Monday, March 19, 2007

Finding a Reliable Butcher Shop

Since so many stores have gone to selling nothing but pre-cut meat, real butchers are becoming less and less common. Their services are less necessary now that machines at the slaughterhouses are able to take care of so much of the job. So if you have gone hunting and ended up with a nice catch that you would like to have professionally prepared, it can be hard to find a butcher that you can trust to handle your meat. So when you are looking for a butcher, there are certain things that you should keep an eye out for, and look into the services of the butcher that can provide these things for you.

First, you should look in the most obvious place to find a business: the phone book. There should be at least a few listings for butcher shops. Call in and find out about the services they offer, as well as the sort of prices they charge. Some butchers aren’t willing to take entire animals, or charge extra if they have to dispose of the excess material (bones, hide, and inedible organs) on their own. So before you start calling around, find out the exact weight of the animal you are dealing with. Then when you call, you can get an exact quote based on the size of the animal.

Once you get the final product back from the butchers, you can gauge its quality based on several things. First, each piece should be organized well based on the section that the meat came from, as well as how it is cut. If the meat is well-cut but just thrown into a cooler willy-nilly, it won’t be very useful when you are trying to pick the perfect piece of meat to cook. So judge the butcher based on this fact.

Also, you can gauge the performance of a butcher based on how clean and quick he provided his services. It is possible to butcher meat in a way that will work, but make it look absolutely disgusting in the process. The meat given back to you should look like something that you would buy at a grocery store, and it should generally come back within a few days of you bringing the animal to the butcher.

The Lifestyle of a Butcher

The work of a butcher is often regarded with disdain. Many people see it as a brutal slaughtering of animals, and constant hacking away at their organs. The work of a butcher involves much more than this, and their efforts allow you to enjoy delicious meals of the meat of your choice. So in this text, you will hopefully become more familiar with what exactly a butcher does, and become more appreciative of the services that are offered to you. Here is a general account of a day in the life of an average butcher.

First, an average butcher will wake up early on the morning, ready for a day at the butcher block. There will usually be some sort of daily shipment of meat that needs to be carved. First, the butcher sterilizes not only his hands, but the complete area. This will rid it of any bacteria or germs that could infect the meat. Then the butcher will bravely and gallantly sort all of the meat and prepare it to be cut. Once it is all sorted out according to what needs to be done with it, he will start on the most interesting part of the day: cutting.

Using his powerful arms and his sharp knife, the butcher will place the meat on the butcher block and hack at it for a while. His goals depend on the state that the meat is in. If it is still in the form of a complete animal, he will have to skin it and separate the delicious parts from the parts that will make you gag in disgust. This is usually the most brutal part of the process. He will have a large bin to place all of the undesirable pieces in, and then have them taken away.

Once he has all of the desirable meat extracted, he will be able to deal with just the delicious chunks of animal that everyone wants to eat. He will separate it into similar tasting sections, based on his knowledge of the animal. They will correspond to different sections, and be individually separated out by the brave and chivalrous butcher.

Once all of the meat has been prepared and is ready to put out, the butcher will open up shop. That is when regular people like you are able to see the fruits of his labor, and hopefully appreciate it more now.

The Equipment You Need to Butcher Professionally

If you keep livestock or hunt frequently, you probably often end up with large amounts of meat that need sorted out, prepared, and stored. It can get expensive to take this meat to a professional butcher every time, so you may want to start doing your own butchering. With the proper knowledge of the layout of the meat on whatever animal you are dealing with, you just need a few supplies. Besides a strong stomach, you can get these supplies fairly easily. So get a head start on your butchering career, and get yourself some nice supplies to work with when butchering animals.

The most important thing you need is a very strong set of knives. Butcher knife sets are sold by many different vendors, but you don’t want to buy just any butcher knife set you see. You want to buy knives that will last you for years, and cut all of your meat in a quick and clean way. So buy knives with the most comfortable handles that you can find, and the most high quality blades. By spending the extra money that it takes to get a really nice knife set, you will be able to sharpen your butcher knives to the point at which they are insanely sharp.

You also need a good workspace for when you are hacking up all of the meat that you are sure to handle. This includes a sturdy work bench and a butcher’s block that will sit on top of it. For both of these items, you want strong, scratch resistant surfaces that will not stain over the years. Usually it is good to stick with metal surfaces since they are easily cleaned. Butcher blocks are most commonly sold in wood models, and this it is the general consensus that these work the best. It ultimately depends on your own preferences.

Once you have these basic pieces of butcher equipment, you will be ready to handle any meat that comes your way. By spending a good amount of money and getting the nicest components possible, you can ensure that what you produce as a butcher will be top grade. So start looking for possible purchases today, and find the equipment that will work the best for you.

How to Find a Butcher Block Table

If you are looking to start doing some butchering, you will need the right supplies to get the job done. Besides a knife set and a butcher block, you also need a table or workbench to place your butcher block on. These should be very sturdy and easily washable, unlike most wooden tables that you can find. You don’t have many options of places to buy butcher block tables, so you should make sure that you have looked in all of these places to find the one that will work for you. Here you will learn of some of the best places to look in your quest for a butcher block table.

Obviously, the table should be nice and stable. If a table is rocking all over the place while you are trying to section out some meat, it could not only make your work have a lower quality, but also endanger your own body. You have to have a stable work place, otherwise your ridiculously sharp knife will be flying all over the place, completely out of control. So try to get one that has adjustable feet on the legs, so that you can just do a quick adjustment to make up for an uneven floor.

You should also find a table that will be resistant to scractching from the knife, as well as blood from the meat that you handle. A wood table will soak up the blood and probably stain permanently, as well as sustain a lot of damage from being smacked with a knife repeatedly. The most popular material for a butcher block table is metal, although there have been many butchers recently who profess that a fiberglass table is the best thing to ever happen to them.

If you are looking for a place to buy your table, you should check at any local tool or home improvement stores for a nice work bench. You don’t need to buy a butcher block table that is specifically designed for it, as long as you find something that you think will work just as well. It depends on the setup that you will be working in, as well as what you would most prefer to work on while butchering.

What Happens on the Butcher Block?

When a butcher takes an animal to the butcher block and starts cutting away, it isn’t just a series of violent hacks at the animal in question. The butcher actually performs a very delicate procedure that is specifically designed to increase your enjoyment of the meat offered to you. A number of things are taken into consideration by the butcher when he slices the meat. The unpleasant parts are taken out and the best parts are placed together. Here are some of the things that a butcher considers when he goes to work at the butcher block.

The butcher mainly considers the quality of each individual piece of meat. All of the best pieces are separated out into the prime section, while the less tasty ones are put in a separate pile and end up being sold for slightly less. There are also things that he will try to avoid putting in. These include the things that make the meat taste less delicious, such as fat. There are some cuts of meat on which fat is acceptable to include, and enhances the flavor. Ultimately it is up to the knowledge of the butcher to decide which ones to include and which ones to leave out.

The butcher will also want to make the meat look aesthetically pleasing for his customers. If he just hacks away at it like a crazy person, it will probably end up tasting fine but looking absolutely disgusting when he is through with it. So, the butcher will make every effort to be as clean as possible when cutting the meat. When he provides it to his customers or to a grocery store, it will be much more likely to be purchased when it looks the way that people are used to seeing meat.

You can see that a butcher has a much more detailed job than just cutting pieces of meat into smaller pieces of meat. He has to consider many things that will improve the quality of the meat, as well as who all will purchase it. So the next time you see a butcher at work, think about all the trouble he goes through to bring nice-looking and delicious meat to your table. You will feel much more appreciative about the services that he offers.