North Branch, Michigan
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Popular Butchering Terms
Whether you plan to buy butchering equipment or cuts of meat from a butcher shop, you might want to learn some of the key terms that people in the meat industry use. By learning these words, you can help ensure that you purchase the equipment and foods that you want.
Organic Meat - The word organic carries a specific meaning in the food industry. Livestock sold as organic meat must meet guidelines set by the USDA. Cows, chickens, and other livestock raised for organic meat must have access to pasture and cannot receive hormones or antibiotics regularly. Companies selling meat labeled as organic must also register with the USDA and submit to regular inspections.
Kosher Meat - Kosher beef, chicken, and other meats are slaughtered according to strict Jewish laws. Professionals licensed by the Jewish community must perform the slaughter to ensure that all laws are obeyed. They must also use butcher blocks, knives, and other processing equipment that has been specifically set aside for preparing Kosher meat. They cannot, therefore, use the same equipment as standard meat processors.
Cleaver - A cleaver is a knife that has been designed to cut through bone. The knife typically has a wide blade attached to a handle that fits easily into the butcher's hand. This allows the butcher to maintain control of the knife while preparing poultry, pork, and other meats for the supermarket.
Butcher's Block - A butcher's block is a heavy piece of wood used by butchers to prepare meat for their shops. They are typically made of heavy, resilient woods such as walnut, teak, and sugar maple.
A butcher is a person who cuts and prepares meats for later sale within a deli or grocery store. The act of butchering involves the slaughtering, cutting, processing, and distributing of animal meat. These workers may trim the carcass, mince it, pack it, and ship it to supermarkets all over the region.
Similarly, meat cutting services slice whole carcasses of animals for wholesalers, retailers, restaurants, and other industrial and commercial operations. Deer, chickens, cows, and pigs may all end up on supermarket shelves eventually. They take the form of sausage, chicken wings, veal, steak, or pork chops. It's not a pretty business, but it's an important industry in this country.
Butchering may refer to the butcher shops that dress and sell the meat they get from slaughterhouses. Butchering may also refer to the actual process of slaughtering the animals. When you need packs of fresh meat, such as beef, poultry, or ribs, chances are you head to your supermarket or local butcher shop. There's a whole process behind this that consumers just don't see.
Butchers use many pieces of equipment to skin, fillet, mince, and grind meat of all kinds. Machinery may include auto-feed grinders, saws, slicers, and mixers. Some dealers offer standard cuts of beef and poultry, while others may specialize in organic foods.
Interestingly, butchering was strictly a local industry until the refrigerated truck made its appearance. After that, there was no limit to where butchers could operate and distribute.
Butcher shops can be found in most major cities, easily found by looking up listings online or in the phone book. Such shops may sell related foods and seasonings, as well. A company looking to contract with a butchering service for its restaurant business, for example, can narrow its search to butchering distributors.