Pig Slaughter & Processing classes

To register for a course, please call 206 940 4980 or email at bruceki@bigpig.net   We limit these classes to 6 participants to allow each person individual attention and experience. 

Pasture to primal:  Live animal to primal cuts of pork.  Held at the farm in Everett. 
  Course dates:   Saturday, March 6th, 10am
                          Saturday, June 26th, 10am
                          Saturday , Oct 23rd, 10am

Primal to plate:  Primal cuts into ham, bacon and retail cuts of meat.   Kitchen on Capitol Hill. 
  Course dates:  Sunday, March 7th, 10am
                         Sunday, June 27th, 10am
                          Sunday, Oct 23rd, 10am. 

We will do private courses, and if you have 6 or more, your class is free. 

Pasture to primal
This is a class aimed at people who want hands-on experience in slaughtering a pig.  We start with the whole, live pig that you get to keep at the end of the day, or you can supply your own pig*

Course length is 1 day, 6 hours with a 30 minute break for lunch, and the cost is $500. 

Course description: 
The goal of this class is to take the pig from live to being cut into "primal" cuts -- ham, loin, belly/side and shoulder.   What I will not cover is the curing of the ham and bacon, the making of sausage or prosciutto, or the further breakdown of the pig into "retail cuts" -- pork chops, for instance.  I will supply materials to allow you to do that, but we won't cover that in this class.

This class is aimed at people who want to buy whole live pigs for BBQ, who raise their own pigs and want to process them themselves, or people who are considering raising pigs and would like to know what it's like to kill and process a pig.  If you own a farm, this course will give you a good grounding in slaughter practices, and you can then evaluate farm kill vendors more effectively.

Washington state law allows you to kill your own animal, and you'll buy either purchasing a pig from me for this course, or supplying one of your own pigs.   You will be killing a pig as part of this class. 

We will supply all tools and materials needed, and demonstrate the slaughter and processing of the pig using the minimum equipment.  We'll discuss additional tools or facilities to make it faster or easier, but the goal here is to teach you how to process a pig with the basic tools and least amount of fuss. 

Your responsibilities:  The class starts at 10am sharp, and we'll be shooting the first pig about 30 minutes after it starts.  Don't be late.  Dress in clothes that you can get dirty, and be prepared to actually do the work -- scraping the pig, handling knives or guts, shooting and then sticking the pig. Don't faint.  Wear rubber boots.  Consider rainpants.  Bring a sack lunch.   We will supply latex gloves. 
You'll need to bring a cooler that is 60 quarts or larger in size to take home your pork.  If you don't have one, a large cardboard box (3 cubic feet), bags of ice and large plastic yard bags will do. 

Course outline: 

   Basic meat safety and handling
   Specific contamination risks
   Tools to be used in this class. 

1) Washington State slaughter regulations and applicable laws
     Who can slaughter legally
     Regulations that apply
      Humane killing methods
      Exemptions based on religion

2)  Stunning the pig
     Goal of stunning
     Killing vs stunning
     How to stun
     Stunning using a rifle
        discussion of type of rifle to select
        discussion of calibres and shot placement
        Practice stunning shot
     Relating experience with customers requesting other stunning methods

3)   Sticking
       purpose of sticking
       how to stick
         avoiding "shoulder stick"
         10 second rule
         discussion of how to collect the blood

4) Shooting and sticking your own pig

5)  Scald or skin
         Market reasons
         How to scald

6)  Skinning

7)  Gutting
     customer requests
      Reserve the entrails / heart / liver / kidney?

8)  How to minimize or maximize sale
      As a producer, how to get the maximum hanging weight
      As a consumer, how to get the most meat for the least money

9)  breakdown of the pig into primals

10)  post-slaughter pork handling. 

*If you want to use  your pig, please call for details.  We'll need you to drop it off a day or two before the class so that it can be calm and ready when the class starts. 

Primal to plate 

This course is designed to allow you to complete the processing of a pig into the retail cuts and products you're used to seeing in the meat case.  We discuss cutting options and then process the entire pig into retail cuts, including how to brine and cure hams and bacon. 

We start with the primal cuts from half a pig and process all portions into the appropriate retail cuts, sausage and cured products.  Included in the course are sources for all needed supplies.  At the end of this course  you'll have the materials and skills to process  your own pig for storage or consumption. 

Course length is 1 day, 3 hours, and the cost is $150.     We will supply 1/2 a pig for this course, and/or you can bring your own 1/2 pig.