Hog Harvest 2016 – Part 1

Following is a post I wrote about four weeks ago…  Since writing this post activity on our little homestead for my part has come to almost a complete stop.  Soon I will share with you why that is.  Until then I hope you enjoy the read.

 

We harvested one of our hogs and by far this hog was the best harvest and quality meat we’ve gotten from any of our hogs.  Don’t get me wrong, they have all been good, but this one is just exceptional.

This year we called on our local processor to help with the harvest and he skinned and quartered the hog for us.  That saved us so much time, and I’m glad to support a local small business.  Also, with me having a little more experience I’ve gotten better at my butchering skills, seasoning skills and packaging skills.  I enjoyed the entire process.

I am so please with our bounty from this hog.

Bacon…  Oh the bacon….  My favorite part of the hog!  We got about 35 lbs of bacon.  Here you can see the pork belly prior to me adding the cure mixture.

pork-belly-2

pork-belly-3

Here is the bacon with the brown sugar, salt and fresh black pepper cure.  It will cure like this in the refrigerator for 7 to 10 days with me flipping it over and applying another coat of cure to it after the 4th or 5th day.

Then the cured pork belly will go into the smoker for 4 – 6 hours over smoked hickory chips.  I truly think someone should package a perfume that smells like bacon smoking in the smoker.  It’s the best!

cured-pork-belly-3

cured-pork-belly-4

We got 2 beautiful tenderloin, which is actually the back strap, because it goes down the length of the spine at the top.  After trimming we ended up with 4 pork loin roast weighing 3 – 4 lbs each.

pork-tenderloin-1

Also trimmed from the tenderloin was 8 thick boneless pork chops.

pork-chops-1

And to the left of this picture you will see what is called the fish, which is actually the tenderloin.  It is the most tender part of the hog (and the deer for that matter).

All of the tenderloin, chops and fish were brined overnight then dried and vacuum seal packaged for the freezer.

The racks of ribs were trimmed and vacuum seal packed straight to the freezer.

This is a lot of work, but it is one of the most rewarding things we do on our homestead.  Our hogs live a happy life on the homestead and the harvest of our hogs or any animal on our homestead is a peaceful and respected process.  Knowing where our food comes from is a priority for us, one that we enjoy working hard for.

Up next will be hams, hocks, sausage and boston butts.  We’ll be starting the smoking process too.

Till next time,

Lori

 

 

2 thoughts on “Hog Harvest 2016 – Part 1

  1. I’d like to hear more about your smoker. I’ve been reading up on it, and am curious if you made yours, what design, and how well it works for you.

    1. It’s a Smoke Hollow propane wood smoker. We bought it when we started raising our own pork. It’s a big smoker that was a bit of an investment, but so worth it. I chose propane over electric so I could move the smoker where ever I needed it to be and not be confined to an outlet. I’ll post some pictures next week of what we smoke this weekend. It’s been a great tool and I have no complaints about it at all. We love it. 🙂

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