How to Skin a Pig

Wikimedia commons

In today's world of questionable food products, salmonella scares and high prices, growing your own food is becoming more popular. In agricultural areas where livestock is permitted, keeping animals to produce a source of meat for your own family table can also be very cost effective. However, in order to completely ensure the best product for your family, it is important to control the entire process from beginning to end. Pork can be processed with or without skin, but cleaning the hide is difficult work, and many producers prefer to skin pigs for a better finished product.

Begin your slaughter process by using a sharp 9-inch butchering knife to quickly kill the pig. Hold the pig on its back and insert the knife point in one swift motion down toward the gullet.

Slit the hocks just behind the tendon to create a place to insert the gambrel hooks for hanging. Use your hoist to pull up the carcass with the gambrel hooks inserted through the hocks so that the rear legs are held apart.

Use the sharp 4-inch butchering knife to cut the skin around the hock on each rear leg. Slowly pull the skin down while using the sharp 9-inch butchering knife to cut through the connecting fat between the skin and the meat as you pull the skin downward toward the head.

Cut a slit in the stomach from between the rear legs toward the rib cage by inserting the tip of the sharp 4-inch butchering knife and making a shallow cut to avoid puncturing the intestines and stomach. Reach in and tie off the lower intestines at the anal opening with a piece of string or twine. Cut around the anal opening with the 4-inch butchering knife to free the intestines, and let them fall into the stomach cavity.

Remove all of the interior organs from the carcass. Remove organ meats and dispose of remaining offal you do not wish to use.

Continue to skin the pig by stripping skin away from the carcass until you reach the neck. Sever the head from the carcass with the 9-inch butchering knife. Remove any meat and organs you wish to use.

Cool the carcass and prepare it for packaging.