This is my fourth year raising hogs, but first year planning on processing my own from start to finish.
We will be butchering a 120lb American Guinea Hog.
My thought was to "dip" the hog in a 160 degree half-filled 55 gallon drum of water, over a fire using an A-frame and hoist/pulley.
My brother is flying out from Minnesota to partake in the festivities and experience the slaughter as well and his opinion is to do a "pour" scalding, using many metal pots of 160 degree water and pouring them over the hog.
Which would be a more effective method of loosening the hair? Which is more practical for the backyard homestead? Which is safer (for the humans involved) and (for the reliability of not f**king up the meat/hog?)
I helped scald a pig for a friend. Taught me two lessons. 1- drape a terry cloth towel on the pig and then pour on the hot water. It holds the hot water for better scalding and hair loosening. 2- skin the pig instead. Scalding and scraping is a lot of hard work. More than I'm interested into putting into it. So I skin all my pigs now.
It's never too late to start! I retired to homestead on the slopes of Mauna Loa, an active volcano. I relate snippets of my endeavor on my blog : www.kaufarmer.blogspot.com
Last year was my first year raising pigs. I grew them on pasture and garden scraps. One was scalded and scraped using an old cast iron bath tub filled with 160 degree water. I was able to sink the whole pig under at once so I just pushed her around in there for about five minutes. I waited til the bristles were easily pulled out. From there the pig was hauled onto some wet towels and we (my wife and I) scraped her down. It took about half an hour to get all of it but I suspect I'll be better at it next time. There's a feel to it and once you get in the groove it seems to pick up pace. We left the skin on all the cuts we could and saved the rest of the odd bits for chicken food.
I skinned the second pig. Mainly I just wanted to get a feel for both processes and I must say that it does go a bit faster than scalding and scraping. You do lose out on a lot calories by tossing that skin and the accompanying fats away with the bristles though.
I'll be raising a few more pigs this year and will likely scald and scrap again. It went well and I think it's worth the effort to save the skin. Of course the main thing is setting it up right. Sounds like you have a good plan. Best of luck
We pour scald. I start a fire under an old wheelbarrow. The metal stand is just about right height. Almost full is plenty if water. One scraping and another pouring water and scraping, goes fairly easy. When scraped we scrub down pig with salt and also I spray a vinegar solution to clean up even better.
When I was younger we dunked the whole pig. Seemed like a lot of work and difficulty. Skinning is alot faster but you don't get the lard or chicharonis. Also I like the bacon with skin on, gives more weight too. Skinning just doesn't seem as clean either.
I just slaughtered a 300 lb American Guinea Hog sow and we did not scald we just skinned and quartered her took 40 min and I have a black trash bag full of lard. So you can skin and get plenty of lard. Also black pigs like the agh tend to have a tough hide which does not make for good eating. There is no real reason to go through the hassle of scalding when dealing with agh in my opinion but perhaps someone with more experience knows of a reason you might want to.
Scalding is a LOT of work, you better WANT the skin when you are done.
We only scald suckling pigs we are roasting whole.
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Dip-scalding takes a bit of setup, but once things are ready to go (water is right temperature, pig is hung) then its 4-6 minutes of dunking and, with 2-3 people with bell scrapers in hand, about 6 minutes of scraping and you're done. Really, that fast.
I did this as a novice in a workshop with other novices. The only parts that took a bit longer were the armpits (those hairs needed shaving, not scraping) and the head (as the face was quite wrinkly). I did this on kunekunes, which are similar to pot bellies, ie: not the biggest pigs around. I'm told a more typical big pig takes about 8 mins under experienced hands.
If you've scalded at the right temperature for the right length of time, then the hairs come out quite readily under a scraper.
You have about a 10-12 minute window for doing your scraping as the pig cools down (less, if out on a chilly fall day), after which point the cellulose of the skin starts to tighten up again and hold the hairs - it's much harder to scrape after the scald wears off, go to shaving at that point.
I'm also told that it doesn't work to give the pig a second dipping, the skin starts to get gummy and things go bad pretty quickly.
Why scrape instead of just skinning? It doesn't take that much longer to do and the amount of delicious edible material that is lost in the skinning is significant. As well, removing the skin makes for way more surface area for bacteria to colonize.
I have not tried pour-scalding so I have no comparison to make on that.
Location: Mille Lacs, MN
posted 5 years ago
We butchered our American Guinea Hog two weeks ago. Since I didn't have a good setup for "dip-scalding", we did a "pour-scald".
Results were okay, but I think they would have been better if I would have submerged.
It was difficult to regulate temperature and some of the hair would "set", instead of loosen.
I think an old cast iron bathtub would be the best apparatus for submersion-scalding.
I'll have to watch for one on craigslist..... or remodel my bathroom and take that one.
Anyway, the butchering was very successful and delicious. Bacon is cured and smoked.
Both shoulders and a ham were cooked 24 hours after butchering for a potluck.
Thanks to the wonderful Guinea and her sacrifice...
We've done both the towel head method and the bathtub method. The towel with hot water poured on it works but make the water a little hotter as it cools quickly. The dip in the tub works better - have the water at about 145°F to 150°F. Even a little warmer if the carcass is cool.