Almost a year ago (May 2014) I posted some comments and pictures of our first 100% at-home hog slaughter and butcher. An American Guinea Hog.
Since then, we had butchered another AGH in July and then again in September.
In July we tried skinning it (not desirable, I know, but that's what it's owner wanted). This process was very difficult, but even more so, it made the butchering process a mess.
With all of that exposed, warm fat, the butchering made the entire table a slippery mess and I still haven't gotten the grease stains out of my cement garage floor.
In September, we again went back to pour-scalding: the best we could do with the equipment we had. We were trying to scrape thick, black hair off in to the darkness of night via truck headlights. Not a lot of fun, nor successful.
This winter I got a propane jet burner and a nice 55 gallon drum, which I cut the top off of.
We got the water to 145 deg F and lowered the hog half-way in to the water via a large engine hoist. After 3 minutes, we lifted it back up and then scraped the outer dermis and bristly hair off with our old, antique hog scrapers (thank you Ebay).
We then lowered the hog on to a clean wooden pallet, switched the gambrel from front hocks to rear and then raised the hog back up and scalded the second half.
Some air pockets seemed to get trapped, especially when the legs curled up to the hams (this led to pour scalding), so we had to use a sharp knife to "shave" those areas instead of being able to easily remove the hair.
Overall, the experience was tenfold better. Quick, easy, fun, rewarding.
We then eviscerated the hog, removed the head and then split it lengthwise in half. Each half was cinched in a large canvas game bag and left, hanging outside to cool off and go through full rigor prior to butchering the following day.
With skin-on, the butchering process was clean and the floor did not get covered in air-temp-rendered lard.
I like it. I'll be doing my first at-home butchering this fall and I've been researching scalding methods from around the world. Mostly YouTube videos of rednecks with some crazy variations. Here's one of a professional mobile butcher with an interesting foot massage technique. About 45 seconds in it gets very interesting