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Bacon and other Good Eats Cooking, recipes, how-tos, etc

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Old 10-27-2017, 12:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
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any butchers on here?

looking to become a butcher as my career path. I love animals and I love working with meat. have always been interested in butchering currently taking the meat class at the srjc makes me want to make it a career even more.

Any advice?
knife suggestions?
places that still have a butcher program?
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Last edited by killerito; 10-27-2017 at 01:39 AM.
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Old 10-27-2017, 12:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Being a Butcher has changed. Centralization of meat production had turned a once-well regarded trade into a "Wal-Mart" type of job. I've worked in the largest packers in the New England area. All the meat comes boxed, it's all butchered in mega-plants in the midwest. The cutters there work on an assembly line. Your best bet is to take the class, and work at a high-end "specialty" shop where custom cutting for individual customers is done. There's a big market for "all-natural" and "organic" meat, and niche butcheries are thriving in well-heeled neighborhoods.
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Old 10-27-2017, 01:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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yah that's my goal I don't want to be a safway "butcher". I live in Santa Rosa Ca in Sonoma County. There are several small shops I have been looking at as well as an exotic meat farm.

Not really sure what you mean by the high end? the several shops around here are family owned small buildings?

I was thinking about setting up a mobile butchering service type thing eventually still years down the road. Don't even know if its possible.
specializing in ultra-local meats for small farms or farm to table restaurants or something along those lines.
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Old 10-27-2017, 01:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Most of the "mobiles" I've seen are seasonal at best, busy during hunting season, but slow throughout the year. "High End" shops specialize in organic/all-natural meats, which naturally are premium priced. Some of the independent shops specialize in "ethnic" foods, we have a lot of Dominican and Central American shops locally that offer cuts you won't find in your local chain supermarkets. Most of the Italian specialty shops locally have small meat rooms and custom cut, as well as make premium hand-crafted sausage. I repair food processing and packaging machinery, big industrial stuff and I freelance working on the small stuff in my "spare time" so I see a lot of "Mom and Pop" stores, and ethnic stores locally. One company I worked for opened a retail butcher shop, and hired butchers, these guys couldn't keep the cases filled. I used to send him a couple girls from manufacturing who could cut circles around these guys. They cut huge runs for hours at a time, and barely make over minimum wage. Most are illegal, but they learn to cut fast, accurately and for 10-12 hours a day without complaints.
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Old 10-27-2017, 02:23 AM   #5 (permalink)
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ok, thanks for the clarification.
The chef was telling us about how at the chicken processing plant in Petaluma. Its pay by weight not by the hour.
thanks for the insight.
small high-end shop it is.

we used to have a local family owned supermarket that would butcher whole cows and do all types of custom cuts but they got tired of running the store so sold out to Safeway.
That's where I learned butchering was a job in kindergarten we walked thru the back with big slabs of meat hanging up.
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Old 10-27-2017, 08:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
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You'll seldom see "sides", or sides of beef, or whole hogs in 99% of the stores anywhere. Everything is already broken down into primals now. And you cut from there. Some of the smaller specialty packers do "portion cutting" for restaurants and hotels, and these tend to pay better as they're cutting higher grades. Some of the larger chains have commissaries that cut exclusively for their parent operations.
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Old 10-27-2017, 08:13 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I spent some time as a butcher at a startup shop which focused on locally raised meats. Steer arrived in quarters, hogs in halves, chickens and lambs whole. None of that box store nonsense. Lots of breakdown to do. I second the small shop if you actually want to learn the ins and outs. It's a good job if you can handle 8 hours inside a fridge.
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Old 10-27-2017, 08:29 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I spent some time working in a mom & pop local meat locker. It was a fantastic experience, but I couldn't do it as a career myself. The meat locker I was at did a lot of smoking and meat sticks so the owner was there at all hours of the day and night. I am not a morning person so the early start to the day everyday wasn't my cup of tea. On the flip side I learned how to skin and bone out a deer like it's no ones business. It was also a slaughter on site place so it was a bit interesting to learn the whole process from start to finish. I enjoyed it as a learning experience, but I can see how it would be appealing to certain personalities.
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Old 10-27-2017, 08:38 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Find a good shop and offer to apprentice is most likely the best way. I don't know of an actual "school" for being a butcher. I worked part time for a small slaughter house when I was in high school and learned a lot about how to properly slaughter and cut up beef, pig, sheep, small game and deer.
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Old 10-27-2017, 09:38 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnarchicArctic View Post
It's a good job if you can handle 8 hours inside a fridge.
Insured to be the milk box person at the market itís 8ish houses going between different fridges and the big freezer. I got this hahha.

Thanks everyone
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