting to feed me and the pup for about a year, on a suplemental regeim.
  10. wild willy

    wild willy Well-Known Member

    Are you going to kill it.I didn't mean to sound like a smart ass in my first answer but there is a lot more to it than cutting up a deer.I don't know your setup.Have you thought what you are going to do with the waste there will be a good bit of blood.Do you have a way to hang it.Amazon has F Dick boning knives. Yes they are stainless harder to sharpen than carbon steel but the ergogrip handles are a lot more comfortable for hours of cutting.Some like curved some like straight boning knives.Since your buying for a lifetime I'd get a couple of each.Sometimes it easier to just grab a sharp knife then to steel or sharpen one.
  11. VTmtn.man

    VTmtn.man Well-Known Member

    'Wild W' I've got a JD 81 hp tractor/bucket w/ hooks, and a spreading bar for the hocks. I was planning on just raising it up and working from the hind section down as it bled out. Thanks for the info on the boning knives, this slaughter is scheduled for the 30th, so this is why I'm doing my research/asking all these dumb questions... The farm the animal is on is 500 acres & they don't mind the blood or the guts. The liver, spleen, tongue, heart are mine.... or rather my GSD's!
  12. wild willy

    wild willy Well-Known Member

    Its about as easy to roll it up on its back and prop it and skin the legs and skin down the belly before you pick it up.
  13. toiville2feathers

    toiville2feathers Well-Known Member

    Vtmtn.man don't you go feeding that dog the tongue, heart and liver. That some delicate flavorful eating.Best there is. Drop dead serious. Slice the heart thin, cook it with onions and add a couple tea spoons of bacon grease. The beef flavor is very rich. The tongue you boil, after about an hour and its done, skin it and slice it for sandwiches hot or cold another strong delicate beef flavor. And the liver cut it in half inch slices and fry with bacon and onions. be careful you don't over cook it or it gets tough. I like mine just past pink.
    Did you know that when the indians had a good buffalo hunt and they killed a good number of buffalo they celebrated that evening with a feast, by cooking the hearts and the tongues. It was considered that special.
  14. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Well-Known Member

    Lucky dog!
  15. blindhari

    blindhari Well-Known Member

    I grew up in a restraunt. Butcher steel can be expensive. Look for restraunt supply near you. Go there and ask for Russsel, Dexter, or sani safe knives. Three you will need are a scimatar for large cuts of muscle, two a butcher knife just like great great grandmas, a couple of boning knives 6" and an 8 or 10". Total price should be under $100 for all of them. Last power equipment for cutting bone is great if you have the capability and training to get all the surfaces and little crevices completly sanitised. Starting out just buy a boning saw you can clean and sterilise in the sink whenever you use it. The very simplest method is almost always the best. Last, if you can, find some one who has cut cattle before and buy enough beer to teach and show you hands on what to do.

  16. ewlyon

    ewlyon Well-Known Member

    I currently work in a slaughterhouse in central IL. Nearly all of the knives there are victorinox. They arent too expensive and seem to get the job done. However as others have said this is a big job to take on. There are a few hundred steps to fully butchering a cattle carcass. If youre using the bulk of the carcass for dog food then it makes it simpler but even so there will be a lot of work just to get the carcass ready for butchering. Make sure to save the choicest cuts for yourself, maybe save the hide to tan, and plan how you are going to dispose of the inedibles.
    Before you start cutting, have a solid plan of what you are going to do and have all the supplies for processing, storage, and CLEANING available. There is going to be a lot of meat and other material to deal with, and a lot of different things you can do with it (jerky, beef bacon, ground beef, steaks, roasts).
    Let us know what knives you go with and how it all goes.
  17. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

  18. VTmtn.man

    VTmtn.man Well-Known Member

    Thanks 'hso' on the link, the knives might be out of what I'm willing to spend. 2-3 hundred is about my limit. Could you please qualify your other post about NOT dispatching a bovine from 50 -100 yds out with a hunting round? This would be my preferred method.
  19. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

    Or take a look at http://www.foodservicewarehouse.com/kitchen/butcher-knives/c1961.aspx and http://www.foodservicewarehouse.com/kitchen/boning-knives/c1955.aspx

    Taking a quick look at their prices, for a couple hundred bucks you could get a drawer full of useful butchering knives from among their listings... skinning, boning, breaking, butcher, 10" or 12" slicer and a good steel...

    Dexter-Russell will get you a lot of knife for not a lot of money, if you plan to use them in sanitizer soaking solution get the sani-safe ones. (http://www.dexter-russell.com/sani-safe.asp?group_name=sani-safe.asp)
  20. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    I know a guy who only fed his GSD home-cooked prime rib.. for thirteen years.
    I'd just use a machete or ax. or feed it good kibble

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