How to Butcher Whole Cuts of Meat

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Grocery stores often have sales on whole cuts of meat. Many stores will also cut the meat for free. The only problem is that the butcher is only available during certain hours. If you happen to do your shopping early in the morning or late at night, you may not have access to a butcher. This doesn't mean you should pass up those great deals though. It's actually quite easy to butcher whole cuts of meat at home.

Things You'll Need

  • Food safe gloves
  • Plastic cutting board
  • 7 inch fillet knife
  • 8 to 10 inch butcher knife
  • Freezer bags or butcher paper
  • Put on gloves. Handling raw meat can make you sick if you're not careful. It can also get under your fingernails as you're trying to butcher whole cuts. To prevent these problems, simply slip on a pair of food-safe gloves.

  • Check the weight of the meat. The weight of the meat will help you determine how many servings the cut will yield. For example, a whole sirloin tip weighs around 8 to 12 pounds. You can easily get several meals out of a cut this large, especially if you butcher it into steaks.

  • Consider the cuts you want. Deciding on how you want to use a whole cut of meat will help you determine how to go about butchering the meat. For example, you may want to cut a whole sirloin tip into two small roasts and eight large steaks. To do this you would cut the whole sirloin tip in half and then cut each half into the cuts you want.

  • Make sure your knives are sharp. A dull knife will result in jagged cuts. To butcher whole cuts of meat, you need the sharpest knife possible. If in doubt, have your knives sharpened before attempting to butcher meat.

  • Remove the bone. If you are working with a whole cut that has a bone attached, you will need to remove that bone before proceeding. To do this, take your fillet knife and cut in between the meat and the bone. Let the bone guide you so that the meat comes off the bone in one piece.

  • Cut into portions. Place the whole cut of meat on a large cutting board and begin breaking the meat down into smaller pieces. This will make the whole cut easier to work with. Start with the thickest part of the cut and slice through it using long and slow motions. Continue this process until all the meat has been butchered into the pieces you need.

  • Get the meat ready for the freezer. Once you have butchered the meat, place it in freezer bags or wrap in freezer paper. This will ensure that the meat stays as fresh as possible.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your meat has a layer of fat, turn the cut so that the fat is on the bottom. This will make it much easier to cut through.
  • Boneless cuts are much easier to work with.
  • You are more likely to cut yourself using a dull knife.

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  • Photo Credit cancer.gov photo courtesy of GeekPhilosopher.com
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